Barring the re-signing of Carlos Gomez, a free agent after the season, the Texas Rangers are going have a void to fill in center field next season.
For now, with the Rangers still of the belief that they can win the second wild-card spot, Gomez is the starter there and will remain so as long as the Rangers are in contention.
If they fall out of contention, though, or if Gomez needs a day off, Delino DeShields and Drew Robinson get looks in center. DeShields, has played there often. Robinson has played there some in the minors.
But once the plan is scuttled for 2017, the Rangers can start planning for 2018. Robinson would be given a long look.
“He has played out there in the minor leagues, but we’d like to give him a look and see how it works out with the third deck on the stadium,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I still think there is some real upside to Robinson. He just hasn’t gotten a real consistent look at the Major League level.”
Route running and swing recognition are two areas where Robinson, the Rangers’ utility infielder, needs work. Becoming adept there can help him overcome his lack of the kind of blazing speed DeShields has.
Robinson also continues to work at shortstop, the infield position where he has the least experience. Banister said that he’s confident enough in Robinson to start him there if needed, but Elvis Andrus hasn’t shown the need for an off day.