When Nick Tepesch gets called up from Triple-A Round Rock today to make his major-league debut as the Texas Rangers' fifth starter tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rangers will have to cut someone from their 25-man roster.
Looking at the roster, there are pretty much two viable candidates to exit: struggling rookie Leonys Martin or longtime up-and-down centerfielder Julio Borbon. Members of the Rangers' front office have scoffed at the suggestion of sending Martin down after his 1-for-13 start, so that leaves Borbon.
Borbon was actually the club's Opening Day centerfielder in both World Series seasons (2010 and 2011) after emerging on to the scene in late 2009 when he hit .312 with four home runs, 20 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in just 46 games.
Since then, it's been all downhill for Borbon, who has gone back and forth between Arlington and Round Rock, spending most of his time in Triple-A as he got pushed out of the picture by Craig Gentry and the signing of Martin. Borbon now seems to be OK with the writing on the wall and is ready to move on.
The Rangers will designate him for assignment, which then allows 10 days for the Rangers to either trade Borbon or put him on waivers, as he's out of minor-league options. If put on waivers, Borbon could be picked up by any club at no cost. If he's not picked up he could be optioned back to Triple-A, but it seems likely someone would pick him up as many teams have reportedly shown interest.
“I’m excited for what’s coming,” Borbon told the Star-Telegram on Monday. “I don’t know what it is, but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. … I’m happy here today, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Sounds like a solid business-like approach from a by-all-accounts good teammate and solid guy. Borbon clearly has the talent to play in the bigs, he just hasn't had the consistent playing time go be able to show it as he couldn't hold off Gentry or Martin. But not every club has two highly thought of options in center, and Borbon will make a big-league roster soon.