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Rangers send Willie Calhoun down to minors


Rangers prospect Willie Calhoun hit .300/.355/.527 with 31 homers in Triple-A last year, splitting time between the Dodgers and Rangers organization after coming over in the Yu Darvish trade. After a cup of September coffee it was assumed he’d be in the mix to break camp with Texas this spring and start the season as the team’s left fielder.

Nah. The Rangers sent him down today.

Like a lot of top prospects, there is probably a service time element to all of this, in that if Calhoun stays down into May, the Rangers will gain a season of team control over him. It is said, however, that he could use some work on defense, so it’s probably not 100% service time related. I mean, yes, “he needs to work on his defense” is often an excuse used to cover for blatant service time manipulation, but from what I’ve read, it’s legitimate in Calhoun’s case too.

Either way, as he plies his trade at Round Rock, Drew Robinson and/or Ryan Rua should slot into left for the Rangers in the season’s opening weeks.

Rafael Montero to have Tommy John surgery

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Mets pitcher Rafael Montero will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Montero felt some discomfort after his latest Grapefruit League appearance. This morning he was diagnosed with a complete tear of the UCL in his right elbow. He’ll now miss all of the 2018 season and most of the first half of the 2019 season.

Montero, 27, was once a top pitching prospect. He performed swingman duties for the Mets last year, starting in 18 games and relieving in 16. He wasn’t too successful in that role — his ERA was 5.52 in 2017 — but he was battling for a spot in the Mets’ bullpen this spring.