Texas Rangers transactions: C.D. Pelham, Patrick Wisdom and Carlos Tocci were optioned to AAA Nashville today, and Phillips Valdez, Tony Sanchez and Eli White were assigned to the minor league camp, the Rangers announced today. This leaves 44 players in the major league camp.
Wisdom is probably the most notable of the players sent down today. The 27 year old third baseman was seen as a candidate for a bench role as a righthanded corner infield option, but with Wisdom having options remaining, he was going to be behind Matt Davidson in the pecking order if it was close, and Davidson has had a nice camp. The reserve infield role would seem at this point to be down to Davidson, who is limited to the corner spots (and pitching in blowouts), and Logan Forsythe, who can play all the infield positions.
Pelham was among those theoretically vying for the lefty relief role in the bullpen, but his control has been an issue since he was promoted to Frisco last season, and he always seemed like someone destined to spend most of this year in AAA working on refining his mechanics and command. Tocci had been discussed as a potential backup outfield option due to a strong camp and the ability to play all three outfield positions, but after having limited playing time in 2018 due to being a Rule 5 pick, his development is best served playing every day in Nashville.
White, acquired in the Jurickson Profar trade, is a second baseman who was also getting looks in the outfield and at shortstop in camp, as the team works to determine what defensive positions he can handle. He was not expected to make the team, and will likely be a Swiss Army Player in Nashville once the season starts, playing everyday while handling a variety of positions.
Valdez, a righthanded pitcher, and Sanchez, a catcher, are depth guys who were not realistic candidates to make the Opening Day roster.
On a kind of related note, righthanded pitcher Cole Wiper was released yesterday. Wiper was a 10th round pick in 2013 as a redshirt freshman who barely pitched in college due to Tommy John surgery. He got a $700,000 signing bonus as a projectable guy with a big arm, but he never was able to harness his stuff.