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Solak contributes in Rangers' 8-7 walk-off win against Angels

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A warning to those pining to see Rougned Odor riding the pine: Nick Solak did not become the Texas Rangers' second baseman Wednesday.

Oh, he was their second baseman in the finale of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, and Odor was on the bench for only the second time since the All-Star break.

Odor will return to his position Thursday after a day off that was planned before Solak was promoted Tuesday for his MLB debut. Solak, meanwhile, will happily do what he's told until he has more notches on his big league belt.

But as was evident in the doubleheader Tuesday, change is afoot with the Rangers. It has been since Aug. 1, when Asdrubal Cabrera and Tim Federowicz were cut loose and four players were promoted Aug. 2 from the minors.

Now, though, the Rangers are moving with more urgency in their desire to evaluate young players. They still have nine games to play before rosters expand Sept. 1 and even more players will be added.

Accommodating all of them will require the players who have been around all season, like Odor and Shin-Soo Choo, to see their playing time shrink. Hunter Pence, an All-Star, has already seen that, and so will one of the Rangers' other All-Stars, Mike Minor.

 

Yes, Minor and Lance Lynn, the two best starting pitchers all season, could see a reduction in starts over the final month.

That's life on a team already planning for its next season.

"They understand," manager Chris Woodward said. "They understand. They're still playing. Their sacrifice this year has been off the field. They've done so much. They all want to play, but they're also seeing our younger guys take that next step in their development."

Solak made an impact again in his third career game, an 8-7 walk-off win, by doubling twice and driving in a run. He also scored twice on RBI hits by Delino DeShields.

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