Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers minor league outfielder/designated hitter, has been perceived, since coming over to Texas last year in the Yu Darvish trade, as having a bat that was major league ready, but no real position to play. He was an early cut in camp, with the Rangers saying that he needed to work on his defense in left field and his baserunning, and he got off to a slow start offensively. He’s heated up over the last month, however...since June 6 (yes, an arbitrary end point) he has had 170 plate appearances and has slashed .377/.435/.552.
He’s stayed in the minors, however, as there has appeared to be nowhere for him to get regular playing time in the majors.
But Calhoun this afternoon just tweeted three plane emojis and “Dallas,” then deleted it a few minutes later.
For those not familiar with emoji speak, he seems to be indicating he is en route to Dallas. And thus, one would assume, he’s being promoted to the majors and joining the Rangers for their series starting tonight in Arlington.
The question becomes...who is going down?
Yes, theoretically, Calhoun could be taking Jesse Chavez’s spot on the active roster. Chavez just got traded, and someone needs to replace him. However, that would leave the Rangers with a six man bullpen, so it is likely that a pitcher will replace Chavez, and Calhoun is replacing someone else.
Could a player be d.l. bound? Nomar Mazara missed Sunday’s game with a jammed hand, and he could need some more time to get better.
Could a player be getting sent down? Joey Gallo has been slumping, and there have been suggestions that he could get sent back to AAA Round Rock for a re-set.
Could a player be getting traded? Shin-Soo Choo is the player most obviously blocking Calhoun, since Calhoun’s best suited to be a DH and Choo is the Rangers’ regular DH. The Rangers would be willing, I suspect, to move Choo, but with the $42 million due to him after 2018, it would require the team eating a big chunk of his contract, even with his strong performance this season.
So its a mystery...stay tuned...