Texas Rangers: What the injury to Willie Calhoun means for Opening Day
By Cody Smith
Willie Calhoun, who was expected to be the Texas Rangers Opening Day left fielder, suffered a jaw injury on a hit by pitch in the 1st inning of a Spring Training against the Dodgers on Sunday.
At the moment, all of the information that the Texas Rangers have released in regards to the injury is that Calhoun suffered a fractured jaw, and would be re-evaluated on Monday. It would be safe to assume that the Rangers would release a timetable for Calhoun on Monday, or in the days following. It would be safe to assume that Calhoun will not be available for the start on Opening Day, and will likely start the season on the IL. It is worth noting that Jason Heyward suffered a similar injury, and would wind up missing around a month of action back in 2013.
Battles that are currently going on at camp are for first and second base, as well as for a utility outfielder spot, but after the injury, it seems like the battle for second base will likely cool down, as Rougned Odor has had a terrific spring thus far, and Nick Solak would likely become an Opening Day outfielder.
Other options would include starting Choo in the outfield, and putting someone else at DH, or possibly one of the players that are batting for the utility outfield spot. Another option could be that the Texas Rangers go out and sign a player or maybe even acquire someone via a trade or waiver claim prior to Opening Day. Assuming the Texas Rangers manage to stay healthy, one possibility for a lineup on Opening Day could be the following…
- C-Robinson Chirinos
- 1B-Todd Frazier
- 2B-Rougned Odor
- 3B-Isiah Kiner-Falefa
- SS-Elvis Andrus
- LF-Danny Santana
- CF-Nick Solak
- RF-Joey Gallo
- DH-Shin-Soo Choo
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for a player that has emerged as a fan favorite and looked to be primed for a breakout season. Hopefully he recovers quickly and in the meantime, Texas can fill the void left in the lineup.