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.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.