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Kevin Kouzmanoff, 2014 Texas Rangers
With the uncertainty surrounding Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's quadriceps injury and the likelihood seemingly increasing that he hits the disabled list, the Rangers made what could be a proactive move on Wednesday calling up veteran Kevin Kouzmanoff from Triple-A Round Rock to be a possible replacement for Beltre.
While it's virtually impossible to replace Beltre, Kouzmanoff is a nice story as he got a pinch-hit single late in Wednesday's game against the Red Sox — his first major-league appearance since 2011, when he played in 46 games with the Oakland A's and 27 games with the Colorado Rockies.
His career-best season came in 2008 when he hit .260 with 23 homers and 84 RBIs for the San Diego Padres. He was brought into Rangers camp on a minor-league deal and tore up everything he saw in spring training. He hit .370 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 27 Cactus League games and had earned a spot on the Rangers' roster but was a casualty of needs elsewhere on the diamond than the corner infield spots.
Now, he's needed, and the Rangers didn't waste any time calling him up. He spent most of Wednesday on a flight to Boston before the Rangers' afternoon series finale at Fenway, so it would've been hard to imagine him starting the game, but he did get in a pinch hit late.
With the off-day on Thursday before starting a 10-game homestand against the Astros, the Rangers hope Beltre is back in the lineup on Friday. That doesn't seem likely, however, and if he's not look for Kouzmanoff to draw the start at third over Josh Wilson.