TUESDAY: Santana’s confident he won’t miss time, according to manager Chris Woodward, but it doesn’t appear Mazara will be as fortunate. His oblique injury is similar to (but not as severe as) the strain that sent teammate Joey Gallo to the IL in June. Gallo wound up sitting out just over three weeks (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
MONDAY: Rangers utilityman Danny Santana and outfielder Nomar Mazara left the team’s game Monday with injuries that seem as if they could lead to IL stints. Santana departed with left hamstring tightness, while Mazara succumbed to tightness in his left oblique. Should at least one of those players end up on the shelf, the Rangers are prepared to promote infield/outfield prospect Nick Solak from Triple-A Nashville, TR Sullivan of MLB.com suggests. Nashville pulled Solak from its game Monday.
At 60-64, the Rangers’ once-legitimate postseason hopes are now dead. But Santana has done everything in his power this season to help propel the Rangers back to prominence. The 28-year-old switch-hitter has slashed .305/.333/.576 with 21 home runs and 13 steals (on 19 attempts) over 376 plate appearances. Between Santana’s offensive production and his defensive versatility (he has appeared in double-digit games in the outfield, at first and at second), he undoubtedly looks like one of the best bargain signings of last offseason. Texas inked the former Twin and Brave to a minor league deal after a couple rough seasons, and the Rangers will be able to control him two more times via arbitration.
This season hasn’t been as prosperous for Mazara, who still hasn’t lived up to the considerable hype he garnered coming up through the Rangers’ system. While the fourth-year man has been on a tear of late, his overall .268/.318/.466 line with 17 HRs in 443 is merely mediocre. There have been rumblings about the Rangers possibly trading the 24-year-old Mazara, who has another two seasons of arb control left. That could be a situation to watch over the winter, but for now, the sizzling Mazara will hope to stay off the IL.
In the event that doesn’t happen, Solak, 24, could crack a big league roster for the first time. He’s just over a month into his tenure with the Rangers, who acquired him from the Rays on July 13 in a swap for young righty Peter Fairbanks. It was already the second trade involving Solak – a 2016 second-round pick whom the Yankees sent to the Rays in a three-teamer back in 2018.
Solak may yet emerge as a regular in Texas, with FanGraphs placing him just outside the game’s top 100 prospects and contending he’ll at least turn into “an average everyday second baseman.” Solak has made a strong case for a promotion by raking since he got to Nashville, where he has slashed an eyebrow-raising .357/.390/.670 with 10 home runs in 124 trips to the plate. Even in the offense-driven Pacific Coast League, Solak’s production has been 48 percent above average, according to wRC+.