MLB Rumors: The Texas Rangers are calling up infielder Ezequiel Duran, per the beat guys on Twitter. Duran is already on the 40 man roster and his spent the season at AA Frisco, where he has slashed .317/.365/.574 in 200 plate appearances.
Duran will reportedly play third base tonight due to Josh Smith having to leave last night’s game with a sore left shoulder. Smith is being evaluated today, but Duran is apparently going to be in the lineup regardless of what Smith’s medicals indicate.
Duran, who was included in Baseball America’s updated top 100 prospect list that came out this past week, was also in the top 100 prospect lists of Baseball Prospectus and MLB Pipeline prior to the season. He’s a righthanded hitter who turned 23 last month, and who has played mostly shortstop and second base this year, but has also gotten four games at third base.
Duran may be up only temporarily, as an injury fill-in, but if and when he gets sent back down, he will likely be going to AAA Round Rock rather than back to Frisco. Duran’s long-term position is still unclear, but he can hit, and at Round Rock I suspect he will, along with Davis Wendzel, play all over the infield.
In regards to the move to clear a spot for Duran, there’s been no word yet. If Smith is banged up to where he needs to go on the 10 day injured list, that would be the obvious move. If Smith won’t be out that long, my guess is that the Rangers will option Kolby Allard, as otherwise, they will essentially be playing with a two man bench for however long Smith is unavailable. If Smith is not going to miss time, the Rangers could end up optioning Andy Ibanez, who has had a down year and who would not be in a position to get meaningful playing time with Smith and Duran both up.
This also means that three of the four players the Rangers received in the Joey Gallo trade will be in the majors. Glenn Otto and Josh Smith have been encouraging so far. Hopefully Ezequiel Duran continues the trend.
UPDATE — Josh Smith goes on the 10 day injured list with a shoulder sprain to make room for Duran on the active roster.