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Are the Rangers handling the farm decisions correctly?

Photo: Michael Lark

Are the Rangers handling the farm decisions correctly?

The Texas Rangers have been dealing with many injuries early on and the Major League call-ups haven’t been exactly what fans have expected.

There are plenty of big names in the Rangers farm system that we haven’t seen or even heard in Arlington yet this season. Guys like Matt Davidson, Willie Calhoun, Ariel Jurado and Andy Ibanez are all playing well for AAA Nashville Sounds, but haven’t received any calls from the majors. Until yesterday, even Taylor Hearn finally got his well-deserved consideration. Why haven’t we seen any of the other guys on the Rangers yet? Are Chris Woodward and Co., utilizing their affiliates properly?

Injuries are inevitable in baseball’s long season. The Rangers are already facing more than usual, which calls for an early challenge to Woodward’s managerial career. Let’s turn our attention to the likes of Calhoun and Hearn. General Manager Jon Daniels traded for these two with the hopes that they would soon contribute on the major league level. Well, now it’s Hearn’s time to shine.

The ace for the Sounds, Taylor Hearn, was shipped to the Rangers organization from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the end of the deadline last year for Keone Kela. He immediately became a top 10 prospect in the Rangers farm system according to MLB.com.

According to Evan Grant, who broke the news first, Taylor Hearn will make his major league debut on Thursday night. He will get the start on the mound in the series opener against the Seattle Mariners on the road.

The Rangers first expected this call-up to happen later in the summer, but a few unexpected injuries to starters, Edinson Volquez and Drew Smyly, nearly forced them to make this move early.

We’re all rooting for the Royse City native to have a successful MLB debut that he has yearned for as long as he can remember.

Now from the mound to the outfield.

Willie Calhoun has had a very unfortunate ride throughout his professional career up to date. Ever since the Rangers acquired him in the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Yu Darvish, the expectations have been high for the outfielder, but he hasn’t quite met them yet.

The 24-year-old is second on the Sounds in five different statistical categories: home runs, hits, RBI’s, walks and runs scored. He currently has a .254 batting average with a team-leading 67 at-bats in 18 total AAA games. The left-hander consistently sits in the three-spot within the batting lineup and has contributed well.

Calhoun continues to get beat-out by guys for making the Rangers roster. Last year it was Drew Robinson, Ryan Rua and Rule 5 pick Carlos Tocci, while this year it was Hunter Pence and an eight-man bullpen. Looks like yet another tough-love lesson for the Arizona native. Either way, he needs to be an everyday player and that role is much more assuring for the prospect up in Nashville rather than Arlington.

Now is Woodward and company making the right moves here? Over the course of the early season, these are the guys the Rangers have brought up from the minors:

April 5 – LHP Kyle Bird recalled from Nashville

April 7 – 3B Patrick Wisdom recalled from Nashville

April 13 – 2B Danny Santana recalled from Nashville

April 19 – LHP Brett Martin recalled from Nashville

April 23 – RHP Wei-Chieh Huang recalled from Frisco

April 25 – LHP Taylor Hearn recalled from Nashville

All Texas Rangers transactions can be found here.

Anyone could make a solid argument for why some of these guys were called-up over the likes of Calhoun, Davidson, or even Tocci. For example, Danny Santana has earned the call-up and maintained that with his play in the majors. He may be the sole reason to keep only 12 pitchers rather than the initial 13 the Rangers started the season with.

At the end of the day, it is still very early in this long season, but usually, if you’re producing consistently well in the minors, then you get your chance in the majors. It certainly is a topic of discussion, but one that we may not ever have answers to. Needless to say, Calhoun deserves a shot at this point.

Staff writer covering the Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks | Jesus Christ follower, husband to Brooke, adventure craver, coffee connoisseur, music devotee, sports fanatic, future journalism graduate from UNT. Just call me an all-around-kinda guy.

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