Carlos Tocci is back on the Texas Rangers' active roster after they reinstated him from the disabled list following a lengthy, lengthy rehab assignment.
The Rangers like the player, a defensive-minded outfielder who knows how to move around the bases. Or at least they thought he did.
He doesn't yet know how to get on the bases, though, with any regularity.
But the Rangers couldn't option him to Triple A Round Rock, where he had been playing on assignment. Tocci is a Rule 5 pick who must be on the active roster all season, or for at least 90 days, or the Rangers risk losing him to the waiver process or to the team that lost him in the Rule 5 draft.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
It seems hard to imagine that any team would have put in a claim for him, especially after he nearly cost the Rangers the tying run in the ninth inning Saturday.
He was pinch running at first base and tried to tag and advance to second on an Adrian Beltre fly ball.
Jurickson Profar tagged at third base and had to hit the gas to touch home just before Tocci was tagged out at second. It took a lengthy replay review before the run was counted.
Manager Jeff Banister said that Tocci ran on his own in what became one of those learning moments.
"Make sure that the runner scores before I make the out," Tocci said. "That's what I learned tonight."
Tocci's days could be numbered, though fortunately for him, the Rangers bailed him out.
Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
1. The sides have dug in on Banister's comments from Saturday afternoon. They were pretty fiery, and he definitely wanted to get a point across when asked whether he expected any retaliation from the Angels for Rougned Odor's slide Friday night to break up a double play.
Strip it down, though, and Banister essentially said that the Angels' reaction over a cut shin, which didn't cost their shortstop any missed time, on the slide was completely overblown. That's especially so when the Rangers didn't react angrily April 13 when a fastball from Angels reliever Keynan Middleton broke the elbow of Rangers shortstop Andrus.
Neither was intentional, Banister said. Just baseball.
Again, that's no intent in either incident.
At issue on the anti-Odor/Banister side, call them Angels fans, is that everyone seems to think that Odor had planned to spike Andrelton Simmons on the final play of Friday's game as he slid to break up a double play.
It was blatantly intentional, they barked on Twitter. Did it on purpose.
Banister said that to assume Odor was out to get Simmons is just "irresponsible." No one knows what was going through Odor's head as he slid, though at the very least it looks like he thinking about breaking up a double play.
"You've got to take a great big giant leap to say that you know what another human being's intent is in that situation and you weren't even there," Banister said.
Odor, for his part, believed that his spikes weren't high and that they weren't pointed at Simmons. While some Angels disagreed with the height of the spikes, they thought the slide was legal as he was in contact with the base.
In a twist of irony, Simmons was actually determined to have violated the slide rule in the fourth inning as Odor tried to turn a double play. Simmons slid through the base and couldn't maintain contact with it.
And there's something else about all of this: the notion that Odor is a dirty player.
He has a rap sheet of previous slides and bat flips that teams, including the Angels, have previously taken exception to. (Odor apologized to Angels second baseman Johnny Giovatella for his 2015 slide at Globe Life Park.)
There was the bat flip on a triple in 2015 at Houston that catcher Hank Conger, a disciple of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, didn't like.
Of course, there was the punch to Jose Bautista's jaw in 2016 that everyone in Canada thought was a cheap shot while it was mostly cheered by Odor's and Baustista's peers.
Odor doesn't believe the dirty label is fair, but he's also not losing sleep over it. He's confident that he plays the game the right way — hard — and so do the Rangers.
Besides, Odor has other things to worry about, like being a good player again. He singled in the 10th and scored the go-ahead run on a Ronald Gumzan single. Maybe that's a start.
As far as the Rangers are concerned, Odor needs to worry about his play, not how he plays.
2. Here's something that is becoming far too common as far as Cole Hamels is concerned: The left-hander is pitching well, but the Rangers don't score much when he pitches.
"I've had a lot of practice," Hamels said.
That was the case again Saturday against Garrett Richards, who allowed a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo to open the game before retiring the next 17. That streak was broken when Choo reached on an error to start the seventh, but the Rangers had only one hit entering the ninth.
Hamels allowed a first-inning solo homer to Mike Trout and a sixth-inning solo shot to Ian Kinsler over the first six innings. Trout also tripled and singled against Hamels, who exited after the first two reached in the eighth.
It's was 2-1 when he left his 12th start of the season, and Saturday was the sixth time in his past eight starts that the Rangers failed to score more than one run for him.
The Rangers had to score once in the ninth and 10th to improve to 4-8 in his games this season. That's a shocker.
Hamels also hit two batters to tie for the MLB lead at 10. The first batter he hit was Simmons, which raised some eyebrows.
Hamels' reaction — he turned around and shouted a curse word (the big one, no less) — was either a dead giveaway that he didn't mean to do it or a heck of a sales job.
"When they see the ball move four feet, they'll understand," Hamels said.
He's also continuing to make himself look attractive if/when the Rangers become sellers at the July 31 trade deadline. The issue could be his contract situation — the remainder of the $23.5 million he's making his season plus either a $20 million club option or a $6 million buyout.
That's an expensive rental or an expensive rotation piece for 2019. With the way he's pitching, the Rangers might want him for 2019.
3. Delino DeShields knows that sometimes this is how baseball works.
Slumps can linger. The manager might try a struggling hitter in a different spot in the batting order for a little while. Eventually, the slump breaks.
DeShields is the slumping hitter who has been dropped in the lineup. He batted ninth Saturday while stuck in an 0-for-15 skid and a longer 13-for-92 slump over the past 24 games. He went 0-for-4.
The player who is supposed to make the lineup go is stuck in the mud.
"My timing is just messed up," DeShields said.
DeShields said he has been focusing a lot on the mechanics of his swing and needs to just "let it loose." He has been missing pitches he normally hits, and he believes that the balls he has hit could have been hit harder.
"For me, it's just hitting a couple balls on the barrel," DeShields said.
He did that in the sixth inning, when he lined out to right field. It made the kind of loud sound that he wants to be hearing.
The thing about this slump is how confident DeShields has remained. He knows it won't last and that the work he is doing will get him out of it.
He's only 25, but he's been around the game long enough to know how baseball works.