Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward announced on Wednesday the first significant wave of Opening Day roster selections.
Non-roster invitee Brock Holt was selected for the Rangers Opening Day roster. Holt had an opt-out in his minor league contract on Wednesday, but the Rangers secured him before he could exercise that option.
"[Brock] was very sought after in the offseason," Woodward said of Holt. "He's got a championship mentality. Everything he does, the way he plays, the way he carries himself. His commitment on a daily basis is everything that I want our younger players to see and witness. I'm really excited to have him on board."
The Rangers currently have 39 players on the 40-man roster, so a subsequent move does not have to be made to add Holt.
On the pitching side, Taylor Hearn, Dane Dunning, Wes Benjamin, and John King were all told they will make the Opening Day roster. None of the pitchers roles have been announced just yet, but Woodward did confirm that all will go “multiple innings,” which lines up with the Rangers plans to use a piggyback system this season.
"All four of those guys have pitched really well and grown up a ton," Woodward said. "It's exciting to have them on board. We're really excited about those four guys, especially."
Those four pitchers join Jordan Lyles in the mix for the tandem roles, after Woodward confirmed on Tuesday that Lyles was given one of said tandem spots.
The final name revealed for the Opening Day roster is young catcher Jonah Heim, who was acquired in the Elvis Andrus trade with Oakland.
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"We like what we've got with him," Woodward said of Heim. "To see the progress he's made in a short amount of time, with the bat and some of the catching drills that Bobby Wilson's been doing with him, the kid wants to be great. We've seen a lot of progress."
However, there are some players that did not make the cut for the Opening Day roster. Those players include Kolby Allard and Joe Palumbo, who were optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, as well as Jason Martin and Spencer Patton, who were assigned to minor league camp.
Allard was a candidate to make the Opening Day roster with a role in the bullpen. Meanwhile, Palumbo was expected to miss Opening Day with injury, however he had a good showing on Wednesday in which he featured his plus-curveball. Both remain candidates for a call up throughout the season.
Images of Jordan Lyles, Taylor Hearn, Kolby Allard by Kelly Gavin / Courtesy of the Texas Rangers