Let’s be abundantly clear about something: It’s not Carlos Tocci’s fault he’s on the Texas Rangers’ roster.
It’s not his fault that the Philadelphia Phillies left him exposed to the Rule 5 draft, or that the Chicago White Sox selected him and traded him to the Rangers.
The Rule 5 stipulation that requires he spend all season in the majors, even if he clearly needs to be in the minors? Also not his fault.
He’s just an overmatched MLB rookie who is doing what he’s told and trying to work on his deficiencies.
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So, don’t hate Tocci. Hate the position the guy has been put in, a position I’m guessing we’d all like to be in, and how the Rangers are crippling their roster to keep him active.
But his presence the roster has been a problem since Opening Day.
The Rangers have had to navigate around him, play with essentially a two-man bench at times as they sat on him, and have had to send players who have options to the minors who don’t deserve to be sent to the minors.
It isn’t sitting well with some players, who saw the demotion of Delino DeShields on Tuesday as unnecessary considering where the Rangers are at this point.
Here’s the thing about players: They want to win, and they are loyal. They know the kind of player DeShields can be and believe he has earned the chance to work things out in the majors.
Rangers brass believe that Tocci is a “projectable outfielder,” manager Jeff Banister said. In other words, he has a chance to develop offensively.
Does he develop enough to make the Opening Day roster in 2019? No chance (DeShields, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Shin-Soo Choo, Willie Calhoun). What about in 2020? Not likely (Same group with Scott Heineman and Drew Robinson in the mix, too). Oh, then 2021? Nope (Subtract Choo, add Leody Tavares, Julio Pablo Martinez and Bubba Thompson to the group).
It just doesn’t add up.
But it’s not Tocci’s fault.