Willie Calhoun finally worked his way into being a main staple in the Texas Rangers lineup. But after fracturing his forearm when he was hit by pitch in Saturday’s game, he adds to a long list of unfortunate injuries he has suffered early on in his career.
This is the second time a hit by pitch will cause Calhoun to miss significant time. On March 8, 2020, he was hit in the jaw by a Julio Urias fastball in one of the final spring training games of the season.
That seemed to start a string of injuries in 2020 for Calhoun. Even with the start date of the season being pushed back due to COVID, he missed the beginning of the year with a hip flexor and would also miss most of the month of August with a hamstring injury.
He finished the 2020 season with a .190 batting average in only 29 games with just 13 RBI and one home run.
A groin strain caused Calhoun to miss the start of this season, so many feared the deja vu scenario of another slow year could be in the cards for Calhoun. This was not the case though, as he had earned a consistent role in the starting lineup with his play this season.
There is never a good time for injury, and Calhoun was playing some of his best baseball of the season before he went down. In the seven games prior, he was batting .375 with a .438 slugging percentage and scored three runs.
Calhoun underwent surgery to repair the fractured ulna bone in his left arm on Tuesday. And while the Rangers have no timetable for his return, he appears to be in good spirits as he is hopeful to return before the end of the season.
The Rangers are in rebuild mode and Calhoun is going to be one of the most important pieces in getting the team back into playoff contention. They acquired him a few years ago in a deal that sent Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In years prior, the Rangers had too many options and not enough lineup spots, which many times left Calhoun as the odd man out of the starting lineup. He made the most of his opportunity this season, and will look to continue his strong play when he returns to the team as well as into next season.
Demarcus Evans and Jason Martin forced their way onto the Texas Rangers’ big league roster after dominating during their first few weeks of the minor league season.
Now, they’ll look to prove they belong after a few injuries will give them a chance at earning major playing time.
These two MLBbros will have to answer to high expectations from Rangers’ fans. Both were called up from Triple-A last week after the team lost pitcher Kyle Gibson and outfielder David Dahl.
Black Arm On The Rise
Evans literally started his career off with a bang in September of 2020. He gave up home run number 662 to the great Albert Pujols and then beaned fellow MLBbro Justin Upton in the head before retiring the sides. He didn’t give up another run that season in four total innings pitched.
So far this season, he’s duplicated his 2020 stats, allowing one run in his four innings of work, while his strikeouts have increased. And he will have many more innings pitched this season if he continues to deal.
Evans has been schooling his opponents since being drafted out of Petal High School in Petal, Mississippi in the 25th round of the 2015 draft.
He was named the Rangers 2018 minor league Reliever of the Year after going 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA while striking out 103 batters in just 56 innings for the Hickory Crawdads in Class A South Atlantic League.
In 2019, he was called up to Double-A to play for the Frisco Roughriders. There, he went 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 60 strikeouts in just under 38 innings. That earned him the 2019 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year award as well as winning the Rangers minor league Reliever of the Year award for the second season in a row.
Evans is an MLBbro that’s on the verge of breaking out.
Jason Martin Is Up Next
To keep it simple, if Jason Martin can hit, Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward will have no problem keeping him in the lineup. And really, Martin’s been mashing since Spring Training.
He continued to punish baseballs in the 15 games he spent in Triple-A Round Rock. Martin hit seven home runs and drove in 16 runs while having a .755 slugging percentage and.413 on base percentage.
Martin originally was drafted by the Rangers’ Silver Boot Rival Houston Astros in the 8th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. During the 2018 offseason, he was involved in the trade package that sent him and a few others to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gerrit Cole.
Jason made his Major League debut for the Pirates on April 5, 2019. He singled in his first career at-bat and with his performance in that game joined Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata as the only Pirates since 1948 to record a hit, a run and steal a base in their Major League debut.
After shoulder surgery held him to only appearing in seven games in 2020, Martin became a free agent and signed with the Rangers on December 14th, 2020. He recorded his first hit and stolen base of the season while pinch-hitting in the 8th inning of Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Mariners.
With Dahl out for the foreseeable future and Kris “Krush” Davis struggling early, Martin can earn a spot on a Rangers’ roster that is full of young yet unestablished talent.
Evans and Martin join California-born left fielder Willie Calhoun, flame-throwing reliever Taylor Hearn and Davis as MLBbros on the active roster for Texas.
You can watch them this week play a three-game set against interleague rivals, the Colorado Rockies.
Baseball is a game of streaks. Over the course of the season, each player is hoping to put together more good ones than bad ones.
And the bad ones do come, even for the best of the best. Who’s hot and who’s not across MLB? Let’s take a closer look.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Ever since our own Rob Parker called out Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ behemoth has been ripping the cover off of the baseball.
Judge entered Monday night’s game with the Texas Rangers hitting a ridiculous .571, with 12 hits in his previous 21 at-bats. Over his last six games, he hit five home runs and pushed the Yankees to a 4-2 record. Judge sent four fans home with souvenirs during New York’s most recent three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and secured AL Player of the Week honors.
The rest of his numbers are just as impressive. The Judge laid down the law, scoring eight runs and driving in six while striking out only once. His 1.973 OPS topped all hitters in that time.
With these breakout performances, Judge raised his season batting average from .245 to .298, his slugging percentage from .352 to .399, and his OPS from .824 to 1.009. HE also garnered
The Rangers silenced him in a 5-2 win, but if this is the Aaron Judge that the Yankees get for the rest of the regular season, he could be in real contention for the AL Most Valuable Player award for the first time since 2017.
Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox
No one in Major League Baseball is hitting the ball better than Tim Anderson. Anderson extended his hitting streak to 12 games as the ChiSox battered the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Monday. After going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, Anderson is hitting .448 during his streak. He’s had multiple hits in seven of those games.
It’s no coincidence that the White Sox began winning games once Anderson got back to playing like the Silver Slugger award winner he was in 2020.
Chicago is 17-7 over its last 24 games and sits on top of the AL Central standings. Anderson has 34 hits in those games, with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and 20 runs scored. Only Yordan Alveraz and Josh Rojas have higher batting averages over the last month. Tim also ranks third in MLB in hits and stolen bases in that span.
What happened to Jackie Bradley Jr.? It seemed like he was beginning to turn his career around last season in Boston. He set career highs in batting average (.283) and OBP (.364). His slugging percentage was its highest since 2016 when Jackie made his only All-Star Game appearance.
However, this season his stick has fallen off a cliff.
His batting average has done a complete 180. Actually, Jackie’s looking up at 180. His .153 mark at the plate is the worst of his career, as is his .229 on base percentage. He did hit one offensive milestone in May.
The rest of the month has been a disaster with Bradley posting just two hits. He’s gone hitless in each of his last six games. The two hits this month also equals the total number of multi-hit games he has this season. And over the last 30 days, his batting average has fallen nearly 100 points.
Whatever your faith is, light a candle for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers
With parts of five seasons under his belt, Willie Calhoun is trying to stick with the Rangers this year. He hasn’t played in more than 83 games in any season since making his debut in 2017. Nothing has been a bigger factor in that than his inconsistent hitting.
Calhoun has been better in 2021, hitting .278 entering Monday’s games. He seems to have broken out of a slump with a homer and two hits on Monday, but this past week, as Texas ran off six straight losses, Calhoun once again hit a rut.
In five games since May 10, he was 1-for-18 with three strikeouts. His only hit was a solo home run in a one-run loss to the Houston Astros.
Considering his play earlier this season, however, he seems to be trending in the right direction overall. It certainly looked that way when he took Gerritt Cole deep over the centerfield wall to help the Rangers snap that losing streak.
ARLINGTON,TX — Willie Calhoun has found his groove during his current nine-game hitting streak.
Calhoun, an MLBbro, who was the prize acquisition in the trade that sent ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers, will be an important part of the success of Texas, both now and in the future.
It’s that time of year in Texas and the 26-year-old Calhoun is the heating up along with the weather.
He extended his career-long streak with a 2-4 performance against the Boston Red Sox.
During the streak Calhoun is 13-for-36 with a .361 batting average with two home runs, four RBI and seven runs scored.
When Calhoun joined the Rangers, they were right on the brink of being contenders, so losing Darvish, one of the best pitchers the team had since Nolan Ryan, was questionable to some.
Calhoun was a magician with the bat, as he was one of the best minor league hitters in all of baseball and one of the top prospects in the Dodgers organization.
He was drafted by L.A. in the 4th round of the 2015 MLB draft out of Yavapai College.
Calhoun chose to go to college even after the Rays selected him late in the 2013 draft.
In 2016 he was picked to be a part of team USA for the All Star Futures game. That season he hit .254 with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs for the Tulsa Drillers. He would then go on to win MVP of a Fall Stars game after going 3-3 with a home run against many of the game’s top prospects.
In his short time with the Rangers, Calhoun’s career has seen many highs and lows.
He made his major league debut for the team on September 12 of 2017. In 13 games he hit .265 with a .353 slugging percentage to go along with four RBI’s and one home run.
He spent most of 2018 and part of 2019 in the minor leagues as it was tough to get Calhoun to be a consistent part of the Rangers lineup.
It wasn’t until Elvis Andrus suffered an injury in 2019 that Willie was called up. However, an injury plus the addition of Hunter Pence saw Willie moving up and down many times that season as well. This despite hitting .269 with 21 home runs and 48 RBIs in just 83 games.
We all say 2020 is a year we want to throw away; and injuries tried to ruin Calhoun.
On March 20, he was hit in the jaw by a Julio Urias fastball during one of the last spring training games of the year.
He then missed the official start to last season with a strained hip flexor and then was sidelined for the month of August with a hamstring injury.
He began this season on the Injured List with a groin strain. Since his return, Willie looks like he is on a mission.
Saturday night he went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and a go-ahead two-run home in the sixth inning on the first pitch of his at bat.
This was the second straight Saturday Calhoun had a go-ahead or game-tying home run as his ninth inning home run in Chicago off closer Liam Hendricks.
Sunday also makes six straight game in which Willie has gotten a hit while in the leadoff spot.
He’ll look to extend his streak tomorrow as the Rangers travel to Minnesota to face the Twins and American League MVP candidate and MLB Bro Byron Buxton.