Injuries shuffle around Opening Day roster

April 1st, 2017

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' Opening Day roster always has a few last-minute surprises, and this year was no different.

A week ago, it was unimaginable would not be around for the opener after pitching so well in Spring Training. was less of a surprise, especially after straining an abdominal muscle at the end of camp.

A revamped bullpen is still the most surprising development to the Rangers' Opening Day roster as they get ready to host the Indians on Monday. Texas will submit its final roster on Sunday but was able to scramble through the chaotic last days of Spring Training and finalize its 25-man squad by the end of business on Saturday.

Starting rotation: The Rangers have their front four set with , Cole Hamels, and A.J. Griffin. The fifth starter is unknown but also not needed until April 15. is supposed to be the Rangers' fifth man, but it is still uncertain if he will be fully recovered from the biceps issue that set him back. If not, and are the possible candidates. will start on the disabled list but could return in early-to-mid May.

Bullpen: The absence of Scheppers and Kela left openings that were filled by right-hander and left-hander . Both have power arms but need to harness their command and control. If they do, they will fit in nicely with closer Sam Dyson, right-handers , Tony Barnette and Matt Bush, and left-hander .

The biggest surprise in the bullpen was Rule 5 Draft pick , at least from where things stood at the beginning of Spring Training. But as spring progressed, it became obvious Hauschild was pitching his way onto the staff.

This is not the bullpen the Rangers expected going into camp, but nobody got their job by default. Alvarez, Leclerc and Hauschild all earned their spots.

Catcher: It was a great spring for the Rangers' catchers. was part of Team USA winning the World Baseball Classic, and got a contract extension.

Infield: The Rangers were locked in the infield with Mike Napoli at first, at second, at short and at third. But Beltre's calf injury and utility infielder 's shoulder problems landed them on the DL, leaving openings for Joey Gallo and on the Opening Day roster. Both played well enough this spring to earn their spots.

Outfield: is in center, is in right and will get the majority of his at-bats at designated hitter. and both walked away with a spot on the Opening Day roster because of their great springs, while remains valuable because of his versatility. DeShields should get first crack at left field.