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Texas Rangers rumors: Willie Calhoun promotion not imminent, per Jon Daniels

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Jon Daniels decries an “idiot” who wrote that the Rangers are leaving Willie Calhoun in the minors for service time reasons

MLB: Texas Rangers-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers rumors: Willie Calhoun is not going to be promoted in the immediate future, Jon Daniels said today of the left fielder who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers last July in the Yu Darvish trade. Calhoun, who is currently in Round Rock, would earn a full year of major league service time if he were in the majors prior to May 3 (and stayed up the rest of the season), which has resulted in much speculation that the Rangers were leaving him in Round Rock until then to capture an extra year of team control for Calhoun.

Daniels flatly denied that was the motivation behind Calhoun being in the minors, though, saying that “[s]ome idiot wrote an article” saying that the Rangers were keeping him down to manipulate Calhoun’s service time, an accusation Daniels says he found “offensive.”

The Willie Calhoun Watch has been, of course, a topic of much discussion around here, with those who cover the team saying that the Rangers haven’t called him up because of improvements he needs to make defensively, while many outsiders have dismissed this as being a fig leaf that is being used to cover for the Rangers choosing to play games with Calhoun’s service time. Calhoun converted to the outfield from second base last season, and while his bat is considered major league ready, he’s seen as more of a DH than a left fielder at this point.

As I noted yesterday, there’s not really room for Ronald Guzman and Willie Calhoun on the active roster unless the Rangers play Joey Gallo at third base in Adrian Beltre’s absence, something they have indicated they don’t want to do. With Rougned Odor due back from the disabled list next week, and Adrian Beltre likely due back sometime later this month, the starting lineup will return to something closer to normal in the next few weeks, and it appears the Rangers are committed, at least for now, to giving Guzman a look at the first base job. If Guzman struggles going forward, and Calhoun performs at AAA Round Rock, the Rangers could conceivably make a switch down the road, putting Gallo at first base, Calhoun at left field and Guzman back in AAA.