Texas Rangers: Are Problems Brewing in the Clubhouse?
By Kenneth Nash
After optioning Delino DeShields to Triple-A, it seems that some issues may be brewing within the Texas Rangers clubhouse?
Rangers fans were hit with some surprising news Tuesday afternoon when it was announced that starting center fielder, Delino DeShields, would be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make way for pitcher Brandon Mann. DeShields had cemented himself as the center fielder for the club to this point in the season with the only other option being Carlos Tocci who is having a dismal season. After the announcement, many local writers speculated over the reactions to the move and reasoning behind it. Levi Weaver of The Athletic, posted a series of tweets about the reactions within the clubhouse over the move.
Weaver goes on to say that he has not heard comments like this before. While he mentions he doesn’t see a mutiny rising, it’s not a comment to be blown off.
The move itself while surprising, does have at least some logical reasoning. DeShields has not hit well at all this season posting a .204 average, well below his career numbers. He’s just coming off one of the worst slumps of the season and doesn’t show any signs of turning it around. Generally the 9th hitter in the Rangers order, DeShields did miss a significant amount of time due to injury at the beginning of the season though. While he’s struggled offensively, Delino has made improvements in leaps and bounds in center field. He is 2nd on the ball club in outfield assists and tied for 11th in the league. His range is among some of the best in baseball and he has developed into a great defensive center fielder.
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Sending him down to work on his swing could be justified possibly if Carlos Tocci wasn’t markedly worse. The 22 year old is hitting an embarrassing .105 and looks outmatched at the Major League level. Additionally, Tocci caught flack just before the All-Star break when he was thrown out attempting to score against the Orioles, especially considering his main asset his speed. There has also been a lot of frustration at the fact that Tocci seems protected by the Rangers front office as they continue to try and force him into the lineup when there are clearly better options. Part of this is because Tocci is a Rule 5 draft pick meaning he has to remain on the active roster or he can return to the Philadelphia Phillies. Obviously Texas sees something in Tocci if they are unwilling to risk parting ways with him.
Regardless of the reasoning for or against this move, which I think was a bad one, the comments tweeted by Weaver are disconcerting. He’s not the only guy to echo that sentiment either. Clearly there are players within the organization who feel that the Rangers are handling the roster and situations poorly this year and don’t seem to be striving to get better. If players are making comments like the one above, this situation may get worse before it gets better.