Aug 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers infielder Alberto Gonzalez (14) watches the scoreboard during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Rangers have activated righthanded reliever Mark Lowe from the disabled list, and in a surprising move, have designated utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
It was expected that either lefthanded reliever Michael Kirkman or righthanded reliever Tanner Scheppers would be optioned to make room for Lowe on the 25 man roster. Keeping both and activating Lowe means that the Rangers now have an 8 man bullpen.
The 8 man bullpen means that the Rangers have just a 3 man bench, consisting of an outfielder (Craig Gentry), a corner infielder (Mike Olt), and a catcher (Geovany Soto). The only backup middle infielder now is Michael Young, and the use of Young as a middle infielder is complicated by the fact that Young is generally the team's starting DH, so if he were to have to come into the game to replace Ian Kinsler or Elvis Andrus, the Rangers' would lose their designated hitter.
I do not believe that the Rangers are likely to remain with a 3 man bench for a significant period of time, and this move could signal that another move for a backup infielder could be imminent.