Carlos Tocci will be a Texas Ranger, as he has been told he will make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, per the beat guys. Tocci, 22, was selected in the Rule 5 Draft from the Philadelphia Phillies, and thus has to stay on the major league roster for all of 2018 or else be waived and offered back to the Phillies.
This is something of a surprise, as the consensus has been that the Rangers would go with a three man bench, with Ryan Rua and Drew Robinson sharing duties in left field, and Robinson being the backup center fielder. Tocci making the Opening Day roster could mean that the Rangers will send down either Rua or Robinson -- Evan thinks Robinson could be sent down to give Rua a shot at showing he can be an every day left fielder, but both players have options. If so, this might be sink-or-swim time for Rua, with the Rangers giving him a chance to show that he can be a solid major league contributor, and cutting bait with him in the first part of the year if he can’t.
The other scenario would be Tocci sticking initially while the Rangers go with a 12 man pitching staff with Tony Barnette and Tim Lincecum starting the season on the disabled list, and then possibly being on the chopping block when a roster space is needed, assuming no one else gets hurt.
Tocci is considered to be a very good defensive center fielder, but there are questions about whether he will ever hit enough to be even a viable bench player.
UPDATE — Ryan Rua has also been told he is making the Opening Day roster, so the final decision likely comes down to Robinson versus an 8th reliever to start the year.