After a month grace period to start the season after a closure and a short spring, MLB teams must trim their rosters this week from 28 players to 26. Notice He made a number of roster transfers on Sunday, including a somewhat unexpected move: Willie Calhoun Selected on Triple-A Round Rock.
Calhoun indicated in remarks made by phone on Sunday afternoon that he would welcome the trade.
“(I) am going to Triple A and putting myself in a position to trade,” Calhoun said. “I want to be traded.”
It’s not uncommon to see a hitter with a 136-batting average selected for Triple A. But with Calhoun, there’s definitely more context. Not only did the early season peripherals suggest he was hitting the ball hard with poor results, but Calhoun’s nearly entire tenure with Rangers was fraught with doubts.
When the Rangers trade yo darwish to me Los Angeles Dodgers In 2017, Calhoun topped the comeback pack that also included bowler AJ Alexy and player Brendon Davis. At the time, Calhoun was hitting .298/.358/.574 (.931 OPS) for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, with 23 hits in 99 games. By the end of the season, he had made his big league debut, and things were looking young.
It’s been a rocky road ever since.
In 2018, Calhoun was among the first cuts during spring training. he is confessed later That this demotion was frustrating, but inappropriate, is lost 24 pounds And he retooled his routine in an effort to create the major leagues. He. She It wasn’t enough To get a place in the opening day list, he needed Two days to come to terms with the decision. In July, after returning to the major leagues, he was Drop his rank again, but by the end of the season, he had a respectable streak of .269/.323/.524 (.848) with 21 home runs in 83 games. With 2020, it was so ready to do Opening day list.
Then a fast ball break his jaw, which took time to overcome, both physically and mentally while facing left-handed shooters. By the end of last season, after a hamstring problem limited his playing time on return, his future with the club was beginning to Enter into the question.
Now it seems that his departure has become more inevitable. On Sunday, after Rangers’ 7-3 victory over braveCalhoun – who didn’t play Saturday or Sunday and was mired in a 0-for-11 slump – was demoted to Triple A in favor of Zach Rexwho went 2 vs 5 in both games.
“Early on, I felt like what we were seeing was good; he was heading in the right direction,” manager Chris Woodward said after the game. It is clear that he is still walking and not chasing; Some of the peripherals were fine. But the swing itself – we asked him to work a little more vertical with his swing. I don’t want to be too technical, but some old swings come up a lot, especially on the pitches in the heart of the board.
“At the moment, we don’t view this as a proven long-term solution,” Woodward continued. “That’s what we feel is best for Willie and the team. …But Willie needs action – I wouldn’t say a big change. But he should have a little more understanding of how the genre works best for him. I hope he takes the plan we have for him, and descends, and will become firm in blows.”
“I feel like my entire career has been in a recurring cycle,” Calhoun said over the phone. He recalled his time at the University of Arizona, where he struggled for a .700 OPS his first year. When it finally came out—“somewhere I wanted to be”—the .432 arrived with a 1.472 OPS at Yavapai College. The Dodgers picked him up in the fourth round.
As for his dissatisfaction with the current season, Calhoun says it’s not just about the collective frustration caused by years of setbacks. He thinks the Rangers are asking him to be a different kind of hitter than he sees himself.
“I don’t agree with some of the striking philosophies of the new players,” Calhoun volunteered, saying he doesn’t see eye to eye with hitting coaches. “I don’t process this (information) very well. I’m not 6-4, 230 pounds; I can’t run home pop-ups. I don’t have that clout.”
Calhoun noted that when he was in the minor leagues with the Dodgers, he was a “man in the line of command/doubles” but as part of that profile he hit a fair number of ground balls along with the drag – something that Woodward specifically addressed when explaining the decision the team. “Then I got here, and they wanted me to start shooting it. That’s what I was in the minor leagues. They knew it, but they thought they could turn me into a (power) guy.”
Another topic for discussion was bad luck Calhoun earlier in the year, and Its ability to reach the base by walkingEven when the blows don’t fall. Calhoun has more walks (8) than hits (6) this season, and insists he believes he can maintain that aspect over the course of an entire season.
“I know I can become a 300 hitter,” Calhoun said. “He’ll be in a different outfit, for sure… I don’t know if I’ll play another match in the Rangers outfit. And I tell them that.”
Then he referred to the situation at the University of Arizona again.
“I feel it’s the same situation,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to go out for the last year, the year and a half. I feel like I need a change of scenery.”
He said he shared those sentiments with the team as part of a conversation on Sunday to inform him of his demotion.
“We look forward to Willie’s continuing,” General Manager Chris Young said via text message when contacted for comment. “The game is about performance. If he comes out and performs at a high level, there will be a chance for him.”
For now, Calhoun’s change of scene will be a diversion from Philadelphia — where the big league team’s trip heads — to Reno, where the Express will start a six-game streak on Monday. will join Sam HuffAnd Colby Allard And Josh Spurs – All option also on Sunday.
(Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)