The news on Shin-Soo Choo's strained calf is not good: He'll be out 4-6 weeks and require a stay on the DL. The good news? The Rangers have some internal options that look very promising.
One of those options, as we mentioned here last night, is Nomar Mazara, and he has officially been called up from Triple-A Round Rock to make his Major League debut.
Mazara, not yet 21 years old, will be the youngest player in the majors. As a corner outfielder, he'll presumably slide into right field to fill Choo's vacated position. What isn't yet clear is exactly how much playing time Mazara will receive.
I've seen some speculation that the Rangers could use Mazara in some sort of platoon, and I'm just not on board with that type of thinking. That could, of course, be exactly what happens, but for my money, if you're calling up arguably your top prospect and taking him away from everyday playing time, you'd better be doing so to get him regular playing time with the big club.
Nomar Mazara, long-term, is viewed as a key cog in the Texas lineup, and I just don't see where platooning him at this point would be beneficial for his development. Then again, many of us thought that his receiving a significant portion of the 2016 season in Triple-A at-bats would be beneficial, but injuries have a way of changing things.
Furthermore, it would seem that one option would have been for the Rangers to allow Ryan Rua to take some time in right field and potentially bring Justin Ruggiano back up until Choo returns. That they elected not to go that route, instead calling up Mazara, would seem to indicate to me that the organization plans to see how well Mazara can handle a full-time -- or at least near-full-time -- role on the Major League club.
Regardless of how the Rangers use him, he's here. At least for now. And that's exciting to me. The hope would be that Mazara will fare a bit better than Joey Gallo did during his Major League stint last season, and there's reason to believe that can end up being the case. Mazara is less strikeout prone, and his swing is likely more ready to take on Major League pitching.
On defense, Mazara is probably a little less polished in the outfield than you'd like, but he's never projected to be a stellar defender. In other words, he'll likely fill Choo's defensive role nicely.
Today's opposing pitcher is Jered Weaver. Mazara will play right field and bat 2nd. For Nomar Mazara, it's time.