Texas Rangers outfielder/DH Willie Calhoun is being added to the 40 man and active roster today, per reports (including Calhoun’s brother and girlfriend, who congratulated him on Twitter on the promotion). The 22 year old Calhoun, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Yu Darvish trade, is a pure hitter -- he put up a .300/.355/.572 slash line between Oklahoma City and Round Rock this year. The problem is where he fits defensively — he’s played both second base and left field in the minors, but is sub-par at each position — but the consensus is he will hit.
The curious part of this is why the Rangers are calling him up now, rather than a week ago when the minor league season ended. The Rangers justified leaving Calhoun, along with Ronald Guzman and Jurickson Profar, in the minors on the basis of them not having at bats for the trio. Calhoun, in addition, is not on the 40 man roster, and would not have to be added to the 40 man roster this offseason, meaning if they called him up now, the team would have one less 40 man roster spot available over the winter.
However, it appears the recent spate of injuries has forced the Rangers’ hand with Calhoun. Carlos Gomez has a sprained ankle, Adrian Beltre is on the d.l., Nomar Mazara is dealing with a sore quad, Robinson Chirinos is dealing with a sore hamstring, Rougned Odor sprained his ankle two days ago (though he played yesterday), and Mike Napoli was out of the lineup yesterday despite the Rangers facing a lefty because, Jeff Banister said, he was “banged up.” The Rangers have Drew Robinson, Ryan Rua and Will Middlebrooks filling in some of the holes created by the injuries, but it may well be that the Rangers are ready to plug Calhoun into the lineup regularly the final three weeks and see what he can do.