Odor placed on injured list with knee sprain

April 13th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will be without second baseman for at least two weeks or longer after he suffered a right knee sprain before Friday’s game against the Athletics.

Odor sustained the injury while doing routine stretching exercises in the clubhouse just before going out to the dugout for the start of the game. Odor was placed on the 10-day injured list and is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks before being reevaluated.

“Not fun,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Caught us by surprise. Totally. I saw him take early BP, saw him take BP, he felt great. We had a long conversation about how good he felt. At 6:45, he was scratched. Right before the game. Very frustrating.”

The Rangers called up utility player from Triple-A Nashville and he was in the lineup at second base on Saturday. Logan Forsythe has the most experience of any active Rangers player at second, but he is filling in at first base while Ronald Guzman is out with a strained right hamstring.

The Rangers also have Patrick Wisdom, who can play first base if Forsythe needs to slide over to second. Forsythe and Wisdom are both right-handed hitters while Santana is a switch-hitter. The three are expected to share playing time on the right side of the infield.

“We have to deal with it,” Woodward said. “Those guys are really good. They are going to be fine. They are going to fill in. I’m really excited to see what Santana can do. I liked him all spring. Santana brings everything. He probably has more tools in his bag than anybody I’ve ever seen. And he is a tremendous human being and teammate. He’ll fit right in. I think he is going to have some impact.”

Santana played in 22 games for the Rangers in Spring Training and was 14-for-50 with four doubles, two triples and three home runs. But he has also struggled at the big league level for the past four years after a strong rookie season with the Twins in 2014.

He played in 101 games for the Twins that season and hit .319 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging percentage. He played both shortstop and center field and was seventh in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

But over 263 games in the past four years with the Twins and Braves, he has a .219 batting average, .256 on-base percentage and .319 slugging percentage. He played just 15 games with the Braves last season and spent most of the year at Triple-A trying to re-establish himself. The Rangers signed him to a Minor League contract in the offseason.

Woodward said hitting coaches Luis Ortiz and Callix Crabbe worked extensively with Santana during Spring Training trying to fix some swing-and-miss issues.

“It was mainly from a mechanical standpoint,” Woodward said. “There is mental toughness beyond his years but there was a little bit of mechanical, so he started working on some things that gave him a little room for error. So he could stay on some breaking balls and not cheat on fastballs. What I saw at the end of Spring Training was really good.”

Santana was off to a good start at Nashville, hitting .343 (12-for-35) with four doubles and a triple. He got the call over Nolan Fontana and Eli White because of his versatility and switch-hitting ability.

Chase d’Arnaud, another candidate from Spring Training, is on the disabled list at Nashville with a minor right shoulder injury.

Woodward said the Rangers discussed the possibility of moving Isiah Kiner-Falefa from catcher back to the infield and calling up Jose Trevino.

“It’s something we talked about a few times,” Woodward said. “At this point, as much progress Kiner is making behind the plate, I don’t want to stop that for a couple of weeks.”

Rangers beat

• Guzman, currently on the injured list, took batting practice for the first time on Saturday. He is expected to be out for two to three more weeks, but the Rangers are holding out hope for a quick return.

• To make room for Santana on the 40-man roster, the Rangers placed Edinson Volquez on the 60-day injured list. He is sidelined with a sprained right elbow.

• Hunter Pence, who started at designated hitter, turned 36 on Saturday.