The Texas Rangers recalled infielder/outfielder Josh Smith yesterday, and purchased the contract of infielder Josh Jung today. To make room for Smith on the active roster, the Rangers have optioned infielder Ezequiel Duran to AAA Round Rock. To make room for Jung on the active roster, the Rangers have placed Brad Miller on the 10 day injured list. No 40 man roster move for Jung was necessary because there was an open spot on the 40 man roster.
Jung coming up today, with Miller heading to the injured list, was reported a couple of days ago. Scott Lucas wrote about his thoughts on Jung, based on his time with the Express, here. Jung, the Rangers’ first round pick in 2019 out of Texas Tech, was expected to be the team’s Opening Day third baseman this year before a shoulder injury sidelined him. He was expected to miss most, if not all, of the season, and only DH when he did return, but he ended up being ahead of schedule on his rehab. Jung will presumably be the starting third baseman the rest of the season.
Since Jung started playing in game action again back in August, the expectation has been that he would be up sooner or later this year, and the question has been, how would the Rangers find time for Ezequiel Duran, who has been the regular third baseman, once Jung was brought up? The solution appears to be to have Duran get playing time in Round Rock, as he was sent down yesterday, in a move I am just now writing up.
Duran is slashing .236/.277/.365 on the season in the majors, and has struggled at the plate of late. Josh Smith, who was earlier sent down in favor Duran staying up, is more defensively versatile, and with Jung at third base every day, it would seem the team believes Smith is a better fit right now.
Since being sent back to AAA in late August, due in large part to offensive struggles, Smith has slashed .386/.491/.727 in 53 plate appearances for Round Rock.