Danny Santana was placed on the injured list before the weekend with a right elbow sprain, making this his second stint on the injured list.
This season, he has only played 15 games, struggling mightily at the plate.
Santana is on his final leg of the one year contract he signed with the Rangers in 2020, and with this latest injury, it puts his future with the Rangers in question.
This season, he’s hitting just .145 at the plate in 55 plate appearances with a .238 on-base percentage. It’s a big drop from his breakout 2019 season when he hit .283 and 28 home runs for the team.
Woodward said Santana’s injury “took a turn for the worst” after Friday’s win over the Dodgers. He continued:
“He had to make a kind of a strong throw from first base and it didn’t feel great after that… It hurt while it was actually swinging the bat yesterday, and that was obviously concerning to us. We need to let him rest, give him some time off to let that heal up. And I don’t know for the rest of the year if I see honestly getting in the outfield or any position where he’s gonna need to make a hard throw. We might have to avoid that.”
This is big for a player the team thought would have a positive major impact for the team. The Rangers have made several roster moves over the past week, including recalling budding center fielder Leody Taveras.
Since Santana’s injury, Taveras has been thrust into the lineup with an opportunity to show what he can do for the team.
On Friday night, he flashed some major leather on defense in center field.
We'd like to report a robbery. ? pic.twitter.com/7MpheFH4VJ
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) August 29, 2020
On Taveras, Woodward said:
“He’s already made a bunch of plays out there. He’s an above-average/elite center fielder in my opinion. Then when he gets on base… you seen what he can do. He can impact a game.”
Taveras chose a great time to shine, but he’s not the only outfielder on the field. We have seen Scott Heineman, Nick Solak, and Willie Calhoun in the outfield rotation, and with Santana out for another injury stint, it’ll only increase the amount of playing time the younger players get.
The team has already expressed that they want to see what the younger players can provide for the team, whether it’s trade value or production on the field for the team.
With the amount of young talent, Danny Santana couldn’t have gotten injured at a worse possible time.
Even if he makes a return for the team at some point in this season, Santana’s time is running out in Texas.
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