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How Rangers' 60-man player pool might look

@Sullivan_Ranger
June 26, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers must submit their 60-man player pool by 3 p.m. CT on Sunday in preparation for the opening of “Summer Camp” on Wednesday. From the 60-man pool, the Rangers will put together a 30-man roster for Opening Day, plus a three-man taxi Squad to travel with the

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers must submit their 60-man player pool by 3 p.m. CT on Sunday in preparation for the opening of “Summer Camp” on Wednesday.

From the 60-man pool, the Rangers will put together a 30-man roster for Opening Day, plus a three-man taxi Squad to travel with the team in case of immediate need. The rest will continue to work out in Texas and be ready as reinforcements.

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Here is how the Rangers’ 60-man possibilities break down:

Starting rotation: Some clubs have talked about a six-man rotation. Manager Chris Woodward said the Rangers are planning to use these five: Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles.

Other starters: Starting rotation depth is a must. Left-handers Kolby Allard and Joe Palumbo are certain to be on the 60-man so they can be ready to step into a rotation spot, if needed. Right-handers Tyler Phillips and Ariel Jurado are also possibilities.

Bullpen locks: José Leclerc will begin as the closer. The primary right-handed setup relievers are Rafael Montero and Nick Goody. Right-hander Jesse Chavez is over his Spring Training shoulder soreness and should be in the bullpen. Left-hander Brett Martin should also have a spot.

Bullpen possibilities: Left-hander Taylor Hearn and right-hander Jonathan Hernández are young but extremely talented. They could be multi-inning middle relievers or spot starters. They are also both inexperienced and must show they can handle the pressure. Right-hander Luke Farrell does not have similar overpowering stuff but pitched well in Spring Training. He could be valuable with his potential versatility.

Injured pitchers: Left-hander Joely Rodríguez has a strained lat muscle. He won’t be ready for Opening Day, but the Rangers are still counting on him at some point for the bullpen. Yohander Méndez is on the 40-man roster but had shoulder soreness in Spring Training. His outlook is cloudy.

Non-roster pitchers: The Rangers have several of them with Major League experience. A few should make the Opening Day roster, while others will be asked to remain in the Rangers’ player pool. From the right side, there are Cody Allen, Luis García, Juan Nicasio, Derek Law, Jimmy Herget, Edinson Vólquez and Ian Gibaut. The left-hander is James Jones.

Pitching prospects: Right-handers Kyle Cody, Demarcus Evans and Joe Barlow are all potential 60-man additions. They are unlikely for the Opening Day roster, but they could be late-season reinforcements depending on their progress.

Catchers: Robinson Chirinos and Jeff Mathis were expected to be on the Opening Day roster, but Jose Trevino is healthy again. The Rangers could keep two on the active roster and one on the taxi squad. Non-roster invites Tim Federowicz and Nick Ciuffo are 60-man depth possibilities.

Infield: The most likely scenario starts with shortstop Elvis Andrus, second baseman Rougned Odor and third baseman Todd Frazier. That leaves Ronald Guzmán and Greg Bird competing for the first-base job.

Utility players: This appears to be an area of strength, and Nick Solak is the obvious name. The Rangers want his bat in the lineup somewhere. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was making a strong case in Spring Training, too. Matt Duffy and Rob Refsnyder are veterans with multi-position versatility. Sam Travis can play first base and outfield. Blake Swihart is a switch-hitter who can catch, play first and the outfield. Maybe even second or third. These are all guys who could prove valuable under the current roster rules.

Outfield: The Rangers have Willie Calhoun in left, Joey Gallo in right and Scott Heineman and Adolis García in reserve. Heineman and Garcia are both on the 40-man, so they will be at least in the 60-man player pool. Danny Santana is the center fielder, but the Rangers remain infatuated with his versatility. They also love rookie Eli White’s potential in center, although the original plan was not to rush him.

Designed hitter: Shin-Soo Choo is here but is still quite capable of playing the outfield.

Position prospects: Outfielder Leody Taveras and third baseman Sherten Apostel are on the 40-man roster and likely to be in the 60-man player pool. Third baseman Josh Jung and catcher Sam Huff are other possibilities, but the Rangers can’t give out too many spots to players not ready to contribute at the Major League level.

Rangers beat
• The Rangers announced Friday they will pay their Minor League players the $400 per week stipend through at least the end of July.

• The Rangers have decided that their former ballpark, Globe Life Park, will be used for “Summer Camp” workouts in addition to the new Globe Life Field.

• The Rangers have agreed to terms with catcher Jose Felix from Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics in New York City. He was an undrafted free agent.

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.