The most disjointed Texas Rangers spring training perhaps ever — and it was a long one, too — will come to a close Wednesday, and the end can’t come soon enough.
The players who know for certain they will be on the Opening Day roster have long grown tired of the monotony of spring workouts, and those whose roster fates have yet to be determined want answers one way or the other.
Most of the final decisions could be delivered before the Rangers hop on their charter flight home after wrapping up the Cactus League season with the annual finale against the Kansas City Royals.
“It’s on my mind,” said Robinson, who is bidding to be a utility player on the season-opening bench. “I don’t think it’s tense. It’s more exciting for me. We’ll see what happens.”
Delino DeShields is not among the waiting eight. He hasn’t been told he’s on the team, but manager Jeff Banister said that he is after a spring that put him back on the map and possibly back into an everyday role after looking like an improved version of the impact player he was in 2015 as a rookie.
What I tell those guys every year coming into their position, ‘Make me put you in the lineup.’ Delino’s made us do that.
“It’s giving you guys an opportunity to speculate more,” manager Jeff Banister said. “What I tell those guys every year coming into their position, ‘Make me put you in the lineup.’ Delino’s made us do that.”
Robinson seems likely to be introduced Monday at Globe Life Park. He can play seven positions and is the last utility man standing with Doug Bernier reassigned to minor-league camp and Hanser Alberto certain to start the season on the disabled list.
But the Rangers don’t want Robinson, who is still seeking his big-league debut after 2,427 at-bats in the minors, to sit on the bench all season and lose his grip on the momentum he has built the past two seasons.
“For a short spurt, there is definitely a role,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Overall, I don’t see us wanting him to spend a full year on the bench. He’s made so many strides we wouldn’t want him to take a step back.”
The same goes for Joey Gallo, who is likely to be sent to Triple A Round Rock despite still being in camp.
A few things could be standing between Robinson and the Opening Day roster. Profar could become the full-time utility infielder if DeShields becomes the full-time left fielder, and an infielder from outside the organization could be acquired.
Daniels said that is a possibility, but that he expects the roster to be filled from within.
Hauschild has a good case after an impressive showing this spring and because of his status as a Rule 5 draft choice who must remain on the 25-man roster all season or risk being lost on waiver or going back to the team that lost him in the draft.
We’re narrowing things down. ... We just want to see where everyone is. We have a pretty good idea.
Alvarez’s advantage is that he’s left-handed and vying for a spot in a bullpen that will be missing hard-throwing lefty Jake Diekman as he continues treatment for ulcerative colitis.
Scheppers has experience, but he has been slowed the past few days because of soreness near his abdomen. Leclerc has quietly put together a solid camp to the point that he’s still in the mix heading into the final day at the Surprise Recreation Campus.
Starting pitchers Nick Martinez and Dillon Gee are likely to be squeezed out of the roster hunt as the Rangers lock onto the idea of opening the season with a four-man rotation and skipping the fifth spot.
Martinez, who made the rotation in 2014 and 2015, can be optioned to the minors, but Gee, the Cleburne native, can exercise the out clause in his minor-league deal Wednesday.
Decisions are looming. The Rangers have until 11 a.m. Sunday to submit their Opening Day roster, but might not need that long to reveal who has made the team.
“We’re narrowing things down,” Daniels said. “Some of the remaining calls are related to health of some of the guys. We just want to see where everyone is. We have a pretty good idea.”
- Rangers vs. Indians
- 6:05 p.m. Monday, FSSW, ESPN