The Texas Rangers are set to start their wild card series matchup with the Rays today at 3:08 PM EST and there were some unanswered questions regarding their playoff roster that went down to the wire. From which bullpen arms matched up the best with the Rays to how to round out their bench, Texas had some close calls with who to carry in addition to the no-brainer choices.
Well, the Rangers announced their playoff roster this morning and it is certainly very, very interesting.
Rangers choose to carry Grant Anderson and Matt Bush, leave Ezequiel Duran off the playoff roster
Many of the players on the playoff roster are not surprising whatsoever. The lineup was largely set in stone and the Rangers only had so many healthy rotation arms to pick from to begin with.
However, where things get interesting is with the bullpen and bench. Texas decided to carry RHP Matt Bush who hasn't played in a big league game since June with the Brewers and Anderson got sent back down to the minor leagues in late August. The Rangers clearly seem to know that they are going to have to be creative to pitch their way past this very daunting Rays team, so a little outside the box thinking may be warranted. The last few roster spots in this bullpen do look VERY iffy, though.
As for the bench, the big name that missed the cut was Ezequiel Duran. While Duran did put up some decent offensive numbers in 2023 and could play multiple positions, his actually ability to play those positions well was suspect at best. Texas clearly decided that the defensive acumen of guys like Josh Smith and Travis Jankowski was worth keeping over Duran's bat. The Rangers will also carry three catchers in the postseason, so Austin Hedges survives yet again.
Game One of the Wild Card Series is just hours away, folks, so stay tuned and let's see if this Rangers team can pull off the upset and advance to the ALDS.