Rougned Odor has become the whipping boy on Social Media for the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers surpassing expectations, the poor play of Odor has caused a frenzy among fans.
At the beginning of the year, it was easy to defend him. He has always been a bit of slow starter, who came on as the season progressed. He is also a gold glove caliber second baseman. But as this season moves forward, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore how bad he has been on offense. Especially with the play of Danny Santana. He is proving that he wasn’t just off to a hot start. More importantly, he has earned the right to play every day.
Taking Odor out of the lineup has not been an option with the injuries that the Rangers have had. First, there was Elvis Andrus who went down with a hamstring injury in May. Then Willie Calhoun went down with a quad strain. On June 2nd Joey Gallo went on the IL with an oblique strain. That was followed by the groin injury to Hunter Pence. With both Pence and Gallo gone, Chris Woodward has moved Danny Santana all over the field. In fact, the only position he hasn’t played is catcher and third base. But all of this will change next week when both Pence and Gallo are expected to return to Arlington.
With everyone healthy, there is an issue looming. Somebody will have to be sent down or let go. There are a few candidates that come to mind. First, you have to look at who has options. That would be Willie Calhoun, Delino Deshields, Ronald Guzman and yes, Rougned Odor. Next would be those who are not everyday starters on one-year deals. Logan Forsythe and Danny Santana fit into that category. Then there are the guys on one-year deals who do play but could be considered expendable. Combining all of those, you would then have to look at performance.
So let’s dive into the numbers…
Numbers in red indicate the lowest AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, and WAR of those players listed. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
A. Cabrera: G: 67 AB: 236 H: 57 HR: 11 RBI: 43 BB: 27 K: 60 AVG: .242 OBP: .322 SLG: .417 OPS: .750 WAR: 0.8
W. Calhoun: G: 10 AB: 39 H: 13 HR: 3 RBI: 9 BB: 2 K: 5 AVG: .333 OBP: .366 SLG: .615 OPS: .981 WAR: 0.4
D. Deshields: G: 50 AB: 143 H: 34 HR: 1 RBI: 13 BB: 10 K: 33 AVE: .231 OBP: .308 SLG .343 OPS: .673 WAR: 0.5
L. Forsythe: G: 53 AB: 168 H: 45 HR: 3 RBI: 28 BB: 28 K: 51 AVG: .268 OBP: .377 SLG: .417 OPS: .794 WAR: 1.0
R. Guzman: G: 47 AB: 145 H: 31 HR: 6 RBI: 21 BB: 18 K: 45 AVG: .214 OBP: 303 SLG: .441 OPS: .744 WAR: 0.0
R. Odor: G: 61 AB: 226 H: 31 HR: 9 RBI: 35 BB: 22 K: 79 AVG: .173 OBP: .249 SLG: .336 OPS: .585 WAR: -0.5
H. Pence: G: 55 AB: 194 H: 57 HR: 15 RBI: 48 BB: 17 K: 47 AVG: .294 OBP: .353 SLG: .608 OPS: .962 WAR: 1.7
D. Santana: G: 52 AB: 173 H: 54 HR: 7 RBI: 21 BB: 8 K: 53 AVG: .312 OBP: .348 SLG: .532 OPS: .879 WAR: 1.2
According to the numbers, the choice should seem fairly simple. Odor has underperformed in all major categories that constitute a good major league player. He has options, so he should be sent down to Nashville to regroup and figure out how to hit a fastball again. Danny Santana has earned the right to be the everyday second baseman.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Odor now has 5 years service time in the major leagues. He reached that at the end of May. That means that even if he has options, he has to approve being sent to AAA. This presents a problem for the Rangers. I can’t think of anyone who would accept a demotion and pay cut when they can’t be forced to do it. That means Odor isn’t going to the minor leagues with the Rangers.
The Rangers ownership isn’t likely to just throw away millions of dollars yet. So if you are thinking they should just DFA him, it also isn’t very likely. My guess is that the only real solution is to bench him. Make Santana the every day second baseman and play Odor once a week against right-handers. He could also pinch hit for Jeff Mathis late in games. Mathis is the only Rangers player to have worse numbers than Odor. Odor does have some pop. Who knows, he may be a good pinch hitter when he isn’t exposed to 4 or 5 at bats a night.
Even if the Rangers bench Odor, there is the issue of who is on their way out. Let’s face it, Pence and Gallo are a huge part of this thing. They need to be in the lineup every day. But this bullpen cannot succeed with 7 arms in it. That means that someone is heading out the door. I believe that Calhoun is safe. He has proven that he deserves to be here. Deshields has been good since returning from AAA. Plus the Rangers need a solid center fielder to protect Gallo from playing every game out there. Santana should be the starting second baseman.
Cabrera hasn’t been stellar, but he has proven to be satisfactory at third. That really only leaves Forsythe or Guzman. Since Forsythe would need be to DFA’d, Guzman may be headed for Nashville. Any of those solutions stink. Yep… there is an Odor in the locker room.
Featured Image: Nolan Writin/Fan Sided