The Rangers optioned Willie Calhoun to Triple-A Round Rock yesterday after the top prospect struggled to a .243/.282/.324 slash through 39 Cactus League plate appearances. The 23-year-old seemed to have at least an outside chance of cracking the big league roster after impressing with a .300/.355/.572 slash in Triple-A last season, but he’ll instead head to the minors and continue to hone his defense (as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News suggests on Twitter). Calhoun got 20 days of big league service last September, so it seems unlikely that service time implications are a prevailing factor in the decision. But, that could be an added benefit for the Rangers. Calhoun would need 152 days of service time in 2018 to reach a full year, meaning he’d reach a full year if he’s up in the Majors on or before April 27 this season and is not optioned back down to the minors. With Calhoun in Round Rock, Ryan Rua and Drew Robinson could be in line to open the season in a left-field platoon. Utilityman Jurickson Profar also has a bit of experience in left.
More from the AL West…
- Rangers righty Clayton Blackburn is awaiting word on an elbow MRI, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets, but it doesn’t sound as if there’s much room for optimism. Even in the best-case scenario, Blackburn will be expected to miss the entire first half of the season. The 25-year-old was expected to be an important part of the pitching depth in Texas, even if he had only an outside shot at opening the season in the majors. As Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News explains, there’s plenty still left to be resolved in the Rangers’ pitching staff even after a winter spent collecting arms.
- The Athletics are holding their breath as right-hander Jharel Cotton undergoes an MRI on his right elbow after experiencing soreness in his most recent spring outing, writes MLB.com’s Jane Lee. Manager Bob Melvin acknowledged that “there’s some concern” over the test results rather than painting the MRI as any sort of precautionary measure. The skipper also noted that Cotton’s velocity has declined in his prior outing. At minimum, Cotton will not make his next start. He’d been largely penciled in for a rotation spot, however, so a significant injury would have a dramatic impact on Oakland’s rotation mix.
- Nelson Cruz is the latest Mariners player to be hobbled by injury in Spring Training, as he exited yesterday’s game with a strained quadriceps, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. He’ll also likely receive an MRI for further evaluation. Cruz laced a liner into the gap but pulled up on his sprint and eased his way into first base on what should have been a double, as Divish explains. Beyond Cruz, presumptive utilityman Andrew Romine suffered an injury to his left shoulder when lunging to apply a tag at third base in the ninth inning. Manager Scott Servais indicated that the shoulder “might have popped out or something,” and Romine, too, will be sent for further evaluation.
- In more positive Mariners news, Divish also writes that Felix Hernandez threw more than 20 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday — his first mound work since being hit on the elbow/forearm by a line drive back on Feb. 26 — and reported no issues. Hernandez was originally slated to throw only fastballs but talked his way into throwing a few curveballs and changeups. He’ll likely have another bullpen session before making his return to a game setting with the M’s this weekend. King Felix is hoping to start on Opening Day with the Mariners, though his current trajectory might not make that possible. Even if he’s not the Opening Day starter, though, it seems likely that Hernandez would likely be ready to go at some point in the team’s first turn through the rotation.
Every one say your favorite team… go!
mine is the mariners, so this article in particular makes me upset.
Watch as everyone on the mariners gets injured except for their 44-year-old outfielder.
tell me why this is actually logical.
Ichiro never hit the DL in the 11+ years prior with Seattle and I believe he’s only missed significant time once in his career. He’s the poster boy for durability.
I think someone named Cal Ripken Jr. holds that honor.
Manchester United- so yesterday’s defeat to Sevilla makes me upset. Then Mariners a close second! M’s injuries- It’s like we’re stuck in some bad version of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. Deja vu
Northampton Town number one, Mariners number two. At least the Felix news is positive.
Cardinals, without a doubt.
The Rangers lefty heavy rotation has a daunting task against a lot of RH power in the AL West.
Great news, on Felix’s progress.
I entered the season thinking this solo happy mariners thought : At least the injuries couldnt possibly be as bad as last year. So far
all missing time. Some say the upside down trident is bad luck. Some real Brady Bunch in Hawaii tiki stuff going on here
At least the only longer term injuries have been to the 9 hole hitter and utility guy. Perhaps the 5th starter although he may be ready by the time his 1st start arrives
You forgot Tony Zych, who was injured and released, and I would add that Heredia is coming off surgery and has played very little in the field (and likely won’t play much).
It’s comical, but the only semi-serious injury so far is Gamel’s. We’ll see about Romine. If Romine misses any kind of significant time, Beckham will probably be a lock for the roster, but they’ll seriously need to find a utility infielder elsewhere as well.
I would argue they could also use another RHP (reliever or starter) and an outfielder to stash in Tacoma. The Yankees have Gallegos at the bottom of their 40 and Cave being dangled. They might even be willing to part with Wade or Torreyes. Starting some dialog with Cashman once again might be a good place to start.
No touch! That idol taboo!
Calhoun is all bat and no defense prospect is why the dodgers traded him. He looks like another Chris Carter type player that can hit but no where to play. If his bat doesn’t hit well enough a career AAA player.
Except Chris Carter can’t hit either.
Tom E. Snyder
He has one great MLB memory–his first major league home run was off of Justin Verlander.
In the past year the Dodgers have traded 3 Main prospects, Calhoun, De Leon and Cotton. 2 are set for surgery and one was set down.……
Yeah that’s not a real good comp there. Calhoun has a plus hit tool and power. Carter can’t hit at all. Not to mention the difference in physical size. Carter would look like Shaq standing next to Calhoun.
Carter could hit the long ball but not for average and so far Calhoun has done neither. Every team have a Calhoun type player in AAA somebody that can hit but bad defensively.
Wrong sir. Huge difference between Carter and Calhoun. Terrible comp
Yea that is one of the worse comps I’ve yet to see.
Did Felix really talk team officials into letting him throw curveballs and changeups or did Felix just go ahead and throw them then team officials said he talked them into it after the fact?
Man the Mariners players are getting injured like crazy!!!
King Felix is the main core to the Mariners rotation…
Curious with the elbow concerns of Cotton, and the Jose de Leon injury and Julio Urias injury of last year if teams will begin to get weary of Dodgers minor league pitching prospects