Youth served for Rangers at home vs. Angels

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The Texas Rangers will host the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas, trying to make the most of an otherwise forgettable season.

A possible positive for the Rangers (14-27) to come out of this season is an opportunity to speed up the development process of Anderson Tejeda. The 22-year-old infielder played Class-A ball last season and was slated to spend this season in Double-A.

However, with the minor league season canceled because of COVID-19, Tejeda has gotten some major league experience he wasn’t counting on. Tejeda is primarily a shortstop but can also play second and third base. He played second base on Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a walk in Texas’ 7-1 win over the Angels.

Tejeda isn’t quite ready to take over for 12-year veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, who is still just 32 and is signed through the 2022 season. But the youngster is getting a chance to get his feet wet playing multiple positions.

In seven games, the switch-hitting Tejeda is batting .200 (4-for-20) with two home runs, one from each side of the plate.

“He’s pretty raw,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s no more than any other guy coming up from (Class) A ball. He probably would have been in Double-A this year. We kind of had a vision of maybe him being here at some point this year. He’s learning, though, man.

“One thing is, he’s eager to learn. He asks a lot of questions. He’s fearless on the baseball field. That kind of leads to success. He goes out there and lets it rip.”

The Rangers swapped players on the 10-day injured list Wednesday, activating second baseman Rougned Odor and placing injured outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on the list.

Choo’s stint on the IL is retroactive to Tuesday after he sprained his right hand in Monday night’s game.

Odor was in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game after recovering from an eye infection. Odor is batting .150 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 22 games.

Meanwhile, the Angels (17-26) are holding onto slim hopes of a playoff run, though it doesn’t seem likely. The team is looking for milestone home runs — from Albert Pujols and Anthony Rendon.

Rendon is aiming for his first home run this season away from Angel Stadium, as all eight he’s hit have come in Anaheim. However, he is credited with one “road” homer. It came last Saturday at Angel Stadium in the second game of a doubleheader against the Astros. It was considered an Astros “home” game because it was a makeup game for the one canceled Aug. 26 in Houston over concerns about Hurricane Laura.

Pujols hasn’t gone deep since Aug. 4, his career total stuck at 659, one short of tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. Pujols is getting limited opportunities of late — he’s started just four of the club’s eight games so far in September, and he hasn’t been in the lineup in either of the past two games.

“He feels like he should be out there every day, but he doesn’t let it get to him,” Rendon said. “He’s still an amazing teammate, and he still goes out there and does his work, and then he’s out there ready to play whenever he’s in the lineup.”

Pujols has played in 28 of the club’s 43 games, batting .226 with three homers, 19 RBIs and a .642 OPS.

Rookie Kyle Cody, 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA, will start for Texas, having made four appearances (one start) this season. He has allowed one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings, yielding just two hits thus far. Cody missed most of 2018 and all of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery.

Julio Teheran, 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in six games (five starts), will start for Los Angeles. He is coming off his best performance of the season, when he gave up two runs and three hits in five innings against the San Diego Padres on Sept. 2. Teheran is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts vs. Texas.

–Field Level Media

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