So, word has come down that the Rangers will recall Omar Beltre for Wednesday's start against the Angels.
This is interesting, for a couple of reasons. First, I had assumed that the Rangers were just going to move everyone up a day, since Scott Feldman is going to be starting tomorrow. However, it appears the Rangers just didn't want to subject Beltre to the pressure of making his first major league appearance against a divisional rival in the series opener on the road.
Secondly, though, the choice of Beltre could involve a certain amount of gamesmanship on the part of the Rangers. They've used Dustin Nippert as a spot starter the last couple of times this spot has come around, and apparently saved Beltre to face the Angels. The story on pitchers, of course, is that they have the advantage the first time around, since other hitters haven't seen them before and don't have a scouting report on them. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a pitcher with a scantier scouting report on him than Beltre, who hasn't been in the U.S. the past five years. I doubt the Angels have much of a book on Beltre, during his time in AAA, and they'll be seeing him cold.
The question now is, who goes from the active roster to make room for Beltre? Nippert hasn't been great this year, and would seem to be the obvious choice, except he's out of options. The Rangers would have to d.l. him to create a roster spot, or else expose him to waivers...and even if he cleared waivers (unlikely), he's been outrighted before, so he could elect to become a free agent.
Alexi Ogando is the most recent addition, but he's been terrific so far...the Rangers could send him down, but he's one of their 7 best relievers.
Matt Harrison has options remaining, and has been iffy out of the pen, but he's also one of the Rangers' only two lefties in the bullpen, and in particular, against the Angels, I think the Rangers are going to want to have lefty arms available out of the bullpen.
That leaves Chris Ray...he's been someone that has been used quite a bit by Ron Washington, and is in the "circle of trust," so to speak, but he also hasn't been good this year. Ray's ERA is just 3.41, but his FIP and xFIP are both over 5, he's walked as many as he's struck out, and his K rate is poor for a power reliever. Ray would seem to be the logical choice ot send down.
Anthony Andro thinks Ray is safe, being a veteran, and that Nippert or Ogando goes to make room for Beltre. I wouldn't be surprised if any of those four are dropped to make room for Beltre, though.