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Willie Calhoun: Starting season at Triple-A was “a slap in the face”

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Outfielder Willie Calhoun is listed as the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect and No. 53 overall in baseball. He handled Triple-A really well, batting a composite .300/.355/.572 with 31 home runs and 93 RBI in 534 plate appearances with Oklahoma City (Dodgers) and Round Rock (Rangers).

Calhoun, 23, did struggle in his cup of coffee in the majors last September, batting .265/.324/.353 in 37 plate appearances. He also didn’t have the most impressive spring, batting .243/.282/.324 in 39 PA. But, as MiLB.com’s Gerard Gilberto reports, Calhoun felt that was “a slap in the face” for the Rangers to have him start the 2018 season at Triple-A instead of in the majors.

Of course, service time was the main factor behind that. As mentioned in this post on the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, once the schedule reaches a certain point in April, teams are assured of an extra year of contractual control over a player who has yet to accrue major league service time. The Rangers would like that extra year of control, of course.

Calhoun said, “I was really mad, just because I felt like I had nothing else to prove here at Triple-A. When you hear that you’re going back to a league after you had such a good year like that … I just kind of felt like it was a slap in the face.”

Calhoun has struggled to begin his 2018 campaign at Round Rock. Entering Sunday, he was batting .256/.275/.359 in 40 PA. But, in what was perhaps a sign he’s breaking out of his slump, Calhoun registered three hits and three RBI on Saturday, extending his hitting streak to six games.

Yu Darvish lands on 10-day disabled list again with triceps tendinitis

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Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.

Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.

The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.