NEW YORK -- The Rangers have seen improvement in outfielder Drew Robinson, but it was not enough to keep him in the Major Leagues.Robinson was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday when Delino DeShields was activated off the disabled list. Robinson went 2-for-6 with four walks and five
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have seen improvement in outfielder Drew Robinson, but it was not enough to keep him in the Major Leagues.
Robinson was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday when Delino DeShields was activated off the disabled list. Robinson went 2-for-6 with four walks and five runs scored during his brief return to the Rangers.
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"We like what we saw from Drew," manager Jeff Banister said. "He made some nice adjustments in the batter's box. We know what he can do defensively and with his versatility. He had more consistent at-bats, the swing and miss is down. We like the improvements, and we like the adjustments."
Robinson began the season with the Rangers but went on the disabled list on May 7 with a sore left hip. He was hitting .175 at that time, with 48 strikeouts in 86 at-bats. He ended up being sent to Round Rock, where he was hitting .308 with a .374 on-base percentage and .556 slugging percentage in 49 games.
"It's a situation where we don't have a spot for everybody," general manager Jon Daniels said. "From a player's perspective, that's hard to hear. It's tough to be patient, but these things have a way of working themselves out."
The Rangers don't have a spot for Robinson because they remain committed to Carlos Tocci, the Rule 5 Draft pick from the Phillies who must remain on the roster all season. Tocci is hitting .176 with 15 hits in 85 at-bats over limited playing time. He has just three extra-base hits and four walks against 35 strikeouts.
"We are really pleased where [Tocci] is defensively," Daniels said. "We are pleased with the work ethic. He has put quality strength on, and the quality of at-bats has improved. The defense is ahead of the offense. We've committed to this point, and we'll continue to ride it out. Obviously, he would benefit from additional development time."
Tocci will likely play Winter Ball to make up for a lack of playing time with the Rangers. Next season, when he is free from Rule 5 restrictions, Tocci can play regularly at Triple-A if needed. The Rangers are confident that carrying Tocci this season despite him not being ready for the Major Leagues will pay off.
"A big part of this has been acquiring and developing young talent," Daniels said. "We are talking about a guy who has been viewed as a smart baseball player, plays defense, good bat-to-ball skills. There has always been a question of how much he'll hit, but he has hit at every level he has been at. He's a right-handed-hitting center fielder, plus defender, smart player who can handle the bat. That's a pretty good starting point."
• Daniels said that nothing has changed in regard to third baseman Adrian Beltre and the possibility of Beltre being traded by the end of the month. Beltre would have to clear waivers, and he can also veto any trade, but it remains an option if a contending team gets serious.
"It's the same as we described it before," Daniels said. "Our preference is for him to finish the year as a Ranger, but we're open in the right scenario. If anything is brought to us, he would be the first to know. If it gets to that point, we'll talk to him about it."
Beltre was in the lineup at third base on Sunday, one day after getting hit in the left leg by a 100-mph fastball from Albertin Chapman.
"He's a tough guy," Banister said. "We talked to him. He's OK."
• Serving as designated hitter because of a wet playing field, Nomar Mazara went 2-for-3 for Round Rock on Saturday night in a game that was suspended in the top of the fifth. Mazara, on the DL with a strained right thumb, may not be ready to return until Thursday, when the Rangers open a four-game series with the Angels in Arlington.
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.