Ryan Rua has been named the Texas Rangers’ starting left fielder, and runner-up Jake Smolinski and infielder Adam Rosales have also been told they are on the team.
Manager Jeff Banister announced the decisions Tuesday morning during his daily media briefing. He said that Rua’s upside, which he started to show with a team-high four homers and an ability to hit to the opposite field, won him the job.
“I like the potential,” Banister said. “The power showed up and the ability to hit the ball the other way. He was the guy that continued the upward trend all spring.”
Smolinski will be the fourth outfielder, and Rosales will resume his role as the utilityman. The final bench spot will go to one of two outfielders, Delino DeShields Jr. or Carlos Peguero. DeShields is a Rule 5 pick, which will factor into the final decision.
The Rangers also have bullpen spots yet to be determined. They could have as many as five to fill if Shawn Tolleson and Tanner Scheppers need to start the season on the disabled list.
That seems more likely for Scheppers, who has left camp for an exam of his right ankle in Arlington with Dr. Keith Meister. MRI results are also pending.
Tolleson (forearm) is scheduled to pitch Tuesday in a minor-league game and expects to be ready for Opening Day. Banister, though, has hinted that he would rather err on the side of caution.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760