Texas Rangers Notes: Hearn and Heineman Optioned, Injury Updates
ARLINGTON, Texas – On the day the baseball season was originally supposed to get underway, the Texas Rangers made a couple of roster moves, optioning LHP Taylor Hearn and OF Scott Heineman to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday.
On the surface, it looks like Hearn and Heineman wouldn't have a chance now of making the Opening Day roster. However, this move was not made for that reason.
Both players will still have a chance to compete for a roster spot. By optioning the two of them now, they will be eligible to be recalled immediately once the season begins. If they remained on active roster, Hearn would not be eligible to be recalled for 15 days, and Heineman for 10 days once the season starts.
Heineman is a strong candidate to make the Major League roster as the fourth outfielder. Calhoun's injury earlier in the spring boosted his chances, but it looks like Calhoun will be ready for the start of the season. As it was before, Adolis Garcia will likely be Heineman's strongest competition for a roster spot.
Taylor Hearn is in a more complicated situation. Hearn has a strong desire to start, but Rangers management likes the idea of him coming out of the bullpen as well. Earlier this spring, Rangers manager Chris Woodward spoke to Hearn's ability to do both and didn't want to discourage his ability to start. However, they like his ability to provide some pretty electric stuff from the left-hander.
The start of the baseball season is currently unknown as the public health situation continues to evolve amid the coronavirus pandemic. The current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) discourages events with 50 or more people through May 10th. Major League Baseball has adhered to the CDC's recommendations throughout this crisis.
Willie Calhoun (fractured jaw)
Calhoun is expected to make a full recovery before the baseball season begins. He is now cleared to participate in baseball activity.
Jose Trevino (hairline fracture - index finger)
Trevino is progressing. Chris Woodward mentioned Trevino may be doing some light hitting currently, but is also working on keeping his body in shape.
Jesse Chavez (elbow soreness)
Chavez is back on a normal throwing program. He likely would not have broken camp with the team if the season had not been postponed.
Jeff Mathis (pulled hamstring)
He's currently either 100% or close to it right now. He was very close to being ready for Opening Day beforehand. Barring any setbacks, the Rangers expect him to be ready to go.
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