In typical Texas Rangers fashion, they chose to wait until the 11 a.m. deadline to announce their Opening Day roster Thursday, though they had 24 of the 25 spots determined Tuesday.
They had said that the last spot would go to a reliever, giving them an eight-man bullpen, and left-hander Kyle Bird claimed the final spot.
The rookie, part of the Jurickson Profar trade in December, beat out right-handers Adrian Sampson, who will head to the rotation at Triple A Nashville, and Connor Sadzeck.
Sadzeck had an uneven spring, and is out of minor-league options. He has been designated for assignment.
The Rangers will have only three bench players, though that’s not unusual for them or in the American League. None of the three bench players is a left-handed hitter.
Here’s the roster manager Chris Woodward will have at 3:05 p.m. Thursday against the Chicago Cubs for the 2019 lid-lifter:
Rotation (5): LHP Mike Minor (Opening Day starter), RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Lance Lynn, LHP Drew Smyly, RHP Shelby Miller
Bullpen (8): RHP Jose Leclerc (closer), RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Chris Martin, RHP Jeanmar Gomez, LHP Jeffrey Springs, RHP Kyle Dowdy, LHP Kyle Bird
Catcher (2): Jeff Mathis, Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Infield (5): 1B Ronald Guzman, 2B Rougned Odor, 3B Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Elvis Andrus, UTIL Logan Forsythe
Forsythe, Pence and Gomez were in spring training on minor-league deals and have to be added to the 40-man roster. The Rangers had one opening on their 40-man roster, created another when Sadzeck was DFA’d, and opened a third by putting right-hander Luke Farrell (jaw) on the 60-day injured list.
Left-hander Yohander Mendez (elbow) was placed on the 10-day injured list.