The return of right-hander Keone Kela from the disabled list will put the Texas Rangers in a tight spot when deciding which players needs to be taken off the active roster to make space for him.
If Drew Robinson shows he can play shortstop, it definitely won’t be him.
Robinson, outfielder Delino DeShields and right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx have minor-league options remaining. Manager Jeff Banister prefers having an extra arm for the bullpen, and Bibens-Dirkx could make a spot start necessary.
Banister said that the Rangers will try to give Robinson pregame reps at shortstop and possibly slide him in there in a game that has gotten out of hand. If he shows he can handled the position without being a defensive liability, he could stay at the expense of utility man Pete Kozma.
“I’m sure in a pinch he could play there, but I’m not so sure once he’s got it he’ll go start there,” Banister said. “At some point we’ll be in a game where he will have to slide over and play, and we’ll find out what it looks like. Until you see it in a game, you don’t really know.
“If he can prove to us that he has the skill set to be able to play at short, he becomes an extremely valuable player.”
The Rangers gave Robinson time there in spring training, but so far this season he has played only once there at Triple A Round Rock. He primarily has played third base, second baseman and center field, but was the Rangers’ starting left fielder Monday.