The surprising, overachieving team is back. The team that has offense up and down the lineup is back. And Willie Calhoun is back.
Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
Playing left field with a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder, Calhoun made the most of his first start since he was headscratchingly demoted for being better than more favored Rangers.
He sparked the Rangers rally by going 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, scoring two, and driving in two.
The Rangers have shown Calhoun all the respect of a red-headed stepchild. As Evan Grant pointed out, they recalled Calhoun on Thursday and the first thing manager Chris Woodward said was, “I want to see him play.”
Then he sat him that game.
With Joey Gallo lost for the foreseeable future, Calhoun should get significant playing time to see, once and for all, what he can do.
Should. That is the key word there.
Only Santana and Pence have higher batting averages. His OPS is neck and neck with Choo’s (.869 to .866), who is fourth best on the team. He has struck out only 19 times in 103 plate appearances.
So, let’s see what Calhoun can do. He is here. Play him. Let him win a few more games for the Rangers before sending him back.
Adrian Sampson (6-7, 5.19) vs. Homer Bailey (8-7, 5.42)
Game time: 8:07