Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor will start a rehab assignment with the Frisco Roughriders tonight. Odor, who has been on the disabled list since April 10 with a hamstring strain, will DH for Frisco this evening.
Odor would seem to be on track to return to the active roster on Tuesday or Wednesday, at which point he would assume the regular second base job. That would likely result in Ryan Rua being sent down to AAA Round Rock to make room for Odor on the active roster.
I’ve already seen a few fans bemoaning the return of Odor, or sarcastically suggesting he stay down on a rehab assignment as long as possible, due to his epic struggles last year. Its somewhat entertaining to read this, given that I would wager there’s a large overlap between those people, and the ones complaining about Drew Robinson even being in the majors, given that Odor would effectively be replacing Robinson in the everyday lineup.
That being said, while Odor’s 2018 slash line of .200/.300/.265 in 41 plate appearances this season isn’t encouraging, there are positive signs. Odor’s walk rate is up from last year, his K rate is down, and he talked about feeling good about his swing at the time he was injured.
Statcast offers a stat called xwOBA — essentially, setting forth what you would expect a player’s wOBA to be based on how he hit the ball, using exit velocity and launch angle. While Odor’s actual wOBA this season is .259, his xwOBA is .341, which suggests that he’s striking the ball well this season. If Odor continues to have an xwOBA of .341 going forward this year, its unlikely anyone will be complaining about his bat.