Texas Rangers

Here's the reason Willie Calhoun isn't on the Rangers' roster. It's not what many think

Willie Calhoun is continuing to work on his defense in left field at Triple A Round Rock, Jon Daniels said.
Willie Calhoun is continuing to work on his defense in left field at Triple A Round Rock, Jon Daniels said. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

For those wanting to get under Jon Daniels' skin, here's a tip:

Accuse him of trying to manipulate a player's service clock

Thursday marks the day the Texas Rangers could recall outfielder Willie Calhoun without losing a year of contractual control on the centerpiece of the Yu Darvish trade. That, however, is not the reason the Rangers have kept Calhoun at Triple A Round Rock.

"I didn't even know May 3 was the day, and I'm really offended by those statements because they ignore fact," said Daniels, the Rangers general manager. "Some idiot wrote an article that was the reason we sent Willie down, and I found that really offensive. Go back and look at our track record."

He has a point. Elvis Andrus, Keone Kela, Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez and Ronald Guzman are the examples he cited when the Rangers did not try to preserve an extra year of control.

If a young player is the best option, the Rangers have tended to go with him, service time be damned.

"What we're doing might be the wrong move," Daniels said. "But we take some pride in not making those moves."

So, barring an injury or two, which is entirely possible based on the Rangers' April, don't expect to see Calhoun playing left field for the Rangers until they determine he is ready for the major leagues.

"He's still working on his defense," Daniels said. "The reports have been really positive on the pregame work he's been putting in. I'm really encouraged by that. I haven't spoken to him. Our message to the staff there is to keep pushing it."

Calhoun entered Tuesday batting .229 with just a .365 slugging percentage, but the Rangers aren't worried about the bat. Calhoun is going to hit and hit a bunch this season, whether he spends all of it at Round Rock or gets some big-league time with the Rangers.

His defense, though, is lacking, and it's not nearly as good as Joey Gallo's glove in left field. Anyone who saw Calhoun in spring training could see that he isn't ready, and with the Rangers playing with little to no margin for error, they must field the best defensive team they can.

So, that means Gallo won't be moving to third base, Isiah Kiner-Falefa won't be moving to second base, Drew Robinson won't be moving to Round Rock, and Calhoun won't be patrolling left field.

Robinson has had his share of problems at the plate. Before Tuesday's game against the Cleveland Indians, a game the Rangers won 8-6 in 12 innings on late homers by Joey Gallo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Robinson was batting .176 this season and had struck out 38 times in 68 at-bats.

He had been even worse over the past 15 games, with a .135 average and 26 strikeouts in 44 at-bats.

His days as a regular are indeed numbered. Rougned Odor ran the bases at Progressive Field for the first time since he strained his left hamstring April 9, albeit at 50 percent effort, but believes he will be activated from the DL next week.

While the numbers have been lousy for Robinson, manager Jeff Banister said that Robinson is slowing trending upward.

"We talked to him about trying to get back to the guy he's been in the past — take pitches, not afraid to get down in the count and work the at-bat, keep the ball in the middle of the field, try not to get too big with the swing," Banister said.

"What I've seen is there have been little progressions back toward being a little more selective, looking to get on base, he's showing the bunt, he's staying on his pitch. I like the direction of what we're seeing right now."

Just because this isn't an all-in season for the Rangers and just because they stunk in April doesn't mean Daniels is abandoning the season for a rebuild phase. At least not yet.

"I'm not ruling anything out. I just don't do that. It's May 1," Daniels said. "Things can turn on a dime. We've seen it before in other spots. We've seen it before here.

"There are some a number of players here who are capable of more, both the young guys and the veteran guys who are working through things. We're not ruling anything out."

And he insists that he's not trying to manipulate Calhoun's service time.

Rangers 8, Indians 6

Texas

000

020

400

002

8

15

1

Cleveland

000

000

204

000

6

13

0

Texas<QM>

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

6

1

2

1

0

2

.267

Choo dh

3

2

1

0

2

0

.244

Profar ss

6

1

2

3

0

1

.250

Mazara rf

6

1

1

2

0

1

.287

Gallo lf-1b

6

1

2

1

0

3

.222

Kiner-Falefa 3b

6

1

4

1

0

0

.294

Guzman 1b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.208

Nunez ph-lf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.150

Centeno c

1

0

0

0

0

1

.147

Chirinos c

5

0

1

0

0

2

.183

Rua pr-lf

1

0

1

0

0

0

.208

Robinson 2b

6

1

1

0

0

3

.176



Cleveland<QM>

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Lindor ss

6

1

2

0

0

0

.250

Kipnis 2b

5

1

2

2

1

0

.188

Ramirez 3b

6

0

2

0

0

1

.270

Brantley lf

6

1

1

4

0

0

.329

Encarnacion dh

5

0

2

0

0

2

.171

Davis pr-dh

1

0

0

0

0

0

.182

Alonso 1b

5

0

0

0

1

2

.222

Gomes c

6

1

2

0

0

2

.264

Naquin rf

3

1

1

0

0

0

.296

Guyer ph-rf

1

0

1

0

0

0

.167

Zimmer cf

4

1

0

0

1

0

.228



E—Fister (1). LOB—Texas 10, Cleveland 10. 2B—Choo (8), Profar 2 (7), Kiner-Falefa (4), Lindor (7), Kipnis (8), Ramirez (6). HR—DeShields (1), off Clevinger; Mazara (4), off Beliveau; Gallo (9), off Goody; Kiner-Falefa (2), off Goody; Brantley (3), off Kela. RBIs—DeShields (1), Profar 3 (11), Mazara 2 (16), Gallo (21), Kiner-Falefa (7), Kipnis 2 (9), Brantley 4 (14). SB—DeShields (4). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 5 (Profar 2, Mazara, Guzman, Nunez); Cleveland 5 (Kipnis, Ramirez, Brantley 2, Alonso). RISP—Texas 3 for 8; Cleveland 3 for 16. Runners moved up—Kipnis, Lindor. GIDP—Lindor, Zimmer. DP—Texas 2 (Robinson, Profar, Guzman), (Profar, Robinson, Gallo).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Fister

6<AF>2/3

6

2

0

2

4

105

2.88

Diekman

1

0

0

0

1

0

17

4.35

Leclerc

<AF>1/3

0

0

0

0

1

4

0.00

Kela

1

5

4

4

0

2

29

6.30

Claudio, W, 1-1

3

2

0

0

0

0

31

6.00

Cleveland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Clevinger

6<AF>2/3

7

3

3

1

7

105

2.82

Beliveau

0

2

3

3

0

0

16

11.57

Otero

1<AF>1/3

1

0

0

0

2

19

4.38

Belisle

1

0

0

0

0

1

13

5.06

Olson

<AF>2/3

1

0

0

0

2

11

4.35

Goody, L, 0-2

1<AF>2/3

3

2

2

1

2

28

5.73

McAllister

<AF>2/3

1

0

0

0

2

11

9.58

Beliveau pitched to 3 batters in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored—Diekman 1-0, Leclerc 1-0, Beliveau 1-1, Goody 1-0. HBP—Fister (Naquin), Beliveau (Choo). WP—Goody. T—4:05. A—16,356 (35,225).

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