Kevin Kouzmanoff is taking Adrian Beltre’s place once again.
Beltre has been activated from the 15-day DL and is eligible to make his first start since April 8 Friday night in Seattle. Kouzmanoff, who has filled in for Beltre for the last 13 games, will replace Beltre on the DL with a herniated disc in his back.
Kouzmanoff left Tuesday’s game in Oakland with tightness in his back, and manager Ron Washington originally prognosticated that it would not be serious, attributing it more to a chilly night in California. However, with the diagnosis of a hernaited L5-S1 disc in his lower back, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that it “hasn’t been determined” if the 32-year-old will need surgery.
Kouzmanoff hit .362 with two home runs and 10 RBI, hitting safely in his first 10 games as a Ranger and 11 of 13 overall before being sidelined by the back injury. He was named AL Player of the Week for the week ending April 20.
Even with impressive numbers, he’s clearly the second-best option at third base to Beltre. The club would have been faced with a challenge to get Kouz at-bats, as he has never played a position other than third base in the majors, and the Ranger designated hitters are hitting .341 and slugging .524 this year.
Kouzmanoff is the 13th Ranger to hit the DL this year, and is part of a group of 11 currently residing on that list. While there is no immediate concern with the starting third base job, Kouzmanoff’s bat is something the team will miss for whatever length of time he is unavailable.
Josh Wilson filled in for Kouzmanoff this week, and would be the likely solution should Beltre be sidelined again for any reason.
Our minor league beat writer Kate Morrison points out a more drastic solution to the lack of third base depth on the Big League squad.
Well, we're terrifyingly close to "Ryan Rua, major league third baseman," I guess.— Kate Morrison (@unlikelyfanatic) April 25, 2014
Noesi claimed by Sox
Hector Noesi, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday, was claimed off waivers Friday by the Chicago White Sox. Noesi was acquired from Seattle for cash considerations on April 12 and made three relief appearances with Texas.
The Rangers have a full 40-man roster with Friday’s moves.