June 17, 2024

Rangers Designate Jared Walsh For Assignment

The Rangers announced a series of roster moves this afternoon, led by the club designating first baseman Jared Walsh for assignment. Taking Walsh’s spot on the active roster will be first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, who the club has activate from the 10-day injured list. In addition, Texas announced that catcher Jonah Heim has been placed on the bereavement list, with catcher Sam Huff recalled from Triple-A to take his spot on the big league roster.

Walsh, 30, joined the Rangers on a minor league deal and his .250/.368/.458 slash line in 57 spring plate appearances impressed enough to earn the slugger a spot on Texas’s Opening Day roster when Lowe found himself sidelined by an oblique strain to open the season. It was a reasonable call for the Rangers to make at the time between Walsh’s solid showing this spring and his track record of past success for the Angels, as Walsh had posted an excellent 130 wRC+ in Anaheim across the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Angels' Jared Walsh opens up about neurological issues: 'It's been hell' -  The Athletic

Unfortunately, things haven’t gone well for Walsh since then. He hit a paltry .197/.258/.355 over his final two years with the Halos while battling thoracic outlet syndrome as well as a neurological illness that has caused him to suffer from persistent headaches and insomnia. Through 17 games with the Rangers, Walsh has looked better than he did when he posted a 33 wRC+ with the Angels last year but has nonetheless struggled to a lackluster .226/.317/.321 batting line across 60 trips to the plate in a Rangers uniform.

Of course, it’s difficult to draw significant conclusions from such a small sample size. On one hand, Walsh has posted a strong 11.7% walk rate so far this season and has an xwOBA of .324 that outstrips his .294 wOBA by 30 points, suggesting better days could be ahead for the veteran. On the other, however, Walsh’s 35% strikeout rate is nearing an untenable level and a far cry from the 24.1% rate he flashed during his peaks years with the Angels, and his meager 84 wRC+ is being floated by a .355 BABIP that clocks in more than 50 points above his career mark.

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