Rangers add OF Calhoun to roster for series with Angels
Texas recalled prize outfield prospect Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday at the end of the minor league season, but Calhoun’s at-bats will be limited by his limitations defensively to left field and the Rangers‘ glut of young corner outfielders and veteran designated hitters.
Calhoun will be in Arlington on Tuesday when the Rangers continue a three-game series versus the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park. The Angels took the first game 3-1 on Monday as Texas was held to six hits a day after scoring 18 runs in a win over Minnesota.
The Angels will send left-hander Andrew Heaney (8-8, 4.09 ERA) to the mound for the middle game of the series and Texas will counter with left-hander Mike Minor (10-7, 4.33).
Calhoun, 23, has hit .275 with a .716 OPS for 69 major league at-bats this year. After a slow start at Round Rock, he finished the season hitting .294 with a .782 OPS.
Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo will receive the lion’s share work in the corner outfield spots. The Rangers have too many bats for the DH spot between Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo for Calhoun to fill that spot with any regularity.
“There won’t be regular at-bats for Willie as we’re constructed right now,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels told the Dallas Morning News on Monday. “We want him to come up here and continue to do the work he’s been doing. He really got after it last time.”
Meanwhile, the Angels are confident that prized two-way player Shohei Ohtani came out of his first pitching performance in nearly three months in good stead despite a dip in fastball velocity from 96-97 mph in the first inning to 91-92 mph in the third. A Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament kept the Japanese phenom off the mound since June 6.
The Angels said after Sunday’s game that Ohtani was dealing with some back stiffness and a sore finger after attempting to barehand a comebacker, leading to the dip in velocity.
“Naturally, a red flag goes up, especially with what happened last time,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com. “But Shohei said he felt great. He had no apprehension about what was happening in his elbow. His delivery was a little out of whack. He wanted to make sure he could get the ball into decent zones, so he wasn’t really jumping on it.”
Ohtani said his back and finger both feel fine and that he’ll “hopefully” be able to make his next scheduled start on the mound on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.
Heaney will head to hill for the 26th time this year and for his 14th start on the road. Tuesday’s game will be his second start of the year versus Texas (in which he did not get a decision). In five career starts against the Rangers, Heaney is 1-2 with a 7.88 ERA.
Heaney won his most recent start on Thursday at Houston after tossing six scoreless innings and allowing five hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He is seeking first his winning decision against Texas since July 26, 2015. In three starts at Globe Life Park, Heaney is 0-3 with a 10.38 ERA, his highest ERA of any ballpark.
Minor will make his 25th start of the season, and will be working on five days’ rest after suffering the loss Wednesday in the Rangers’ 3-1 defeat at home against the Dodgers. He has gone 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA in his past five outings.
Minor is without a decision with a 5.68 ERA in three career games, one of them starts, against the Angels. He will make his first start against the Angels this season and has not started against the Los Angeles since June 15, 2014, when he played for Atlanta. Minor made two relief appearances versus the Angels last season with he was with Kansas City, going 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA.