Major league baseball’s changing nature of active roster rules are a fascinating entity. Perhaps the most interesting quirk of this is what has stayed the same- the roster expansion to a maximum of 40 players every September 1st.
For contenders, minor league players get a chance to add a boost of energy, and perhaps even debut minor league players who played well throughout the regular season.
For struggling teams like the Texas, it’s a chance to evaluate “fringe” MLB talent in the minor leagues, and evaluate young players, with a similar chance to invaluable playing time at the major league level.
Based off the current players listed, here are a few players who Rangers fans might see contribute in the final month of the 2018 season:
The most well-known player on this list, Calhoun was sent back down in August after filling in for an injured Nomar Mazara. He made the most of that role, and made it clear he’d be back in September with his play- batting .275 with a home run and 9 RBI in 22 games.
A fan favorite for the past two seasons, ABD has been a quintessential “26th man” for Texas this season, filling in at the MLB level when needed, and playing well at Triple-A Round Rock otherwise.
Since he’s not currently listed on the roster, Feigl to the 40-man would take some finagling (such as waiving a current player or transferring one to the 60-day DL, which by rule opens up a roster spot), but his 5-0 win-loss record and 2.35 ERA over 28 appearances with Round Rock seem like it would be worth it to add on the lefty.
Heineman is someone I’ve repeatedly called for in past articles, but now it seems that his time is finally coming. Like Feigl, the Rangers would need to open a roster spot to add him, but also like Feigl, his numbers (.353 AVG, 9 HR, 51 RBI) would likely make it worth the Rangers’ while.
Rodriguez has been up-and-down between Texas and Round Rock this season, but will be a welcomed right-handed addition to the September bullpen.
Curtis was a waiver claim from Philadelphia in July. He has 34 games of MLB experience between Arizona, Seattle and the Phillies, and a legitimate chance to contribute as a left-handed specialist for Texas when he’s called up.
Palumbo, currently listed as Texas’ No. 8 prospect, has impressed in the lower minor league levels, so much so that he was promoted to Double-A Frisco last week. It may be a bit premature to call him up, but the MLB experience could help his development.
Mendez will return to the roster after a shaky situation in June, where he made a single start against Colorado, and after was abruptly sent down after violating team curfew rules on a road trip in Kansas City. He’ll have a chance to prove himself once more to the team, and may even start.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa has done a lot of backup catching after Texas decided to move forward a platoon of he and Robinson Chirinos in June. Jose Trevino showed promise behind the plate in limited action, but had season-ending shoulder surgery in June. Moving Trevino to the 60-Day DL and adding Rupp as his replacement would be a great chance for Texas to rest Chirinos and Kiner-Falefa down the stretch, and buoy its depth with an MLB-experienced backstop.
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