SAN ANTONIO – Julio Borbon is the 25th man on the Texas Rangers roster – at least for now.
Borbon, who is out of options, nabbed the final rosters spot for Texas over relievers Josh Lindblom and Cory Burns. Both Burns and Lindblom will start the season at Triple A Round Rock.
Texas will carry 11 pitchers to start the season and just four starters. The Rangers won’t need a fifth starter until April 9, at which point they’ll have to make another roster move.
The move then could involve Borbon. But for now, he’s happy he’s on the Opening Day roster for the third time in four years.
“I’m going to take it one day at a time,” he said. “I’m in the big leagues. I’m back. I’m happy about that. I did the job I needed to do be where I am. I’m going to take it one day at a time and focus on that and see where we go.”
Borbon went 0 for 2 Saturday and capped the spring by hitting .317. His role now is as a pinch runner and the club’s fifth outfielder.
Texas manager Ron Washington said Borbon, who would have had to clear waivers if he hadn’t made the roster, won the spot.
“I just wanted to carry the extra body,” Washington said. “I think the pitching is fine down there and that was the reason we didn’t extra pitcher and the player. Plus Borbon earned his way on this team. We didn’t give it to him.”
Borbon said he was thinking about the roster dilemma early in spring training but was able to relax as the camp progressed.
“I came here in a situation where everybody knew I was in a tough spot,” Borbon said. “I’m just proud of myself. It’s a new chapter, going in with a different role. I’m doing anything I’m asked to do.”
Lindblom, acquired in the Michael Young trade, posted a 6.10 ERA. The Rangers picked up Burns in the offseason from San Diego. Burns also struggled at times this spring, posting a 5.79 ERA.
Lindblom pitched in 74 games last year between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia. Now he’ll have to try and get back to the majors.
“There were seven other guys that outpitched him,” Washington said. “(He) Needs to tighten up everything, his fastball, changeup, slider. Right now I think he needs to just pitch well in Round Rock. Everything else from that point usually takes care of itself. You certainly can’t be in Round Rock thinking about Texas.”