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Calhoun providing pop in latest stint with Texas

August 7, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Willie Calhoun's roller-coaster season has included two stints in the Minors and a month-long trip to the injured list with a strained left quadriceps. The one constant has been the way the 24-year-old outfielder approaches the game. “His overall attitude -- from Spring Training up until now --

CLEVELAND -- Willie Calhoun's roller-coaster season has included two stints in the Minors and a month-long trip to the injured list with a strained left quadriceps.

The one constant has been the way the 24-year-old outfielder approaches the game.

“His overall attitude -- from Spring Training up until now -- has been phenomenal,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “The way he gets along with his teammates, and the positive manner he approaches every day, has been an asset in the clubhouse.”

Calhoun has made the most of his second recall from Triple-A Nashville, batting .325 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 10 games with Texas. That includes a solo homer in the eighth inning of Wednesday's nightcap that provided the only Rangers' only run of the day.

The 5-foot-8, 187-pounder said he doesn’t take any day in baseball for granted, whether he is suiting up for the Rangers or the Sounds. He hit .299 with a .432 on-base percentage in 40 games with Nashville prior to his July 25 promotion.

“As a kid, you grow up dreaming about playing professional baseball,” Calhoun said. “Every day you put on a uniform, you’re very blessed, no matter where you are. I spent a lot of time with all these guys in the offseason, so it’s easy to fit in wherever I am.”

A left-handed batter and right-handed thrower, Calhoun has reached base in 29 of his 36 total games with Texas, while hitting .291 with nine homers and 25 RBIs. His slugging percentage of .575 has been a pleasant surprise, given his stature.

Also notable, Calhoun’s exit velocity in the three upper portions of the strike zone measures 93.8, 91.9 and 91.1 mph from left to right, respectively, according to Statcast. His .429 average with runners in scoring position and two outs leads the Rangers.

“His at-bat quality is pretty good; lefty, righty, no one seems to bother him,” Woodward said. “It’s been really impressive and I’ve told him that. That kid can really swing a baseball bat. And the confidence that kid has, he believes he can hit anybody.”

Changing places

Reliever Shawn Kelley, who had been on the 10-day injured list since July 22 with right biceps soreness, was activated for the doubleheader. The right-hander joined the team in Cleveland after a Monday bullpen session in Nashville.

Kelley is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a team-high 11 saves in 32 appearances, but Woodward said he plans on keeping right-hander Jose Leclerc in the closer role at this point.

In a corresponding roster move, left-hander Locke St. John was optioned to the Sounds. The move was strictly procedural as St. John remained at Progressive Field and served as Texas’ 26th man for the second game of the traditional twin bill.

On the farm

Two Rangers on rehab assignments with Double-A Frisco made their first appearances Tuesday.

Right-hander Luke Farrell allowed two runs and struck out three in one inning and left-hander Yohander Mendez threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in the RoughRiders’ 9-3 win over Corpus Christi. Right-hander Edinson Volquez is scheduled to begin his rehab stint with the rookie-level Arizona League Rangers on Wednesday.

Quotable

“With Lance Lynn and Mike Minor, we want them to pitch as much as possible down the stretch, but we don’t want to burn them out. I don’t mind giving them an extra day between starts when the schedule allows it.” -- Woodward on rotation plans