Tuesday is Sept. 1, a day that signals the beginning of the annual rite in the majors when teams can expand their active rosters to as many as 40 players.
It’s a rule that many dislike after playing five months with 25-man rosters only to have pennant races determined by an endless arsenal of players of the bench and in the bullpen.
Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister sees both sides of the debate, but he’s for it this year with the Rangers in contention and with a chance for him to do more maneuvering.
“That’s a tightrope question. That’s a fair question,” Banister said Sunday. “It can get cumbersome. If you had 38 and another team had 32, in some cases that could be a competitive imbalance. But we all get to play by the same rule. It’s fair in the sense that we all get to choose how we bring guys up and how many and how we utilize them.”
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The Rangers will announce on Monday night who, if anyone, will join the team Tuesday, but it could be a small number initially. Carlos Corporan will come off the disabled list Tuesday, and fellow catcher Robinson Chirinos is expected to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple A Round Rock and possibly be ready by the weekend.
If you had 38 and another team had 32, in some cases that could be a competitive imbalance. But we all get to play by the same rule.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on expanding to 40
Right-handers Nick Martinez and Spencer Patton aren’t eligible Tuesday because they are still in the 10-day, no-recall window after an option from the majors to the minors.
None of the players coming will jump into significant roles.
“The players that will be joining us, they’re significant in the sense that they all have opportunities to have impact situations in front of them,” Banister said. “Whether it’s a bullpen arm or a bat off the bench or a guy that can run or a defender, those are all impact situations.”
One more for Odor
Second baseman Rougned Odor is expected to return to the Rangers’ lineup Monday to open a 10-game homestand after missing a fifth straight start in the finale against Baltimore.
The fingernail on Odor’s right middle finger was detached by a hard grounder Tuesday against Toronto. The nail has reattached and the pain has waned, but the Rangers wanted to give him another day to adjust to throwing with the injury.
The club’s position in the standings helped make the decision easier, Banister said.
“He’s going to throw through some discomfort,” Banister said. “The finger that’s hurt is the last contact with the ball.”
Will Venable hasn’t been gone from San Diego very long since the Rangers acquired him Aug. 18 from the Padres, but he is looking forward to his return to Petco Park nonetheless.
The outfielder was drafted by the Padres and spent his entire career there. He and his wife lived in a condominium directly across the street from the ballpark, making for the best commute to work in the game.
Your first couple times because you want to pitch there and you want to win there, and then finally it just becomes another place where you just want to go win.
San Diego-area native Cole Hamels
He will use the three-game series to say goodbye to people he missed in the moments after the trade, and he and his wife will use the Thursday off-day to pack up the rest of their belongings.
“It won’t be too much of a hassle,” he said.
Left-hander Cole Hamels was born and raised in the San Diego area and still resides there in the off-season. He has pitched in San Diego eight times, and the novelty of pitching there has worn off.
“Your first couple times because you want to pitch there and you want to win there, and then finally it just becomes another place where you just want to go win,” Hamels said.
“Obviously, it’s a great stadium to pitch at, weather is always perfect and it’s what I’m used to, but at the same time you have to go out and you have to focus and win ballgames.”