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Texas Rangers Week 8 Recap: Willie Gets His Chance

Willie Calhoun has arrived

Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images

Season record: 21-23

Week 8 record: 4-2

Series record: 7-4, 3 splits (April home series against Oakland is TBD since Saturday’s game was postponed until June 8th)

The Rangers got another winning week under their belts and perfect timing after getting swept by Houston the week before. Taking two from both the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the first game of the series in Kansas City, Elvis pulled up short at first base and was taken out of the game. Later put on I.L. for a right hamstring strain. Because of that, Willie Calhoun got to make his 2019 major league debut.

When he didn’t make the team out of spring training, Calhoun made his disappointment known but also said he was going to keep grinding and get better so basically the Rangers would have no choice but bring him. And in his first at-bat, he proved he was serious about working hard and earning his spot, by hitting a two run homer.

He went 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs that night. On Thursday, he went 4-for-7 with three RBIs. Friday’s game he went 2-for-4 and got his one and only strikeout so far. Saturday he went 1-for-4 with an RBI. And finally on Sunday, he came in to pinch hit in the 10th inning, and promptly hits a single to tie the game 4-4 and thus giving the Rangers a chance, that seemed unlikely, to walk-off. All this to say, he’s currently batting .476 with a 1.286 OPS.

I have to say, in years passed it has felt like the Rangers bring up a player to fill in for a quick stint and they don’t really get going. Or they were here for the 10-15 games didn’t have much of an impact that they were easy to send back down and move on with the season.

This year, that hasn’t been the case. Which is a problem. But a good problem.

The Rangers actually have too many good players that can come off the bench, start games, that it makes if difficult when the player that was on I.L. comes back. When Elvis comes back, unless Willie does absolutely nothing beyond these five games, can you send him down that easily?

I mean maybe the answer is just yes and it’s a “thanks kid, you did great, keeping doing great, and we’ll see you in September.” But at the same time, Willie’s bat has proved important even in this small sample size.

It’s the same thing with Danny Santana. Santana came up for Guzman and then when Guzman came back, Santana was such an important part to the team that they couldn’t afford to send him down and instead sent Delino down.

Santana also showed his importance in Sunday’s game. He came into the game to pinch hit in the 8th and hit a homer to giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Which turned out to be the Rangers third pinch hit homer of the season, no other A.L. team has more than one.

The best part of all of that, Santana was questionable at the being of the game. There was talk of an I.L. stint for him because the night before he was hit by a pitch in the ankle and needed help off the field. Yet somehow the dude manages to not only be o.k. to stand on the ankle, hit a homer, but he also stayed in the game defensively. So somehow he has Beltre’s ability to play injured and I think that AB alone shows how vital he is to this team.

The Rangers play against Seattle for a three game set at home before heading to L.A to start a six game west coast road trip.