Here we are on Easter weekend, 17 games into the young 2014 season, and the big story in the Rangers organization revolves around Jim Adduci’s pinky finger.
Adduci, who made his first start of the season Friday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left pinky finger. Adduci injured the finger sliding into second base Friday night in a 12-0 win over the White Sox.
“I’ve been in this situation before where I’ve had injuries,” Adduci said. “You just try to take a positive. I can still run and do other things, so I can still stay in shape and be ready to go when I come off.”
With Adduci’s pinky finger out of commission, though, a Major League dream comes true for Luis Sardiñas, the 20-year-old infielder who was called up to fill Adduci’s roster spot.
“It’s a big thing for me and for my family,” Sardiñas said. “My family is so excited.”
He said he was surprised that the promotion happened so early in the season. He got a call earlier Saturday and was told to make the trip to Arlington, where a locker with his nameplate was waiting. Sardiñas will wear no. 3, but his jersey wasn’t even ready when he arrived.
While the call-up may have been a surprise, it didn’t take Luis long to look like part of the Big League squad. He was laughing with his fellow middle infielders during batting practice, yelling across the field to his teammates in his native Spanish.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus said he has a strong relationship with Sardiñas, as the players from Venezuela in the organization spend time getting to know each other each year.
“He’s a good kid. He’s a great guy to work with,” Andrus said. “He’s willing to learn and has a nice work ethic at a young age. It’s nice when you have a guy with that much talent but at the same time is willing to learn.”
Andrus, starting pitcher Martin Perez, and catcher Robinson Chirinos are the other Venezuelan players on the Rangers’ Major League roster.
Sardiñas was the only healthy position player left on the Rangers' 40-man roster. His stay in Major League Baseball may be a short one, as Adrian Beltre’s return from the disabled list is just five days away. But in the meantime, the Rangers can expect to see an enthusiastic player enjoying his first stint in the Show.
“He’s young, so he’s going to bring a lot of energy,” Andrus said. “That’s something you always want in a guy that’s coming up from triple-A or double-A, that energy and that willingness to do anything to win.”
Manager Ron Washington said Sardiñas’s role will be to do whatever the team asks him to do, and that he would let the game dictate what that will be. Sardiñas is a switch-hitter, and has a lot of speed on the basepaths.
“It’s going to be the same role,” Sardiñas said. “Get on base and help the team win, that’s what’s most important. At this level winning is most important, no matter what.”
Adduci’s injury puts the Rangers’ disabled list count at double digits. They lead the majors with 10 men on the DL (five on the 15-day DL, five on the 60-day DL). But Washington said injuries are something teams will go through, and it has shown a strength of this team.
“Our depth has shown and has been able to keep us moving forward. I think the organization and the players that are having to step into some of these situations deserve a lot of credit,” he said.
Sardiñas is the next name on the list of such players. And although his on-the-field contribution could be limited in what could be just a five-day stint with Texas, it surely won’t be his last time spent with the Big League club.
“He really wanted to get here and he did. I’m really happy for him,” Andrus said of his fellow countryman. “It’s a dream come true for him and hopefully he can have a long career.”
For a little bit of background on Sardiñas, read Kate Morrison’s prospect profile on him. Sardiñas made the no. 7 spot on her top prospect countdown this year.