Ordinarily, the news of left-hander Mike Kickham being outrighted off the 40-man roster, clearing waivers and being assigned to Triple A Round Rock wouldn’t register as a key transaction.
But if the Texas Rangers decide that second baseman Rougned Odor needs some time in the minors to get straightened out, it will be a key transaction.
The Kickham moves gives the Rangers the flexibility to add Round Rock infielders Ed Lucas or Thomas Field to the 40-man roster as Odor’s replacement. With the Rangers supposedly taking a critical look at the active roster on this road trip, an Odor move could be imminent.
Odor was out of the lineup for a second straight day, replaced by Adam Rosales. Odor is batting .144, but it’s not just that he’s struggling at the plate. He hasn’t been producing competitive at-bats.
The emergence of Delino DeShields during a five-game stint as an injury fill-in for Leonys Martin also has altered the Rangers’ thinking.
DeShields was drafted as a second baseman and converted by Houston to an outfielder because the Astros have All-Star Jose Altuve at second base. DeShields has been working at second base since spring training, and is changing the Rangers’ thinking on if he should play there more.
“It helped boost my confidence in him,” Banister said. “We’ll continue to work with him at second base also. We’ll explore that option also.”
Martin returned to the lineup after spraining his left wrist Monday, and DeShields was back on the bench. The Rangers believe that he has value coming off the bench as a player who can alter games late with his speed.
Any talk of him becoming more of a regular at second, or forming a platoon with Odor or Martin, is premature.
“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” Banister said.
But the door is open for the Rangers to swap Odor for Lucas thanks to Kickham being moved off the 40-man roster.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760