ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will have drama in Spring Training, but the composition of the Opening Day roster is probably not going to be high on the list.The Rangers still need to figure out who will play where in the outfield and who will be the closer out of the
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will have drama in Spring Training, but the composition of the Opening Day roster is probably not going to be high on the list.
The Rangers still need to figure out who will play where in the outfield and who will be the closer out of the bullpen. Perhaps the biggest drama surrounding the Opening Day roster is if Bartolo Colon will be in the rotation. He is in camp on a Minor League contract and has the best chance of anybody to crack what appears to be a set rotation.
Here is what the 25-man roster projects to be going into Spring Training.
Catcher: Robinson Chirinos, Brett Nicholas
Chirinos is expected to be the starter but the backup will be a battle between Nicholas, Juan Centeno, Curt Casali, Mike Ohlman and Jose Trevino.
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First base: Joey Gallo
The Rangers have not officially named Gallo as their first baseman but that seems to be the logical spot for him.
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Second base: Rougned Odor
His long-term contract prevents there from being any competition for this spot.
Shortstop: Elvis Andrus
Barring a mishap, Andrus will be the Rangers' starting shortstop for the 10th straight Opening Day. The only longer streak in club history is catcher Ivan Rodriguez with 11.
Third base: Adrian Beltre
He turns 39 in April and is getting ready for his 21st season.
Outfield: Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Willie Calhoun, Ryan Rua, Drew Robinson
The big question here is if Calhoun will win left field full-time or platoon with Rua. Robinson and Rule 5 pick Carlos Tocci are competing for the fifth outfielder spot. Robinson's versatility is a big asset. Also to be determined is how much time Choo will spend in the outfield as opposed to designated hitter.
Utility infielder: Jurickson Profar
He is the best guess here simply because he is out of options. But Robinson could fit here as well and Hanser Alberto is back in camp.
Starting pitcher: Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor
If Colon does make the starting rotation, it would likely mean that Minor is going back to the bullpen. He was a reliever for the Royals last year. The Rangers are still looking at Matt Bush as a starter.
Bullpen: Seunghwan Oh, Bush, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, Alex Claudio, Tony Barnette, Chris Martin
The guess is cooler heads will prevail in Spring Training and Bush will remain in the bullpen. Oh figures to be the leading candidate to close and probably pushes Jose Leclerc out of the picture for now.
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.