Kevin Kouzmanoff was thought to be as close as an Adrian Beltre strained hamstring from regular playing time as the Texas Rangers’ third baseman.
Kouzmanoff might still be Beltre’s primary replacement, but getting him to Arlington won’t be quite as simple after he missed out on the Rangers’ Opening Day roster.
Josh Wilson, Jim Adduci and Chris Gimenez were told Sunday that they will be on the 25-man roster Monday against Philadelphia, filling out a bench that already includes outfielder Michael Choice and catcher Robinson Chirinos.
Wilson and Donnie Murphy, career utility players, are likely to share second base while filling in for Jurickson Profar. Wilson could be the starter Monday against Philadelphia.
Right-handers Shawn Tolleson and the recently claimed Seth Rosin, a Rule 5 pick, will also be at Globe Life Park as the last two members of the bullpen on an active roster that has four starting pitchers, seven relievers, three catchers, five infielders and six outfielders.
Manager Ron Washington was mindful that the roster that is required to be set Sunday afternoon will look much different in only a few weeks.
“It’s going to be very fluid, especially if the three pitchers that are close continue to develop and we see that they’re ready to help us,” Washington said. “It’s not going to be one that we will have when we get healthy.”
Adduci made the team because he gives Washington a left-handed-hitting pinch-hitting option and pinch-running option and because he offers more roster flexibility than the right-handed-hitting Kouzmanoff.
Adduci can be optioned to the minors if the Rangers need to add a player. Kouzmanoff, who entered Saturday with a .385 spring average, three spring homers and 12 RBIs, would have to be designated for assignment to open a roster spot.
“I have no reason why Kouzmanoff didn’t make the roster,” Washington said. “He did everything he could. We just needed some flexibility.”
The Friday waiver claim of Gimenez also didn’t help Kouzmanoff, who doesn’t have an out clause in his minor-league contract. The collective bargaining agreement requires that a player claimed close to Opening Day be an active player for one game.
The Rangers can designate Gimenez as soon as Tuesday, keep him on the roster indefinitely and option Chirinos, or use Gimenez to create a roster spot April 5 when they have to purchase the contract of No. 5 starter Nick Martinez from Double A Frisco.
Martinez will start the year at Frisco, and Kouzmanoff and Colby Lewis were among seven players assigned to Triple A Round Rock. Infielder Adam Rosales will be designated for assignment Sunday to create a roster spot for Wilson.
Profar, catcher Geovany Soto, right-hander Yu Darvish and left-hander Matt Harrison will be placed on the disabled list Sunday. The soonest Darvish can be activated is April 5.
So far, so good
Darvish long-tossed out to 100 feet and threw 30 pitches off flat ground Saturday at Globe Life Park without any issues with the tightness in his neck.
He will throw again Sunday, though pitching coach Mike Maddux wants to get a better handle on how Darvish is feeling before moving on a path that would get him back on the mound.
Darvish was named the Rangers’ Opening Day starter in January, but he was scratched Tuesday because his neck wasn’t improving quickly enough for him to be ready.