Monday newsletter time: Kole Calhoun up, Josh Smith down and another move on the way?
(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Kole Calhoun was ready to come off the injured list Sunday and did.
The Rangers put him right back into the lineup, too.
Doing so meant that someone had to go to Triple A Round Rock, and Josh Smith was holding the short straw.
It isn’t entirely surprising to see Smith go. His playing time had diminished with Brad Miller also healthy again and Ezequiel Duran playing more (and better). Smith’s performance has lagged, and his power has never come along.
Once rosters expand Sept. 1, albeit only by two, Smith could be recalled. However, his playing time would still be limited with Josh Jung expected to be up as soon as his week. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if he stayed in Triple A and played every day until his at-bats were looking better.
But should Calhoun, a high-energy veteran whose season has been filled with ups and (mostly) downs, be playing ahead of a younger player? He’s playing on a one-year deal and doesn’t seem to be a fit going forward, so his at-bats should probably be going to someone else.
Bubba Thompson could take those at-bats. Duran could play left field once Jung is promoted. Calhoun and Miller, who is under contract for next season, could chop up at-bats at designated hitter.
The gist here is that another move appears to be on the horizon.
Maybe the Rangers should have called up Kohei Arihara earlier in the season.
The right-hander, who was on the 2021 Opening Day roster, tossed six scoreless innings Sunday, Miller drove in three runs and Nate Lowe hit a ball into Joey Gallo territory at Target Field as the Rangers rolled to a 7-0 victory.
Marcus Semien also went way deep, and Taylor Hearn cleaned up the seventh inning for Arihara and finished off the shutout to earn his first career save.
Arihara allowed three runs last week over 5 2/3 innings in his 2022 debut after spending the entire season at Round Rock. His effort over six-plus innings marked the best performance of his coming to America experience.
With Spencer Howard (shoulder impingement) only playing catch and with prospect Cole Winn still searching at Round Rock, Arihara has a chance to hold the spot indefinitely.
The one caveat? Left-hander Dallas Keuchel has pitched well for Round Rock since agreeing to a minor-league deal. He and Arihara would be on the same schedule the next time that spot comes up again Saturday.
I’m not going to lie: It’s been nice going four days without the Rangers firing anyone. This week could be about a promotion. We’ll see about that. The Rangers will finish off their Minnesota series tonight and then fly to Denver for a two-game series at Coors Field. While we’re on the subject, these weekend wraparound series need to be banned. I’m all screwed up, and it cost me a trip to see my family in Colorado. Oh, well. Here’s the latest from Rangers Today, when weekends are our busiest time, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Is the next manager in the organization?
Friday on the Farm: Jung call-up prediction
Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast: Tony Beasley from Minneapolis
Subscribe to Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel
I think we found the bag man. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.
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