As soon as Alex Rios left Sunday's game in Houston after sliding into home and spraining his ankle, the Texas Rangers' chances of dealing the veteran right fielder in a waiver move were pretty much disintegrated.
Rios cleared waivers late last week, meaning he can be dealt to any team over the course of the next few weeks before rosters expand on Sept. 1, and Rios would make a nice addition to a contending team despite his massive downturn in the power department this year.
Not only is the injury hurting the Rangers in that regard, further draining his trade value, it's also hurting them on the field, which is far less important at this point in what has become a lost season.
With Rios out of the lineup, the Rangers are turning to guys like Mike Carp hitting high in the Rangers' lineup, which is an awful thing. The injury has allowed Shin-Soo Choo, who's nursing a nagging ankle injury of his own, to play his natural position of right field, where he could move next season if Rios is traded this year or bought out for $1 million this winter.
Rios is batting .293 with a league-high eight triples, but he has just four homers and 46 RBIs in his 112 games. Since the initial ankle sprain in Toronto when the Rangers came out of the all-star break, Rios' numbers have dipped after he was above the .300 mark for basically the entire season.
After missing Monday and Tuesday, manager Ron Washington hinted that Rios would likely return for Wednesday's game prior to Tuesday's win.