Texas Rangers: Kyle Bird Fighting Hard for Roster Spot

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 14: A general view of play between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 14, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 14: A general view of play between the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 14, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers spring training is well underway and left-handed reliever Kyle Bird is competing hard for a regular-season roster spot.

The Texas Rangers acquired lefty-reliever Kyle Bird this offseason as part of the deal that sent Jurickson Profar to the Oakland Athletics. Bird was another marker of the direction that the Texas Rangers front office is heading for adding another fairly young, potential Major League arm to the organization.

Bird is one of a few potential relief pitchers competing for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen for the Rangers. Texas is like to have a couple of spots up for grabs and Kyle Bird is hoping a strong Spring Training can land him a spot in Arlington come March 28th against the Cubs.

So far Bird is off to a fantastic start in his 3 appearances. He’s thrown 4 effective innings allowing just a single earned run and striking out 3 hitters while allowing just a single walk. Obviously, this is a small sample size but when you combine them with Bird’s 2018 stats, it gives a boost to the lefty’s odds.

The near 26-year old 43 appearances in the minors in 2018 with 37 of those in relief. He split time between the Double-A and Triple-A levels of the Rays minor league system with 16 and 27 appearances respectively. Combined he post an impressive 2.39 ERA while throwing 75.1 innings and striking out 88 hitters. With his 1.155 WHIP, he impressed with his ability to limit damage.

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Additionally, helping Bird’s case is his splits against left-handed and right-handed hitters. While many middle-of-the-bullpen lefties are relegated to spot duty for left-handed hitters, Bird was impressive against both. While he was significantly better against lefties, allowing just a .156 batting average against, he was still quality against righties allowing just a .222 average against. This allows manager Chris Woodward the flexibility to have Bird face multiple batters.

If Bird can’t crack the big league roster at the beginning of the season, without a doubt he’ll have the opportunity to showcase his stuff in the highest level before the end of the year. He may see some time with new Triple-A club Nashville to fine tune his arsenal but he is another talented part of this young Rangers organization.

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