Notes: DeRosa's versatility adds value
Impending free agent will have several offseason options
ARLINGTON -- Mark DeRosa started at shortstop on Saturday, one of six defensive positions he has started at this season.He has started 57 games in right, 26 at second base, 20 at third base, four times at shortstop and one each at first base and left field, reinforcing his value as the ultimate utility man. He is the first Rangers player to ever start at least 20 games at three defensive positions, with at least one being in the infield and at least one in the outfield. DeRosa is also a free agent after this season, which would seem to give him some say in not only who he plays for but also at what position. His preference seems to be an infield position, but he said he doesn't mind playing the outfield and understands his value as a utilityman. So what is it going to be? "I don't want to go into free agency as a utility player," DeRosa said. "I'd like to lock in at one position, preferably an infield position, rather than have a team move me around. I have no problem moving around, it would just be nice to play one position. "But this utility position has opened doors that I've taken advantage of. The utility role has been good to me. I know if I come back here, that's a lot of what they would like me to do." DeRosa is not opposed to playing the outfield, although he has only started to play there extensively in the past two seasons. "I've gotten to like the outfield," DeRosa said. "I prefer the infield, because I feel more into the game. I like playing up the middle at second or shortstop, where I can see the catcher calling pitches and can think along with him and cheat a little but on pitches. "But I've started to enjoy the outfield. It's easier here with Gary Matthews [Jr.] playing center and covering all that ground. I spend half my time thinking about my next at-bat." The one value for the Rangers in re-signing DeRosa early in the offseason would be his versatility allows them to explore different avenues toward improving the club. "That's fine," DeRosa said. "I don't have any problem with that. That was my job coming into this season and my job the last three or four years. It's gotten to me to this point. I'm well aware that's going to be a lot of teams' angle." Arias getting callup: General manager Jon Daniels said Triple-A Oklahoma shortstop Joaquin Arias will be among those called up from the Redhawks after their season comes to an end on Monday. Arias, 21, who has an outstanding reputation as a defensive player, went into Saturday's game hitting .262 with a .291 on-base percentage. In 121 games and 478 at-bats, he has 13 doubles, 10 triples and four home runs. Daniels said the Rangers want Arias to experience life in the Major Leagues, but his playing time will be limited with Michael Young at shortstop. "We have one of the best shortstops in the game for next year and hopefully for the extended future," Daniels said. "We have our shortstop. I don't want to get that message mixed. We just want [Arias] to experience this atmosphere. There won't be a whole lot of on-field evaluation." Daniels said the Rangers have not talked about a position change for Young or Arias. The Rangers also have no inclination toward rushing Arias to the big leagues, and he could easily play another season at Triple-A while he develops his offense. "This is his first year on the [40-man roster]," Daniels said. "He's 21 years old. We've got plenty of time. He's going to play winter ball. We're very happy with his development. There's no timetable." As far as a position change for Arias, Daniels said, "Probably not. A lot of his value is at shortstop. We're not faced with that decision yet." Daniels said the Rangers aren't planning on calling up left-hander John Danks, their No. 1 pick from the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Rheinecker expected next: The Rangers are expected to add left-hander John Rheinecker to their roster on Sunday. Rheinecker, who has made 13 starts for the Rangers this year, is expected to work out of the bullpen. Manager Buck Showalter said he expects to stick with the five starters he has now -- Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Adam Eaton, Robinson Tejeda and Edinson Volquez -- for the rest of the season. The only concession would be to use an off-day to give Volquez extra rest and push him back in the rotation. All other callups, including Arias, are expected to wait until Tuesday. The Rangers haven't made a final decision, but pitcher Nick Masset seems to be a certainty. Outfielder Jason Botts and pitcher Frank Francisco are also candidates, and the Rangers want to add a third catcher, either Miguel Ojeda or Jamie Burke. DeRosa, others honored: DeRosa has been selected as the Rangers' Player of the Month for August, the second time he has won the monthly award. DeRosa, who was also selected in June, batted .327 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in August. He was the American League Player of the Week for Aug. 7-13. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. was the Rangers' Minor League Player of the Month after hitting .330 with nine doubles, five home runs, 21 runs and 20 RBIs for Class A Clinton. Pitcher Daniel Herrera, a 45th round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, was the Pitcher of the Month after going 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA and one save for Class A Bakersfield. Briefly: The Rangers Foundation presented Feed The Children a check for $13,515 from the proceeds of the MercyMe pregame concert on The Patio. ... Pitcher Scott Feldman's appeal on his six-game suspension is scheduled to be heard on Sept. 15, making it likely that he'll be able to serve the suspension before the season is over. ... Gerald Laird started for the second straight game at catcher on Saturday, but Rod Barajas is expected to start on Sunday and Monday. Laird's playing time has been increasing, but Showalter said, "We're not going to forget about either one of them." Coming up: Right-hander Kevin Millwood pitches at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians at Ameriquest Field in Arlington. Right-hander Paul Byrd pitches for the Indians.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.