Willie Calhoun hopes he has played his last game as a Ranger.
Stand in line, Willie. Most Rangers fans are in front of you. And they’ve been waiting for that same outcome a long while.
Calhoun was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday as part of the MLB mandated thinning of rosters from twenty-eight to twenty-six.
Yes, it was a numbers game. He still had options. Kole Calhoun, for one, didn’t. But it was a numbers game in a different aspect as well.
These numbers: .136 batting average, .283 on-base percentage, and .556 OPS. Defenders of Willie will tell you he has a very high hard-hit rate. Yes, he was hitting the ball hard. But he is hitting into outs. Many of these analytics exist for only the player’s parents and agent. “Yes, he stinks, but he doesn’t stink nearly as bad as it seems.”
Willie Calhoun has had 927 plate appearances in a Rangers uniform. That is ample time to prove something.
What he has proved is he is not a very productive major league hitter. His career OPS+ is 86. That means he is fourteen percent worse than a league average hitter.
He is a designated hitter who cannot hit. That is as useful as a catcher who cannot catch.
This time Calhoun is blaming it on the new Rangers tandem of hitting coaches, who he says are overloading him with information he doesn’t need, as well as trying to turn him into the kind of hitter he isn’t.
But what kind of hitter is he, then? After 927 plate appearances, isn’t he the kind of hitter he has proven to be?
He may be right that this tandem hitting coach thing the Rangers are employing is confusing. It certainly doesn’t seem to be working for other Rangers either. But that is just part of a long list of Willie Calhoun excuses. He has more excuses this season than hits, of which he has but six.
So, now that Calhoun has been sent down, he has politely requested a trade.
Good luck, Willie. What team wouldn’t be clamoring for a below-average hitter who can’t field? Baltimore. Pittsburgh. Cincinnati. End of list.
After the past five seasons of futility, the Rangers desperately needed to upgrade every aspect of their roster.
It won’t be difficult upgrading this roster spot.