The Texas Rangers Alternate Training Site roster was announced last week, but with all the activity surrounding the start of the season we didn’t do a post about it or talk about who is there.
So let’s do it now, why not.
You can check out the roster of players who are working out at the Alternate Training Site at Dell Diamond in Round Rock here. Most of the names are guys who you’d expect to see — guys who were at the major league training camp and who will be at AAA Round Rock to start the season, or who would be options to join the major league team at some point should there be a COVID-19 outbreak among the major league team or if there were simply some injuries. So you have guys like Jason Martin, Delino DeShields, Andy Ibanez, Hyeon-Jong Yang, and Hunter Wood out there — players who are older guys who were in the mix at camp and who would be slated to start the year at Round Rock.
But there are are some guys who weren’t at the major league camp who are at the Alternate Training Site and who caught my eye.
Cole Uvila is part of the group at Round Rock. I was mildly surprised he didn’t get an invitation to the major league camp — he’s an older (27) reliever who had success in A ball, and who has the stuff to potentially move quickly up the ladder. Given that he’s in Round Rock, I expect he’ll be in Frisco or Round Rock once the major league season kicks off, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him pitching in Arlington at some point in 2021. And of course, he’s an LSB favorite who did a great Q&A with us a year ago.
Michael Matuella and Jacob Lemoine are also at the ATS. The two are forever linked, in my mind anyway — they were the Rangers’ third and fourth round picks in 2015, college pitchers who dropped because of injury issues, and who have struggled to be healthy and effective in the pros. Both have worked in relief roles in the minors, and both will be minor league free agents after this season if they aren’t added to the 40 man roster. They will presumably be in the bullpen in AA or AAA this year.
Blake Bass is also part of the ATS roster. The giant (6’7”, 265 lb.) righthander was an 8th round pick out of Angelo State in 2015, he’s a reliever who spent 2019 with the Roughriders, though without real good results. He turns 28 this year and, like Matuella and Lemoine, is a slated to be free agent after the season.
Frainyer Chavez is the youngest player at the ATS — he doesn’t turn 22 until May. A switch hitting infielder who was a 22nd round draft pick of the Rangers in 2018, he spent 2019 with Hickory. I’m not sure how much of him being at the ATS is because the Rangers needed infielders and how much is because of Chavez and his development, but this may be an indicator he’ll be at Frisco to start the season.
Finally, Carl Chester is on the roster. When I saw his name my immediate reaction was, “Who the hell is Carl Chester?” But he was the player to be named later the Rangers received from Tampa in the Nate Lowe trade. He turned 25 in December, and could be part of the Round Rock outfield to start the regular season.
Several players who were in the major league training camp, such as Justin Foscue, Davis Wendzel and Cole Winn, are working out with the minor leaguers in Arizona rather than being at the ATS, with Mike Daly saying that staying in Arizona was better from a developmental standpoint for them than going to Round Rock.