Pouring out the 40.
If you’ve ever bought the book, you know that it’s broken into month-by-month chapters, each of which begins with a snapshot of the 40-man roster on the first day of that particular month.
It struck me this morning as I plugged the roster in to begin the July 2011 chapter that it could look very different when I paste it in again on August 1.
40-MAN ROSTER (40)
Dave Bush, Fabio Castillo, Miguel De Los Santos, Cody Eppley, Scott Feldman, Neftali Feliz, Wilmer Font, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Eric Hurley, Michael Kirkman, Colby Lewis, Mark Lowe, Alexi Ogando, Darren Oliver, Zach Phillips, Arthur Rhodes, Pedro Strop, Yoshinori Tateyama, Ryan Tucker, C.J. Wilson
Taylor Teagarden, Yorvit Torrealba
Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Andres Blanco, Chris Davis, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli, Michael Young
Engel Beltre, Julio Borbon, Endy Chavez, Nelson Cruz, Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton, Leonys Martin, David Murphy
60-DAY DISABLED LIST (4)
Omar Beltre, Darren O’Day, Mason Tobin, Brandon Webb
Someone will need to be dropped when O’Day is activated. You could move Wilmer Font to the 60-day disabled list. You could end the Dave Bush Era. You could run someone through waivers in an attempt to outright his contract, Ryan Tucker perhaps being the most appropriate candidate (though when you get past the 5.04 ERA, the AAA numbers don’t look too bad).
If Chris Davis is coming back, a possibility (probability?) that has been rumored the past couple days both locally and nationally, no 40-man roster move will be needed, but if the active roster casualty is Endy Chavez, then he has to come off the 40 by virtue of being out of options.
Then there’s Arthur Rhodes, who is now pitching mop-up innings in 7-0 losses. Then again, even though his seven appearances in the last four weeks have come in six losses, over that span he hasn’t given up a run in 4.2 innings (though two of five inherited runners have scored). Still, he has to be part of the roster-trimming conversation.
And from now until August 1 is trading season, of course. A year ago today, Texas added Bengie Molina and subtracted Chris Ray from the 40-man roster, which over the course of the month was also stripped of Justin Smoak, Brandon McCarthy (60-day disabled list), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia while taking on Cliff Lee, Mitch Moreland, Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman, and – temporarily – Mark Lowe (who was acquired July 9 but moved to the 60-day disabled list on July 29 to create a spot for Cantu).
If Tanner Scheppers comes up sometime this month, which can’t be ruled out, someone else will have to come off, but that’s a different situation from adding a veteran starter or reliever or two, trades for whom could involve players on the 40.
Davis? Julio Borbon? Taylor Teagarden?
E.Beltre? Castillo? De Los Santos?
There’s obviously a much deeper inventory of prospects that selling teams will be asking about, and that list will include players who will need to go on the 40-man roster this winter. Texas won’t make room on the roster for more than three or four of Martin Perez, Neil Ramirez, Matt West, Roman Mendez, Jose Felix, Jake Brigham, Joseph Ortiz, Johan Yan, Tomas Telis, Chad Tracy, Mike Bianucci, Wilfredo Boscan, Mark Hamburger, Carlos Pimentel, Trevor Hurley, Justin Miller, Tyler Tufts, Ben Snyder, Corey Young, Ryan Kelly, Geuris Grullon, Kasey Kiker, Jonathan Greene, Kennil Gomez, Ovispo De Los Santos, and Macumba, and just like Josh Lueke, Matt Lawson, Ryan Tatusko, and Evan Reed a year ago, players in that procedural situation are going to be involved in trade discussions, at least from the Rangers’ standpoint.
The opener of the second 81 games got underway last night in far different fashion from the opener of the first 81, but I choose to dump memory of Houston 7, Texas 0 and focus on what feels like a huge game tonight, not because the struggling Marlins are coming in but because Alexi Ogando gets the ball and an opportunity to calm fears that he’s hit an insurmountable wall.
With O’Day and Feldman and Hunter each likely coming back sometime this month, the staff is about to take on a different look, probably one impacted not only by activations off rehab but by trades as well (I’m not holding my breath that Scott Kazmir will ever show up in Arlington, even if Texas signs him after a recent audition). The nature of how all of that shakes out, though, is dependent in part on whether Ogando continues to get the ball every fifth day or if he’s instead headed back to the eighth inning, and the next data set to be fed into that evaluation comes in less than 12 hours, the first game of what it unquestionably going to be a fascinating month for this franchise.