Rangers vs Orioles: Willie Calhoun, Brock Holt Back In Texas Starting Lineup

The Texas Rangers welcome back two left-handed hitters to their lineup.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers are getting back two valuable hitters in their lineup.

Manager Chris Woodward has penciled in both Brock Holt and Willie Calhoun in his lineup for Saturday night against the Baltimore Orioles. Both players were expected to come of the Injured List on Saturday. 

Holt will lead off and play third base while Calhoun will bat seventh as the designated hitter. Calhoun will be making his first appearance of the 2021 season with a groin injury near the beginning of spring training keeping him out of game action thus far. 

To make room for Holt and Calhoun, the Rangers made two corresponding roster moves: Infielder Anderson Tejeda and left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin were optioned to the alternate training site in Round Rock. 

Saturday's moves sets the 26-man roster at an even 13/13 split of pitchers and position players, which Chris Woodward mentioned as a possibility in Friday's Zoom call with the media.

Tejeda was the most likely candidate to go down on the position player side. He's struggled mightily thus far, going 1-for-16 with 10 strikeouts in five games. Sending Benjamin down came as a bit more of a surprise since he had earned a tandem spot with Jordan Lyles in the starting rotation.

However, Benjamin's command had slipped in his previous two outings. He walked two batters in two innings last Saturday against San Diego, which is uncharacteristic of him as a patented strike-thrower. What really sounded alarm bells was four walks in 1 1/3 innings in Thursday's win over Tampa Bay. 

Kolby Allard seemed like a legitimate candidate to be sent down since he had already been optioned this year. However, unlike Benjamin, Allard has trended in the right direction. He's thrown four perfect innings in his last two outings, striking out the side in two of those frames. 

After Friday night's loss to Baltimore, Chris Woodward said Allard's performance is "forcing our hand."  

Baltimore Orioles (6-8) at Texas Rangers (6-8)

Saturday, April 17, 2021
6:05 PM CT
Globe Life Field | Arlington, TX
Roof Closed

Probables:
BAL: RHP Dean Kremer (0-1, 10.50 ERA)
vs
TEX: RHP Dane Dunning (1-0, 1.00 ERA)

Broadcast

Texas Rangers
TV: Bally Sports Southwest
Radio: 105.3 The Fan, KFLC

Baltimore Orioles
TV: Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
Radio: 105.7 The Fan, O's Radio

Texas Rangers Starting Lineup

  1. 3B Brock Holt
  2. 1B Nate Lowe
  3. RF Joey Gallo
  4. CF Adolis García
  5. LF David Dahl
  6. 2B Nick Solak
  7. DH Willie Calhoun
  8. SS Charlie Culberson
  9. C Jonah Heim

Baltimore Orioles Starting Lineup

  1. CF Cedric Mullins
  2. RF Anthony Santander
  3. LF DJ Stewart
  4. 3B Maikel Franco
  5. DH Trey Mancini
  6. 1B Ryan Mountcastle
  7. 2B Rio Ruiz
  8. C Pedro Severino
  9. SS Freddy Galvis

Rangers Injury Report

10-Day Injured List

  • Brock Burke (left shoulder surgery in 2020): The Rangers like his progress, which is slow and steady.
  • Khris Davis (Grade 2 left quad strain): Davis is less than two weeks away from being fully cleared on the medical front.
  • Demarcus Evans (right lat strain): Evans threw live batting practice on Sunday. He should be getting back into game action sometime in May.
  • Ronald Guzmán (torn meniscus in right knee): Injured occurred in the first inning of Monday's loss to Tampa Bay. He will be reevaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister now that the Rangers have returned to Arlington. At that point, they will determine whether surgery is needed.
  • Sam Huff (Grade 2 hamstring strain): Huff is progressing well and is in the latter stages of his rehab. Daniels said he expects Huff to be ready around the time the minor league season begins.

60-Day Injured List

  • Matt Bush (right flexor strain): Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels announced on Monday that Bush will have to rest for six weeks, then undergo an MRI. It's looking like the soonest Bush could come back is around the All-Star break.
  • Jonathan Hernández (Tommy John surgery): Hernández underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday, which was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He will be sidelined for approximately 12-14 months.
  • José Leclerc (Tommy John surgery): Leclerc underwent successful Tommy John surgery on March 31, which was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He will be sidelined for approximately 12-14 months.

Other Rangers Injuries

  • Josh Jung (left foot stress fracture): Jung is "pain-free," but still in a walking boot and will be for another week or so. The Rangers don't expect Jung to return to game action until the end of May or early June — longer than the original prognosis of 6-8 weeks.

READ MORE: Too Little, Too Late: Rangers Avoid No-No, But Lose 5-2 to Orioles

READ MORE: Rangers Notes: Joely Rodríguez Activated; Calhoun, Holt Close to Return

READ MORE: Adolis García's First Career Homer Lifts Rangers To Third-Straight Win Over Rays


Chris Halicke covers the Texas Rangers for SI's InsideTheRangers.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisHalicke.
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