Texas Rangers: Four position battles to watch this spring
By Travis Koch
The Rangers’ utility infielder might also be there starting catcher. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was behind the plate for most of the 2018 second half, but he also played second base, shortstop and third base throughout the year. He’ll certainly get some infield starts in 2019.
Texas doesn’t need a defensive replacement in the infield. Asdrubal Cabrera (3B), Elvis Andrus (SS) and Ronald Guzman (1B) are above average fielders. Of course, Rougned Odor was a Gold Glove finalist a season ago. Each infielder is also a good hitter, so it’s unlikely any of them will be pinch hit for.
Really, it’s a matter of who is capable of stepping in and performing when an infielder needs a day off. The Rangers could use Kiner-Falefa as a fill-in and use Jeff Mathis behind the plate.
They could afford the utility role to Patrick Wisdom if he has a good spring. He’s a corner infielder, but Cabrera can slide over to shortstop or second if Andrus or Odor are getting the day off. Wisdom is a right-handed hitter; therefore, he could be called upon to face left-handed pitchers.
The Texas Rangers are also giving infielders Nolan Fontana, Andy Ibanez, Danny Santana and Eli White extensive looks this spring.