Texas Rangers transactions: Derek Dietrch and Wes Benjamin have been added to the 28 man and 40 man rosters today, the Rangers announced. To make room on the active roster the Rangers have optioned Jimmy Herget and Anderson Tejeda to the Alternate Training Site. To make room on the 40 man roster, the Rangers have placed Luke Farrell on the COVID list and have activated Greg Bird from the injured list and designated him for assignment.
In terms of the active roster, this is essentially swapping out Wes Benjamin, a lefthander who impressed in spring training and summer camp out of the bullpen, for Jimmy Herget. Herget walked 2 and allowed 3 hits, including a home run, in 0.2 IP while allowing 3 runs last night, and given he has pitched on back to back nights, he was likely to be unavailable. Benjamin gives them an additional arm behind Mike Minor, who is starting tonight, and who is not expected to go more than 75-80 pitches.
Benjamin was a fifth round pick out of the University of Kansas in 2014. He missed all of 2014 and all but one game of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery (something the Rangers knew before they drafted him), and made his debut at low-A in 2016. He has moved up the ladder each year, and put up a 5.52 ERA in 135.1 IP for Nashville in 2019. He’s a pitchability guy with good makeup, and will be looking to make his major league debut at age 27.
I mentioned when the Rangers were reported to have signed Dietrich yesterday that the move was kind of surprising, given that he didn’t seem to have a readily available path to the major league roster, but he’s here — and really, given that he’s an established major leaguer, that should have tipped me off he was expected to have a spot. He’s a lefthanded hitter who has played the four corners and second base. He’s replacing Anderson Tejeda as the team’s backup infielder. Presumably, if Elvis Andrus gets a day off, Isiah Kiner-Falefa will play shortstop.
Farrell had close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, per reports, and so he is quarantining, though he reportedly feels fine and has tested negative thusfar.
As for Bird, well, he was on the roster a few days, never got into a game, was i.l.’d, and is now gone. The Greg Bird Era was short but sweet.