Meet the New Guys: Renato Nunez, Tony Sanchez
By Kenneth Nash
The Rangers made two additions on Monday adding INF/OF, Renato Nunez, and catcher, Tony Sanchez.
In moves to counterbalance some major injuries early in the season, the Rangers added two players Monday shoring up the depth at both the Major League level and Triple-A Round Rock.
Texas added infield/outfield utility man Renato Nunez from the Oakland Athletics’ waivers on Sunday. Nunez, who just turned 24 on April 4th, comes to the Rangers as a corner outfielder and infielder. Nunez is still a rookie making just 9 appearances for Oakland in 2016 and 8 appearances in 2017. For his most recent sample, we can look at his numbers from Triple-A Nashville (Athletics) in 2017. Nunez played in 126 games for Nashville posting a .249 batting average. The bright spot for Renato Nunez comes from his power potential. Last season in Nashville, Nunez hit 32 homeruns and finished the year with an .837 OPS.
Call to the Pen
While adding Nunez is not a big splash in terms of instant production, it does pose some interesting thoughts. First, it seems the Rangers are content with the sample size they’ve seen from Ryan Rua and have decided to move forward and look at other options. Rua was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to clear up a spot on the 25-man roster for Nunez who got his first start Monday night against the Rays. Additionally, Nunez presents a commodity that is in short supply for Texas as a right-handed bat with power. He won’t light up the the stat box, but he is a power threat which is always worth a try.
Expect Nunez to get some time against left-handed pitching while Joey Gallo will probably work in left field against right handers with Ronald Guzman replacing him at first.
In the smaller of the two moves, the Rangers added catcher Tony Sanchez from the Cincinnati Reds and will likely assign him to Triple-A Round Rock. Sanchez, once a highly regarded prospect and former 4th overall pick, adds needed depth for Texas behind the plate. The 29-year old spent the majority of 2017 with Triple-A Salt Lake (Angels) and appeared in 70 games. Sanchez finished the Triple-A season hitting .272.
Sanchez is purely a depth move for the Rangers adding a veteran catcher to fill in at the big league level if needed.