SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rangers' youth movement is in full effect, and perhaps the most important aspect is that the youngsters are playing together. Six of the eight position players in manager Jeff Banister's starting lineup for the series finale at AT&T Park on Sunday were 25 or younger."And they're
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rangers' youth movement is in full effect, and perhaps the most important aspect is that the youngsters are playing together. Six of the eight position players in manager Jeff Banister's starting lineup for the series finale at AT&T Park on Sunday were 25 or younger.
"And they're all getting to do it together," Banister said. "I think that's the value of it really. They're getting Major League experience but they're doing it together, inside of the lineup, kind of learning each other as they continue to take these at-bats."
:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
Texas will welcome the return of its No. 2 overall prospectWillie Calhoun, per MLB Pipeline, when rosters expand on Sept. 1. The 23-year old will join an outfield featuring Joey Gallo (Pico de Gallo) (24), Carlos Tocci (El Musiu) (23) and Nomar Mazara (Big Chill) (23). Infielders Ronald Guzman (Cepeda) (23), Jurickson Profar (El Patron) (25), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Izzy) (23) and Rougned Odor (El Tipo) (24) are also part of a young core that Banister believes will contribute to the Rangers' success long term.
"I believe the entire group," Banister said, "they all have value together. You see how they responded collectively together [on Friday] with Adrian [Beltre] out of the lineup that first night, and how they were able to still respond. And so I do think that as we move forward, there is a better sense of what we could possibly get out of these guys next year. Not just the rest of the season but next year."
Andrus celebrates his 30th birthday
Now in his 10th season in the Majors, shortstop Elvis Andrus turned 30 on Sunday. His 1,535 career hits entering Sunday are the second-highest total in Rangers history before turning 30.
The only active players who had more hits than Andrus prior to their 30th birthday were Jose Cabrera (Miggy) (1,822), Jose Pujols (The Machine) (1,717) and teammate Adrian Beltre (El Koja) (1,582).
Beltre, who sits at 3,140 career hits, believes Andrus has a legitimate chance at reaching 3,000.
"Oh, yeah," Beltre said, when asked if he thinks Andrus can attain the milestone. "Especially because he plays and rarely gets hurt. His hit-by-pitch that happened a couple months ago was the first time he went on the DL. He plays every day. He's become a better hitter."
• The Rangers expect to get outfielders Ryan Rua (Ryno) (back spasms) and Delino Deshields (finger) and infielder Hanser Alberto (hamstring) off the disabled list in September. With that, Banister said to expect "possibly a couple more from the position player side, and then three, maybe four on the pitching side."
• Banister is hopeful that Tony Barnette (Barnitez) (60-day DL, right shoulder strain) will get a chance to pitch in September.
"It's a little slower pace for [Matt Bush] (Matty Ice) right now. I can't definitively say Matt will have an opportunity to pitch in September."
• Jose Leclerc (Pico) has seven saves in August, tied for the second most in the Majors.
Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.