ARLINGTON -- The Rangers on Tuesday optioned outfielder Delino DeShields to Triple-A Round to work on his offense and refocus on being an offensive player that emphasizes speed and on-base percentage.The Rangers made the surprising decision in order to reinforce their bullpen. Left-hander Brandon Mann was recalled from Triple-A to
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers on Tuesday optioned outfielder Delino DeShields to Triple-A Round to work on his offense and refocus on being an offensive player that emphasizes speed and on-base percentage.
The Rangers made the surprising decision in order to reinforce their bullpen. Left-hander Brandon Mann was recalled from Triple-A to give the Rangers eight relievers again. They had gone with seven since trading Jesse Chavez to the Cubs over the All-Star break.
"We felt like we needed another arm to help us in the bullpen," manager Jeff Banister said. "The second part is to give Delino an opportunity to go to Round Rock, unplug a little bit. He is a dynamic player and is going to continue to be a dynamic player. He needs to focus on getting on base and increasing his opportunities to score."
DeShields was 0-for-4 in the Rangers' 15-3 loss to the Athletics on Monday and has one hit in 37 at-bats over his last 12 games, dropping his average from .232 to .204.
"They just want me to be an on-base guy," DeShields said. "Don't worry about anything else, which is, I mean that's fine and everything, but I know I can be that guy, I can be that on-base guy. There's other areas of my game that I'm trying to work on and improve and get better because, like I said, I know I'm better than just being an on-base guy.
"I think that's just kind of the base of my game. I get on base, score runs, make things happen, and that's kind of what my value is. They see that, I know that, I think I just got so caught up in the other things surrounding that and kind of lost focus of just getting on base and scoring runs."
DeShields had an outstanding spring for the Rangers in Arizona, and they were expecting a big year from him in the leadoff spot. But he sustained a broken hamate bone in his left hand in the third game of the season, missed three weeks and has not been able to enjoy an extended hot streak since his return.
"You have an injury for an extended period of time, you're trying to play a little bit of catchup," Banister said. "Part of it is settling in on one single approach and staying with it."
DeShields was obviously disappointed and surprised by the decision, but said he won't let it get him down.
"I don't ever feel defeated," DeShields said. "I don't think anybody's better than me. Whoever's on the mound, I don't care who's on the mound. What team we're playing, it don't matter. I know I'm dynamic, I know I can change the game. As soon as it clicks, it's over with. It's just a matter of it clicking. It hasn't clicked for a while, so they just want me to go down there and find it, I guess."
Carlos Tocci, the Rule 5 pick from the Phillies, will get the majority of the playing time in center field. Tocci had his own injury, missing almost six weeks with a bruised left hip. Since being activated on June 2, he is just 2-for-13 in limited playing time. He is 4-for-38 (.105) on the season but he has to stay on the 25-man roster for the entire season or be offered back to the Phillies.
"He is a premium defender … a player we feel hasn't reached his potential," Banister said. "What is he going to give us offensively? I don't know. Right now in the interim, he is going to be the guy. None of us can predict what Tocci can do but he is going to get the opportunity to play."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.