Names To Look For on the 40 Man Roster
Joe(seph) Ortiz – It stands to reason that we’ll see our good friend Joe(seph) Ortiz back up in Arlington not long after September 1st. He was sent back down to Round Rock with a 3.96 ERA over 36.1 MLB innings pitched. He now has a 2.31 ERA in 11.2 innings of relief. He’s given up 3 runs on 6 hits with no home runs, walked 5, and struck out 11 batters. He will be another left handed pitching option for the bullpen going forward, which would allow Robbie Ross be used effectively and to not be relied only as the sole lefty in the current pen. A note: any player in the organization before September 1st is playoff eligible. If the team makes the playoffs and he performs well, we could end up seeing him be a part of the playoff pen in October.
Wilmer Font – “The Fonster Monster” was only up a very short while, but he did not experience any troubles while in Arlington. He is currently being used exclusively as a reliever in Round Rock and has delivered some impressive results. Over his last 14.2 innings, he’s allowed 1 unearned run on 4 hits, 7 walks, and 21 strike outs. I believe he’ll get the call to help the right handers in the pen stay rested and fresh for any playoff action this fall; he will also be an insurance of sorts in case something goes wrong for Neftali Feliz, as he attempts to come back.
**Cory Burns is another potential right handed option, but with Font doing so well and Feliz coming back, there’s probably not an immediate need to see him up in Arlington at this point.
The only infielder on the 40 man roster who isn’t already up in Arlington is Chris McGuinness. The roster already has Jeff Baker, who will most likely be relegated to spelling Moreland, Jurickson Profar, and Adam Rosales. The bench is fully stocked from an infield standpoint and there aren’t any minor league names that stand to displace anyone right now. The only name on lock is at catcher.
Robinson Chirinos – He’d be able to play 1st base in a pinch if truly needed, but expect him to spell Pierzynski and Soto behind the dish most of the time. In his last 10 games, his slash is .262/.340/.357 with 11 hits, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 4 walks, 13 strike outs, and 1 stolen base (believe it or not). Again, he’ll most likely be relegated to catching duties, so expect mostly mid-late inning appearances and perhaps an occasional start behind the dish.
Engel Beltre – This will probably be Engel’s last stand in Arlington. He is out of options and this very well may help determine whether he stays with the Rangers or is a part of another team going forward. He fits in well with the speed element of the current roster and his fielding will also fit in as well. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .298/.298/.447 with 11 walks and 0 stolen bases. He would most likely serve as a late inning replacement/pinch runner in most games, but the speed and defense will contribute nicely, as we saw before.
Joey Butler – Joey made a brief appearance earlier in the season and hit 2 doubles in 4 at bats while there. Over the last 10 games with Round Rock, he’s hitting .273/.467/.394 with 9 hits (4 are doubles), 11 walks, and no stolen bases. His defense is pretty good and he will serve a late inning role, most likely, or will be inserted early into high scoring affairs. He may also be an option to help in the DH spot if Lance Berkman suffers any setbacks upon his return.
There are 32 days of baseball left and it will take an all hands on deck effort in September to make sure that the 2.5 game lead against rival Oakland at least stays intact, if not see it expand by a handful of games. Berkman and Feliz will be monitored upon their return, but the four guys above will most likely be recalled and have a big chance to help the Rangers surge forward into the fall. Let’s buckle up, Rangers fans… the fun is about to start.