The Texas Rangers have activated DH/OF Khris Davis from the 10 day injured list, the team announced today. To clear a spot on the active roster for Davis, the Rangers have optioned outfielder Eli White to AAA Round Rock.
Davis was acquired in the Elvis Andrus trade, and after two sub-par seasons, he’s trying to show, in the final year of his contract, there’s still life in his bat. He seems likely to be used as a platoon DH for the time being, with either Willie Calhoun or David Dahl sitting against lefthanded pitchers. Davis landed on the injured list when he strained a muscle trying to beat out a bunt during a spring training game.
The decision to send White deal is somewhat surprising — not because White has played well enough to stay up, but because White was the primary backup center fielder. I had believed that the team would go back to a four man bench once Davis return, with White, who has hit poorly all year, sticking around for outfield depth. Instead, as of right now, the bench consists of Jonah Heim — the backup catcher — and a pair of righthanded hitters, Andy Ibanez and Khris Davis, who are best suited for DH duty, though Ibanez can play 2B and 3B.
After the spring training competition for center field that feature White, Leody Taveras and Delino DeShields, and after the Opening Day decision to have both Taveras and White in the lineup because manager Chris Woodward said they had both played well enough that they were both considered regulars, Taveras and White have now been optioned, and DeShields has not been added to the major league roster. Adolis Garcia is now the team’s only real center fielder on the major league roster.
I would assume that either David Dahl or Joey Gallo would be the backup for Garcia, although Nick Solak has also played center field. The current roster arrangement doesn’t seem to be a viable long-term, or even medium-term solution, but in the short-term the Rangers will apparently be rolling with it.