You’ve heard the expression “a good problem to have.” A “good problem” is stewing for the Texas Rangers; it will see a result once Elvis Andrus returns from injury.
Yet another major roster decision is in route for the Texas Rangers. They had enough impact players on offense to warrant the demotion of Delino DeShields just over a week ago. Now, Willie Calhoun has been promoted and has gone 8-for-16 with two homers, five RBI and five runs over three games. He seems motivated to stay in the bigs this go around.
Calhoun was brought up when Elvis Andrus hit the IL with a hamstring injury. Word is Andrus’ injury is minor, and that he should return within 10 days of the incident. When he returns, Texas will have to kick someone off the 25-man roster.
It won’t be a pitcher. A few starters are struggling to pitch deep in games, forcing an all hands on deck situation with the bullpen almost nightly. The Rangers have opted to use an opener a couple of times as well, which removes one bullpen arm for the late innings. They’ll very likely continue with a full staff of five starting pitchers and eight relievers.
So, it seems an offensive player will be losing his spot once Andrus is activated from the IL.
The problem is nearly every member of the Rangers offense is contributing in a significant way. The ones who aren’t hitting well are helping the team in other ways, particularly in the areas of defense and leadership. Catcher Jeff Mathis is a prime example.
Hunter Pence has emerged as an everyday middle of the order bat. Logan Forsythe has played in 28 of the team’s last 33 games and his hitting .321 with a .421 OBP. Danny Santana‘s playing time has slowed some, but he’s hitting .319 with a .853 OPS. Ronald Guzman hasn’t had much time to get going yet, but he’s one of the young guys that Texas wants to grant as many at-bats as possible.
And suddenly Rougned Odor has decided to get his bat going, knocking three home runs in the last two games and upping his batting average 24 points over that span.
Willie Calhoun won’t be on his way back to the minors anytime soon. His stunning 2019 impression will buy him plenty of big league time, perhaps the remainder of the season. He has added quite the wrinkle to the Texas Rangers’ roster situation.
It’s hard enough for manager Chris Woodward to figure out how to get all of these hot bats to the plate on a regular basis. He even decided to sit Nomar Mazara against a right-handed Miles Mikolas last night. Yet, GM Jon Daniels’ task trumps Woodward’s. Daniels will ultimately decide which player will undeservedly lose a roster spot in the coming days.
I plead the fifth. This article isn’t meant to provide an answer to the Rangers’ roster dilemma or to offer a suggestion to the organization’s primary decision maker. It was only meant to detail the dilemma. Surprise will be the reaction to Daniels’ decision no matter what it is.