The Rangers scored their first win of the season on Friday night, but that comes at a price. Leadoff man and midfielder Delino DeShields was placed on the disabled list due to an injury sustained during the match. It's a broken bone in DeShield's left hand, which has to be operated on and taken out of the game for four to six weeks. It is always possible that it lingers longer.
Two games in season, that's a pretty rough punch.
DeShields established himself as a good leadoff man last season when he went on base in a .347 clip and stole 29 bases in 37 attempts. He also played a very good midfield and scored a plus-six in defense runs, which were saved in just 383 innings.
The Rangers will now mix the roster and the lineup. Let's take a look.
Elvis Andrus is cast as the leadoff hitter on Saturday, so the question of who the replacement is. Andrus had finished third. Adrian Beltre is now in third place with Nomar Mazara.
The Rangers defensively on Saturday with Carlos Tocci in the middle, Drew Robinson is left. Tocci will make his MLB debut. Rule 5 is mainly played in the minors, so he is good in defense, but he is far from safe with the bat, a career in youth with only 1
Robinson has some experience in the midst as a pro, but it is extremely limited and there are also concerns about his bat (.224 / .314 / .439 as a rookie last season).
Jurickson Profar saw an uptrend in the left field, with Tocci and Robinson more in midfield.
From there I can not help but wander in thoughts to Willie Calhoun. The prospect was voted number 36 this spring by Baseball America and was selected by some (including myself) to win AL Rookie of the Year. He beat .300 / .355 / .572 with 27 doubles, six triples and 31 homers in 128 games in Triple-A last year. He got a cup of coffee on the show last season and only hit .265 / .324 / .353 with a homer in 34 at-bats, but that's a small rehearsal and his first outing to the big ones.
Calhoun must play a corner, but I wonder if the DeShields injury will bring Calhoun's ticket back to the majors with a Tocci / Robinson move (Tocci swings right-handed while Robinson is left) until DeShields is in the middle all the way back.
Needless to say, the DeShields injury has a pretty significant ripple effect with Rangers ranking, lineup and defensive alignment.