BY: Richard W, Humphrey
Major League rosters expand in September, and indeed baseball takes on on different tenor for the final month of the season. There is usually no shortage of bullpen arms and offensive bench hands to pinch run and hit with the enlarged rosters, so substitutions are often fast and furious. Texas added six players, and went into play in Cleveland with 30 active players on the roster.
Five of the six have seen action in a Ranger uniform earlier this year. They are pitchers Martin Perez, Yoshinori Tateyama, and Tanner Scheppers; and position players Brandon Snyder and Leonys Martin. Martin is an outfielder, while Snyder is primarily a corner infielder, though he is also an emergency catcher.
The player that will make his Major League debut when he first appears in a Ranger uniform is Jurickson Profar. With Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in the Majors, Profar is considered by many to be the best minor league prospect in baseball. He is just 19 and was the youngest player in the Texas League this summer. He has been groomed as a shortstop, but also saw signficant playing time at second base this season at AA Frisco. When teams assemble playoff rosters, they can shorten their pitching staffs with frequent travel days and utilze the roster savings for offensive specialists. Profar has good speed, so could be a candidate for the playoff rosters despite not having appeared in a game before September. Profar was not on the Rangers’ 40-man roster, so to make room minor league reliever Miguel de los Santos was designated for assignment.
In other procedural moves, reliever Robbie Ross was placed on the disabled list. This accomodated the recall of Tanner Scheppers from the minors. He was optioned to AAA Round Rock earlier this week, which requires a 10 day stay in the minor leagues, but the injury to Ross allows him to return earlier. Texas also recalled pitcher Tyler Tufts from Frisco and immediately placed him on the disabled list. Playoff rosters are supposedly limited to players on the roster on August 31, but the elgibility rules allow for the replacement of an injured player. This move effectively provides the Rangers flexibility to add a player to the playoff roster that did not appear in a game prior to September 1.
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