Projecting the Texas Rangers opening day roster

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 16: Delino DeShields #3 of the Texas Rangers hits a single to drive in Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 to take the lead over the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning at Safeco Field on May 16, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 16: Delino DeShields #3 of the Texas Rangers hits a single to drive in Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 to take the lead over the Seattle Mariners in the eighth inning at Safeco Field on May 16, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 13: Delino DeShields #3 of the Texas Rangers stands on the field after he lines out with a runner on base to end the ninth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The Battles

The main positions of emphasis are the 5th Starter, utility infielder, 4th outfielder, and, to a lesser extent, center field. CF depends on the outcome of the Delino Deshields, Carlos Tocci (who is having an impressive spring thus far) and Ben Revere situation. It’s DeShields’ to lose, but we’ll see what happens.

Other battles are trickier to predict, such as the 5th starter. Any one of Shelby Miller, Drew Smyly, Edison Volquez, Yohander Mendez, or Ariel Jurado could prevail.

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The utility infielder and 4th outfielder rolls are just as important. Isiah Kiner-Falefa could be the utility man, though he could also be the squad’s starting catcher. A solid spring from Patrick Wisdom could earn him the role. There’s also a slight possibility Nolan Fontana or Andy Ibanez make the team. Both are having productive springs so far.

As for the 4th outfielder, Pence, Calhoun, Revere, and Tocci are battling it out. A somewhat strange scenario could involve Matt Davidson, who is attempting to pitch and play the field for the Texas Rangers.

There are many scenarios that could lead to a surprise player on the opening day roster. If a surprise is to happen, it will manifest from one of those four positions.

This is what spring training is all about… young guys competing with older veterans like Hunter Pence who are trying to keep their respected careers alive.

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