More roster decisions came out of Texas Rangers camp Tuesday morning, with Drew Stubbs opting out of his minor league deal and Hanser Alberto, Ryan Rua and Justin Ruggiano being told they have made the Opening Day roster.
With Stubbs out of consideration for an outfield bench spot, the Rangers found room for Ruggiano and Rua. Alberto won the job as the utility infielder by beating out Pedro Ciriaco, who was assigned to minor league camp.
The Rangers still have three decisions left — backup catcher, fifth starter and the eighth man in the bullpen. Andrew Faulkner is the seventh man in the bullpen, and Nick Martinez was optioned to Triple A.
“We went through a lot of scenarios,” manager Jeff Banister said. “One of the options is where we are right now.”
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Banister still declined to reveal who the Rangers’ fifth starter will be, though he intimated that A.J. Griffin has a firm hold on the job. Griffin was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, but it’s likely that he won’t start the season on the Opening Day roster.
His first regular-season start wouldn’t be until April 8, which gives the Rangers the opportunity to have eight relievers over the first four games.
Chris Gimenez is the front-runner to be the backup catcher, but he is dealing with a leg infection and is unable to play. Bobby Wilson or Michael McKenry could start the season on the roster if Gimenez needs time on the disabled list.
The final bullpen spot will go to either Phil Klein, Sam Freeman or Cesar Ramos. Freeman is out of options, and Ramos would have to be added to the 40-man roster. Klein has options remaining.