The Rangers are not totally buried in the American League postseason hunt, but have already fallen eight games back of the division-leading Astros. Particularly with a variety of notable players on the DL, it’s increasingly difficult to see the Rangers contending in 2018. Here’s the latest from Texas:
- Some Rangers fans are displeased with the fact that top prospect Willie Calhoun is plying his trade at Round Rock rather than with the Rangers. GM Jon Daniels bristled at the notion that Calhoun was being held down due to service-time considerations, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Rather, says Daniels, Calhoun is still at Triple-A because “he’s still working on his defense.” It probably does not help that Calhoun isn’t off to the best start at the plate, though nobody doubts his bat is ready for the majors. Daniels says he’s “really encouraged” by what he has heard about Calhoun’s defensive work thus far, but indicated that it will need to get up to snuff before the call is made.
- More broadly, Daniels certainly sounds like a man who’s well aware of the uphill climb facing his team this year. As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports, the team’s top baseball exec acknowledges that “injuries have certainly eroded what depth there was.” That’s obviously sub-optimal, but he does say there are still benefits to the situation. “The upside is that a lot of guys are getting valuable experience they wouldn’t otherwise get,” Daniels said. “That doesn’t do a whole lot for the fans who want to see immediate returns, but long-term we’re going to benefit from experiences [young players] are getting.”
- The Rangers have placed righty Chris Martin on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’s dealing with irritation in his right forearm. Fellow right-hander Nick Gardewine will take his spot on the active roster. That represents another blow to the team’s MLB roster. Though Martin owns a 5.14 ERA on the year, that’s due mostly to the disastrous recent outing that came in advance of the DL placement. Otherwise, he has generally been effective, carrying a solid combination of 8.4 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 while showing a mid-nineties fastball.