Remember Yu Darvish? Of course you do, but the name you need to remember is Willie Calhoun, who hit his first career home run Tuesday vs the A’s. Calhoun was the main piece in return in the big Yu Darvish trade of 2017 with the Dodgers. Known for his bat rather than his defense, he was called up after Nomar Mazara was put on the 10 day disabled list with a thumb injury, finally earning a shot to play in the majors.
Calhoun was hitting .306 in Round Rock, smashing 8 home runs in the process. However, he has struggled in his time in the majors, going just 5-22 thus far with 1 HR and 2 RBI, putting his batting average at .227, well below his minor league average. With that being said, he needs time to adjust to the big leagues. So expect his bat to improve with more at bats, raising his average and making a case to stay on the 25 man roster for an extended time.
With one player getting an opportunity in the majors, another has been sent down to Triple A. Delino DeShields was optioned down after seeing his batting avg drop down to .204 on the season. He has struggled all season, but especially in July, posting a .065 batting average during the month, with an equally terrible .157 OBP. While struggling at the plate, he has become a solid defensive center fielder, posting a 97% fielding rate, committing only 5 errors on the season.
Not happy with the decision by management, he stormed out of the clubhouse, but returned later before a game vs Oakland to talk to manager Jeff Bannister, hoping to save face and show maturity in the situation. Being only 25, soon to be 26, he’ll try to earn a shot to return before September, but he’ll need to improve at the plate to garner any more attention.
Perfection is over for young closer Keone Kela after he blew his first save of the season vs Oakland on Wednesday. He came in for an extended save opportunity, needing to get 5 outs to finish the game. It was just the 2nd time this season he was asked to get more than 3 outs to end the game. He gave up 2 in earned runs, being inherited from the previous pitcher, before Steve Piscotty took him deep in the ninth inning.
Kela is still full of talent, and has garnered interest from teams looking for bullpen help, but will John Daniels deal him for several prospects? Or will he keep the young stud for the next few years, possibly developing him into a top 5 closer in baseball? Time will tell what JD does, but time is running out if he’s planning on making a move.
And finally we have a trade!! Cole Hamels was dealt to the Cubs for several minor league pitchers, including Rollie Lacy, 22. Lacy is 5-2 in his time between Low/High A ball with a solid 2.45 ERA. Coming in at 6’4″ and 195 lbs, he’s part of a trade that makes sense for everyone involved. The Cubs needed another pitcher after losing out on J.A. Happ, the Rangers young pitching prospects, and Cole Hamels a change of scenery. Hamels will be joining former Ranger ace Yu Darvish in Chicago, hoping to help a team fighting to stay in first place.
The Rangers have been wheeling and dealing, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Now only Adrian Beltre is left with the home team, patiently waiting for John Daniels to find a way to move him to a contender one way or another. Needless to say, the Ranger road could be coming to an end for the fan favorite.