Banister: Gomez not here to be a backup

Two-time NL All-Star will get at-bats at Triple-A before taking over in left field

August 21st, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Jeff Banister corrected the initial perception of why the Rangers signed . He is not coming to provide outfield depth.

Gomez is coming to be the everyday left fielder.

"We'll get him out there and let him play," Banister said Sunday morning. "This is a veteran outfielder who, when he is out there, can impact the game. This is not a young guy who has to get by with youthful exuberance. He's got exuberance, but he is in the middle part of his career. This is a guy who can take over a game."

Texas is undaunted by Gomez's struggles in Houston this season. He was hitting .210 with five home runs, 29 RBIs, a .272 on-base percentage and a .322 slugging percentage before being released Thursday. He struck out 100 times in 295 at-bats.

The Rangers are hoping that Gomez will revert back to what he was with the Brewers in 2013-14, when he was a two-time National League All-Star. Banister strongly suggested the club expects to get an impact player for left field.

"I love the energy he plays with, I love the skill set, I love the two-way player," Banister said. "He can impact the game in multiple ways. Drop him in our lineup with the veteran core around him and he has a chance to resurrect himself."

The Rangers also appear to be unconcerned about the possibility the Astros released Gomez for reasons beyond his offensive struggles, or that he has been involved in a number of on-field altercations that arose from opposing players taking exception to his demonstrative style of play.

"I respect [that] the guy plays hard," Banister said. "I know what's seen on TV and whatever has been talked about. Everybody talks about one of our guys like that [], and we know what type of player he is. That is how I am going to look at it. I have faith in our coaching staff and all the players on this team. We'll get the guy in here, get him right and let him impact the game."

Gomez is expected to report to Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday. He hasn't played in a Major League game since Aug. 9 so the Rangers want him to get a few at-bats before he's added to the roster.

Gomez isn't expected to be there long. By the end of the week, he should be with Texas, displacing and . Profar, a switch-hitter, will go back to being the utility infielder.

DeShields will give the Rangers three right-handed-hitting outfielders on the bench along with and . Coincidentally, all three were in the lineup on Sunday, with left-hander on the mound for Tampa Bay.

One of them will have to go when Gomez arrives and attempts to resurrect his career as an impact left fielder.

Rangers beat

• Odor, who is 22 years old, hit his 23rd home run on Saturday night. The only other second baseman in Major League history who hit 22 home runs at that age was Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who did it in 1940.

threw out two attempted basestealers in Saturday's game. It's only the third time this season a Rangers catcher has done that in one game. did so on April 6 against the Mariners and did so on May 23 against the Angels.

and are scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday against the Reds in Cincinnati. With no designated hitter, both will have to bat. Banister's bigger concern is having them run the bases, so both went through some baserunning drills before Sunday's game against the Rays.