Guzman returns to Rangers 'in a better place'

Mazara, Volquez, Gibaut, Springs and Sampson among Texas' other additions

September 1st, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers expanded their roster on Sunday by calling up first baseman and pitcher from Triple-A Nashville, while also activating outfielder and pitchers , and from the injured list.

Mazara and Guzman both made appearances as pinch-hitters in Sunday's 11-3 loss to the Mariners and are expected to be in the lineup on Monday when they face the Yankees in New York. Guzman was the Rangers' Opening Day first baseman, but was sent down on July 23 hitting .193 with a .282 on-base percentage and a .396 slugging percentage.

He played in 30 games at Nashville and hit .308 with five home runs, 16 RBIs, a .400 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage. The Rangers are hoping for the same resurgence from Guzman as they saw from Willie Calhoun after he returned from Nashville.

“I didn’t want to be sent down, but it helped me a lot,” Guzman said. “My teammates helped me a lot. The decision they made was the right one. I am in a better place mentally. I’m coming here with no expectations, just do my best.”

Left-hander Joe Palumbo is with the Rangers but is still technically on the Triple-A injured list with a blister on his left thumb. He will be activated when the thumb is healed.

The Rangers are also expected to add left-hander later this week. He was activated off the 60-day IL last Monday and optioned to Nashville. He has to remain there for a minimum of 10 days before he can be called up. Mender sustained a strained ligament in his right elbow in Spring Training and has pitched in just 11 games in the Minor Leagues,

“He has worked hard to get back,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He is throwing the ball well.”

Springs worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings while Volquez added a scoreless frame himself in their first appearances off the 60-day injured list on Sunday. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Pedro Payano and left-hander Locke St. John were designated for assignment.

Gibaut and Sampson also got work in during the series finale. Gibaut threw 1 2/3 innings and allowed one run; Sampson pitched one inning and allowed a run.

Arrival: Sunday’s callups were just the latest in a wave of young players brought up this summer. Left-handed pitchers Brock Burke and Kolby Allard, relievers Emmanuel Clase and Jonathan Hernandez, catcher Jose Trevino, infielder Nick Solak and outfielder Scott Heineman all arrived before the September call-up date.

Breakout: Catcher Sam Huff had a meteoric rise in the Rangers' farm system and is now the No. 2 ranked prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline. In 125 games between Class A Hickory and Class A Advanced Down East, Huff is hitting .280 with 28 home runs, 72 RBIs and a .515 slugging percentage.

Something to prove: Outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez has not produced like the Rangers expected. The Rangers signed him to a $2.8 million bonus in March of 2018, but he hit just .248 with a .318 on-base percentage and a .426 slugging percentage with Down East. He turns 24 next March and 2020 will be a pivotal season for him.

Name to watch: Right-hander Hans Crouse is the Rangers' top pitching prospect and was 6-1 with a 4.41 ERA in 19 starts at Hickory this season. He struck out 76 and walked 19 in 87 2/3 innings. He was pitching with bone spurs in his right elbow and is expected to have surgery in the offseason.