Texas Rangers: Willie Calhoun breaks jaw; who’s the next man up in the outfield?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 30: Scott Heineman #16 of the Texas Rangers tosses his bat after striking out in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 30, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 30: Scott Heineman #16 of the Texas Rangers tosses his bat after striking out in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 30, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Sam Travis

Spring stats: 6-for-13, .533 OBP, 1.149 OPS, 0 HRs, 2 Ks

The Texas Rangers have tossed Sam Travis into the first base mix this spring. The 26-year-old was acquired in January from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs. Travis played 111 games for the Red Sox from 2017-2019. He started 38 games at first base and 14 games in the outfield over that span.

Texas expressed intrigue in Travis by not only trading for him but extending him a spring training invite. He’s a right-handed swinger who can hit for power. He could platoon with left-hander Ronald Guzman at 1B; he could platoon with left-handed-hitting left fielder Willie Calhoun. Of course, Travis’ effective role will be reevaluated with Calhoun sidelined for an open-ended period.

He offsets the inexperience of the other left-field candidates. Not to say Travis has notable big-league experience, but he has more than Heineman and Garcia put together. He also has experience playing at the high-pressure scene of Boston’s Fenway Park, which presents a very challenging outfield layout.

Travis fits enough needs to give him a strong chance to break camp with the Texas Rangers. His chances have grown after Sunday’s injury news.