Texas Rangers: 3 position battles to track before Opening Day

Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Here are three position battles all Texas Rangers should be watching closely…

With Opening Day right around the corner for the Texas Rangers, there are still a few position battles that are still being ironed out within the organization.

Opening Day for the Texas Rangers is going to be this Friday, and even with the start of the new season so close, there are still some position battles going on because of injuries and last minute pushes from players.

Texas Rangers: Corner Infielder

To kick things off, there is an interesting battle happening for the corner infield spot for the club. Todd Frazier is going to be a lock to play one of the two spots, for at least the majority of this season. The rest depends on who wins the ongoing battle between Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ronald Guzman.

Kiner-Falefa has been terrific in camp for the Texas Rangers, and even played well dating back to Spring Training. It seems like he has started to gain the edge over Guzman for the starting job, which would mean Kiner-Falefa would be the Opening Day third baseman, while Frazier would be the Opening Day first baseman.

It seems likely that Guzman will still be on the Opening Day roster, but probably as a late-inning defensive replacement for Kiner-Falefa, which would cause Frazier to move over to third (similar to Craig Gentry back in the day).

Texas Rangers: Left Field

With Willie Calhoun suffering an injury last week, he is expected to be out the first few games of the season for the Texas Rangers, which likely opens up a spot for Nick Solak to take.

Although it seems pretty cut and dry that Solak will be the Opening Day left fielder for the Texas Rangers, manager Chris Woodward could go with a different look and maybe throw out Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo, Danny Santana, Scott Heineman, and Leody Taveras have a shot at garnering the Opening Day start.

Still, the most likely option to be the starting left fielder from the group, in my opinion, is going to be Nick Solak.

Texas Rangers: Utility Outfielder

While the Texas Rangers could very well carry two outfielders into the season, they will likely use one as the primary utility guy, and it has been a very good battle between Scott Heineman and Leody Taveras.

Heineman was subpar in his first MLB chances in 2019, but he looked really good in the spring, and has continued to look good in camp. Heineman has likely secured a spot on the Opening Day roster, and probably has the upper hand as the primary utility outfielder.

On the other hand, Taveras, who turns 22 later this year, has been the golden prospect for the Texas Rangers for about five years now, and has taken a huge leap towards the majors since the start of the 2019 season.

He is going to be a terrific defensive player, which will probably help earn him a spot on the roster this season, and he could find himself in a role similar to what I am expecting Ronald Guzman to have for the year, as a late-inning defensive replacement player. It seems even more likely that this may happen since there is not going to be any minor league baseball this season.

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Opening Day Information

Opening Day at the new Globe Life Field (with no fans) is going to take place on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 CST. Oddly enough, texasrangers.com has not posted where you can watch or listen to the game on TV or radio, although I would assume that the game will be on Fox Sports Southwest, and almost guarantee that the DFW radio broadcast can be heard on 105.3 the Fan.

The first game against an opponent other than themselves for the Texas Rangers can be seen on Tuesday on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:05 CST, and can also be heard on 1080 KRLD.

I don’t know about the rest of you readers, but I am PUMPED for baseball coming back this week! And on top of that, we will be getting meaningful basketball games for the Mavs from Disney World shortly after! August is going to be a fun month of sports!