Notes: White's impressive leap; Calhoun update

March 11th, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rookie has been described as an “elite” defender in center field. He showed it on Tuesday afternoon in the Rangers’ 9-2 win over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

White made a terrific catch in the bottom of the fourth, racing to the warning track to take away an extra-base hit from Yasmani Grandal.

“That was fun,” White said. “I got a good read off the bat, felt like I had a good first step. Felt like I was right on it. Felt I had a chance the whole way. Saw the wall, felt the track.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said he didn’t think White had a chance when the ball was first launched by Grandal

“You see guys get around that wall area, his length and his strike, everything he does, his speed, his ability to catch a baseball, he makes it look easy,” Woodward said. “Almost like it was routine. You see guys get up close to that wall and can’t make that play.”

The presumption is White will begin the season in Triple-A because he needs more development offensively. But with Willie Calhoun out with a broken jaw and the Rangers looking for another outfielder, putting an elite defender in center field has some appeal. The Rangers have two in White and Leody Taveras.

“Obviously with Willie down, it is a little bit different scenario,” Woodward said. “Moving forward we are definitely looking forward. If Eli continues to make progress with the bat, [what] does that say about where he stands in the organization? It’s an awesome problem to have.”

White’s progress is amazing considering he was drafted as an infielder and only has 35 games in center field in the Minor Leagues. He was put in the outfield to help increase his versatility as a utility player. Now he is strictly a center fielder.

“I think I’ve shown some good instincts out there,” White said. “There are still some things I’m still learning but I think I have shown I can be a plus defender in the outfield. Getting more comfortable every day.”

Rangers stay in touch with Calhoun
The Rangers are doing their best to reach out to Calhoun while he is in the hospital recovering from surgery to repair a fractured jaw. Woodward and the coaching staff were able to FaceTime with Calhoun on Tuesday through the technical expertise of special assistant Michael Young.

The Rangers are waiting to see when Calhoun can leave the hospital and be cleared through the concussion protocol after getting hit by a pitch in the face on Sunday.

“I am sure he has FaceTimed a bunch of players,” Woodward said. “He is in good spirits. You can tell he can’t really move his face. I think it’s frozen. I know our players would love for him to come by the clubhouse when he is ready.

“Everybody would welcome him with open arms. It’s encouraging, thinking about what possibly could have occurred. We’ll find out more on the concussion issues. If there are not many there, he might be back sooner than people think.”

He said it
“I’m a big autograph guy. I love giving autographs before and after games but I’ve kind of minimized it a little bit. Nothing against them, but that’s the way it is going right now. I’ll have some stuff to hand out to young kids and we’ll go from there.” -- Rangers third baseman Todd Frazier

Rangers beat:
• Right-hander Corey Kluber is scheduled to throw 80 pitches over five innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. It will be held on the Nolan Ryan Field.

• Joe Palumbo is scheduled to throw two innings in the same simulated game. He hasn’t pitched in a Cactus League game since February 28 because of a sore right heel.

• José LeClerc struck out four in his 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox. He has recorded 10 outs over his three outings and eight have come by strikeout.

Up next
Right-hander Luke Farrell pitches against the Giants at 3:05 p.m. CT Wednesday in Surprise. Farrell has not allowed a run in 6 2/3 innings this spring. He has allowed two hits and three walks while striking out seven. Fans can watch on MLB.TV or listen live.