Texas Rangers: It’s time to call up Willie Calhoun
By Travis Koch
The season has collapsed quicker than expected for the Texas Rangers and momentum needs to be found somewhere. It’s time for Texas to recall Willie Calhoun.
The Texas Rangers #2 prospect Willie Calhoun is off to a bit of a bumpy start with the organization. Not performance-wise, but relationship-wise. Calhoun expressed disappointment after being assigned to the minor leagues out of spring training. The 23-year-old felt he was ready to be a full-time big leaguer. Texas had decent reason at the time to send him down (defense); however, their reasoning has weakened given the team’s horrendous start to the season. It’s time to put egos aside and make Willie Calhoun the everyday left fielder.
The Rangers clearly need a spark. They are coming off a series loss to a lackluster Chicago White Sox team and will host the best team in MLB in the New York Yankees beginning tonight. A Willie Calhoun call up will not guarantee a series win over the Yanks, though, it will give Rangers fans something to be excited about. Perhaps Calhoun could provide reason for fans to show up to the ballpark, rather than opposing players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Fandom aside, this move makes sense for the Texas Rangers. Calhoun is doing everything the organization has asked of him in Triple-A. He is performing offensively, posting a slash line of .265/.326/.398 with four home runs. He has also struck out only 25 times in 166 at-bats. We all know how desperate the major league squad is for a formidable contact hitter.
Of course, the primary focus for the Rangers is apparently Calhoun’s defense. The transitioned left fielder has not disappointed in that area either. Though I have not seen him play in person this season, Calhoun’s stats reveal only one error and three outfield assists in 37 games with the Round Rock Express. Given the fact that Texas’ current everyday left fielder is primarily a first baseman (Joey Gallo), it seems the team should have no problem flexing Willie Calhoun into the lineup in left field.
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Willie Calhoun needs big league experience. The Texas Rangers are in an obvious position to give him that. Frankly, Calhoun seems bored with the minor leagues. A promotion would not only give the team and the fans a spark, but also a spark for Willie Calhoun.
There are all sorts of ways the Rangers could restructure their lineups to include Calhoun. One in particular, play Gallo at first base in place of Ronald Guzman. Calhoun then takes over left field and everyone is happy. As for the roster swap, Texas could demote Ryan Rua or Hanser Alberto or Ronald Guzman.
It’s simply not enough anymore to wait until Adrian Beltre returns to give some momentum to such a struggling team. Plus, Elvis Andrus is still a few weeks away from returning. Give the fans the excitement they’ve been on the brink of by calling up the top major league ready prospect. After all, this season is as much about keeping fans on board as it is anything else.