Texas Rangers outfielder Eli White has an oblique strain, according to manager Chris Woodward (via T.R. Sullivan on Twitter). Woodward indicated that White will miss a fair amount of time.
White has been one of the more positive stories from camp both this spring and this summer. The 26 year old was acquired from the Oakland A’s after the 2018 season in the three-way Jurickson Profar trade, but a down season for Nashville with the bat resulted in him being exposed to the Rule 5 draft this past offseason.
White went unselected in the Rule 5 draft, however, and has had an impressive camp, turning heads with his speed and with his defense in center field. White has spent most of his professional career as a shortstop, and can play all the infield positions, so him showing himself to be a quality defender in center field increases his value as a potential bench option.
I had predicted that White would make the team when I did my Opening Day roster guess last week, and that’s not going to happen now — given the nature of oblique strains, he likely wouldn’t be back on the field until September, and may not be available at all in this truncated 2020 season. That hurts the Rangers’ positional player depth, and would seem to significantly increase Scott Heineman’s chances of sticking on the active roster all year.
White is not on the 40 man roster, so there is no procedural move that would need to be made to put him on the injured list. White cannot be removed from the 60 man player pool, however, without being traded, released, being put on the COVID-19 list, or being otherwise put on a non-injury-related restricted list (retired, suspended, and the like). So if the Rangers need a 60 man pool spot later in the year, and White can’t play, he’s still not an option to be taken out of the pool to clear a spot.