Hanser Alberto could hang around for a while.
The Texas Rangers infielder, who made his major league debut Friday night at shortstop, started at second base Saturday, showing the versatility that manager Jeff Banister covets.
Alberto was called up from Triple A Round Rock on Thursday evening. His arrival made infielder Tommy Field expendable, and Field was designated for assignment Saturday afternoon to make room for pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez.
The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or attempt to get Field, 28, through waivers and outright him to the minor leagues. Field has been outrighted before, which allows him to decline and choose to become a free agent. But it sounds like Field wouldn’t mind staying with the organization.
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“Hopefully a team picks me up off waivers and I’m in the big leagues, but if not, the Ranger’s organization is a really good organization to be part of,” Field said. “I felt like I helped the team out while I was up here and did what I was supposed to do. It’s just the way baseball is; it’s a business.”
Alberto is also an option at third base, Banister said. Alberto flashed his glove in the fourth inning Saturday, when he scooped up a slow roller near first and flipped the ball from his glove to first baseman Adam Rosales — all in one motion.
“I like the speed with which he plays,” Banister said. “He’s a premium defender.”
Choo’s turn to rest
Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo was out the lineup Saturday to rest, just as Elvis Andrus was Friday.
Banister has been trying to get some of his everyday players a day off this weekend, coupled with the team’s off day on Monday. Adrian Beltre should also get one soon.
Choo didn’t want to sit, but he knows it’s a good idea after playing in the first 28 games of May.
“We stay more fresh, maybe help later,” Choo said. “We talk about it in spring training, helps you stay fresh for late in the season and in the playoffs.”
Injured outfielder Ryan Rua will likely start a rehab assignment at the end of next week, Banister said.
Rua, who has been sidelined with a fractured bone in his right foot since early April, was scheduled to run the bases Saturday but was unable to because the tarp was on the field after morning rain.
When Rua returns for his minor league stint, Banister said he’ll see time at third and first base, along with left field.
“Versatility is very key in today’s game,” Banister said. “Elite teams have multiple guys who can do that.”
Right-hander Neftali Feliz is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Sunday since being placed on the disabled list with an abscess under his throwing arm.
5 Rangers players have made their major league debuts in 2015, including starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez on Saturday. The others are outfielder Delino DeShields, infielder Hanser Alberto, and relief pitchers Keone Kela and Logan Verrett.
“I saw it became a team at-bat ... saw that approach, that mentality. Saw a man who was in control of the at-bat even being down 0-2 ... you could hear in the dugout after he walked, everybody knew, the entire ballclub was hooting because of that walk. [They] knew what was at stake. That’s why it was equally impressive to me as the two home runs.” — Rangers manager Jeff Banister on Josh Hamilton working a walk in the seventh inning Friday after falling behind 0-2.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760