The Top 10 prospects in the Rangers organization
The Texas Rangers’ roster for Opening Day is all but set, and Willie Calhoun won’t be on it.
The outfielder received the bad news Thursday morning as the Rangers cleared up a few of their lingering roster decisions. Arlington native Hunter Pence has made the team as an extra outfielder, and left-hander Jeffrey Springs was told that he will be in the bullpen.
Jordan Romano, the Rule 5 pick, will not make the team and thus will begin his odyssey through the Rule 5 process.
The Calhoun, Pence and Springs news shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the decision didn’t set well with Calhoun. His fate came down to his fit on the roster, manager Chris Woodward said, and there wasn’t a good one in a crowd of lefty-hitting outfielders.
“You look at the fit. Where does he fit?” Woodward said. “When you have backup players that aren’t going to have an everyday role, he’s got to provide some sort of depth at a spot other than just one.
“He’s a left-handed bat, and he’s a left fielder. We have one who has been in the big leagues a long time. Who he was going up against wasn’t necessarily Hunter Pence. We needed a right-handed bat on our bench, whether that was Hunter Pence or somebody else.”
Calhoun plays only left field and bats left-handed. Joey Gallo plays left field and also bats left-handed. Calhoun’s lack of position versatility, the need for a righty-hitting outfielder (Pence) and the lack of steady playing time all factored into the decision to send Calhoun to Triple A Nashville.
The Rangers have at least two, possibly three, bullpen spots remaining to be determined and one bench spot. Woodward said that right-hander Zach McAllister is a front-runner for a relief spot, but isn’t guaranteed one, and Jason Hammel, Jeanmar Gomez and Kyle Bird are still in camp competing.
Logan Forsythe appears to have the edge on Danny Santana to be the extra infielder. Forsythe is playing first base today for the Rangers.