Texas Rangers: How will the roster shake up once Ronald Guzman returns?

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 12: Ronald Guzman #67 of the Texas Rangers hits a home run in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 12, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 12: Ronald Guzman #67 of the Texas Rangers hits a home run in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 12, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Ronald Guzman should be rejoining the Texas Rangers in a matter of days. Who loses a roster spot upon his return and how will the lineup be affected?

The Texas Rangers will be getting their starting first baseman back very soon. Ronald Guzman spent the weekend rehabbing with the Double-A Frisco Roughriders. He went 3-for-10 with a home run and played all nine innings in each of the two games. There’s a good chance he rejoins the big league squad for their upcoming road trip beginning Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

Averaging 5.6 runs per game, the Rangers’ offense is firing on all cylinders. Few players are dragging the offense down, and the ones that are won’t be on their way out once Guzman returns. Unfortunately, the man who loses his spot will likely be the victim of an undeserving front office move.

Who loses their 25-man roster spot when Guzman returns?

Logan Forsythe and Danny Santana have been playing first base in Guzman’s absence. Therefore, it’s safe to say one of them will be sent to the minors once Guzman is activated from the Injured List. Chalk it up to tough luck for the one who draws the short straw.

Texas Rangers
OAKLAND, CA – APRIL 23: Danny Santana #38 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by Elvis Andrus #1 after Santana hit a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 23, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 11-5. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Forsythe is hitting .289 with a .388 OBP in 24 games this year. He’s hit .500 in his last five games. He’s also proved versatile, making starts at first base, second base and shortstop. Seeing how he’s been on the roster since Opening Day, he’ll probably maintain his roster spot when Ronald Guzman comes back.

That leaves Santana to be sent down. The 28-year-old has looked great in his 17 chances this season. He’s hitting .333 with a .366 OBP and a .576 SLG. Like Forsythe, Santana has been versatile, playing games at first base and second base. The Rangers haven’t needed him out there yet, but he is also capable of playing the outfield.

There’s simply less flexibility with Santana. He doesn’t have the big league experience that Forsythe has, and his outfield services are not needed as much as Forsythe’s infield services.

Those two are the only players at risk. Texas has a couple of relievers they could move forward without; however, they’re currently carrying an eight-man bullpen. They will not go to a seven-man ‘pen in favor of keeping an additional bench player.

Texas could demote Delino DeShields, but that would be rather drastic. DeShields is doing a nice job getting on base this year and he’s playing a strong center field. With the way the offense is flowing, prioritizing defense over offense at a position as important as center field would be wise.

He won’t deserve it, but the Rangers will have no way around demoting Danny Santana when Guzman is activated.

How will Guzman’s return affect the lineup?

Guzman frequented the 7th spot in the batting order prior to his hamstring injury. That could change now that Rougned Odor has dropped in the lineup, though Chris Woodward can’t get too creative with five left-handed hitters being everyday players.

Delino DeShields makes a lot of sense batting 9th and there’s little sense bumping Jeff Mathis or Isiah Kiner-Falefa any higher than 8th in the order. So, Guzman will probably stay hitting 7th.

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Forsythe will get some starts at first base when the Texas Rangers are facing a southpaw. He’ll need to stay fresh, especially with the way he has been swinging the bat as of late.