Signs Pointing to Stubbs Making Roster

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There has been talk recently that the Rangers might go with a short three-man bench and carry an eighth bullpen arm, at least for the first month of the season, when they must cut their roster to 25 people for Opening Day.

But signs this weekend seem to point to the fact that they might opt to go with the more standard four-man bench and seven pitchers in the bullpen.

As Evan Grant wrote in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, the fact the Rangers reassigned James Jones to minor-league camp leaves Drew Stubbs as the only bench option the Rangers have that could be seen as a speed/defense reserve.

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There has to be a backup catcher and a fifth infielder, and the likely result if Stubbs is carried as part of a four-man bench would be to add him to the aforementioned spots and the versatile Ryan Rua, who is more a bench bat than a defense or running option.

Stubbs is perfect on steal attempts in spring training and made his way on to the Rangers' 2015 highlight video with his spectacular catch up against the center field wall in a win over Detroit in the season's final week.

"I think it's necessary," Banister told reporters of having a speed option on the bench. "I believe late in games, you may have to run for the catcher or the first baseman. A guy like that lets you create against the kinds of pitchers you face in late innings that don't usually give you much of an opportunity."

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