Rangers set MLB record for player usage in a season
Starting pitcher Holland becomes No. 60 pencilled in lineup
This was not the kind of record-setting season Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington envisioned.
When left-hander Derek Holland took the mound against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, he became the 60th player that Texas has used this year, breaking a tie with three other teams for the most in a single season in major league history.
The Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres each used 59 players in 2002, as did the Padres in 2008.
"You have to put nine guys on the field every day," Washington said, "and you have to put them out there and believe they can get the job done. We chose everything we thought could come up here and not melt down, so we've seen everything."
That turnover is a big reason why the Rangers, three years removed from back-to-back World Series trips, began the day with a 53-84 record, the fewest wins in the majors.
At times, Washington said, the Texas clubhouse has looked like Grand Central Terminal. New players are walking through the door just as others are walking out. There are days when it's become hard to remember who is still on the roster, who he can call on in the bullpen to get a key out.
In fact, the Rangers also tied the record Tuesday night for the most pitchers used in a major league season with 37, a dubious distinction that they also share with the 2002 Padres.
"You never want to be in this situation," Washington said, "believe me."
To put those numbers into perspective, the New York Yankees had used the next-most players at 53 entering their game Tuesday night.
Brewers use MLB-low 35 players
The Milwaukee Brewers had used the fewest at just 35.
"Well, you know, it all just started with injuries," Washington explained, "and then we had to start moving bodies around, and it started giving opportunities to players because of what happened to us. It's been happening all year. It just happened to be an exorbitant amount."
The Rangers have used the disabled list a league-leading 26 times, and currently have 14 on it, also the most in the majors. Many are big names that the Rangers were counting on to contend this year, including star pitcher Yu Darvish and veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Texas could put their new records far out of reach, too.
The club made a series of roster moves Tuesday that included the recall of Lisalverto Bonilla and the promotion of fellow left-hander Michael Kirkman from triple-A Round Rock. Spencer Patton, a young right-hander, is scheduled to join the club on Thursday.
None of them has appeared in a game for Texas this season.
"I know a lot more players in our organization than I would have," Washington said with a wry grin. "I mean, I knew some of them, but a lot of them came from far down in the system."
Asked whether he could list the 60 who have played for him this season, Washington balked.
"I would have to sit down here and just go deep into what's left up here," he said, tapping the side of his head, "and I probably still wouldn't come up with all of them."