Texas Rangers rumors: Shin-Soo Choo was scratched from the Texas Rangers' lineup tonight with a strained calf, an injury that T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers fear is "not minor." While word is that the Rangers are hopeful Choo will avoid a trip to the disabled list, Nomar Mazara was pulled in the ninth inning of tonight's game between Round Rock and Iowa, and one has to think that there's a good chance Mazara gets activated tomorrow or Monday.
The Rangers are already dealing with a three man bench, an option they went with to keep Phil Klein on the active roster as a long man as part of an 8 man bullpen. With Choo sidelined, the Rangers are now down to a two man bench -- Hanser Alberto and Bryan Holaday. Ryan Rua fills in in right field, but there is no backup outfielder for now.
Thus, even if Choo doesn't end up on the disabled list immediately, the Rangers could well decide that they need to forego the 8th reliever in order to get another position player on the active roster. Mazara is on the 40 man roster, had a strong spring that led many observers to think he could handle the major leagues now without drowning, and is a lefty bat that the Rangers could potentially use to platoon with Rua in the short term. If the Rangers want to wait on making a move to d.l. Choo, they could option Klein (or another reliever, such as Tony Barnette) to clear a 25 man roster spot.
The other wrinkle in all of this is that the Rangers just designated Justin Ruggiano for assignment yesterday. If they immediately put on waivers, he could potentially clear tomorrow or Monday (depending on how MLB calculates the waiver period). Once Ruggiano clears, he can be re-added immediately in place of an optioned reliever, because the rule that a player has to stay in the minors 10 days after being sent down (unless there's a d.l. move) only applies to optioned players, not waived players. So, potentially, the Rangers could hold off on adding Mazara, add Ruggiano in a day or two instead once he clears waivers, and still not have to d.l. Choo.
All that being said, my guess is that Mazara is up tomorrow, and starting in right field against Jered Weaver, with Klein being sent down to make room for him. But we shall know soon enough...