ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have activated Hunter Pence from the injured list after he missed 23 games and his chance to start in the All-Star Game.
Pence, out since June 17 with a right groin strain, was activated before Tuesday night’s game against Arizona. He was set to bat third as the designated hitter.
Outfielder Willie Calhoun was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. The Rangers also selected the contract of right-hander Taylor Guerrieri from Nashville after left-hander Jesse Biddle was placed on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder fatigue.
Pence hit .294 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs in his 55 games before getting hurt. He was voted by fans as the American League’s starting designated hitter, but couldn’t play in last week’s game while still recovering from his injury.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Pence would only be the DH for at least a week.
Calhoun, who started 17 games while Pence was out, has hit .277 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 26 games overall this season.
“I’m literally speechless,” said Calhoun, who was Texas’ primary acquisition in the trade that sent pitcher Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2017.
“I helped the team win. I don’t know what else I would have done. At the end of the day, if that’s what they want to do, if me helping the team win is me playing in Nashville, then I guess I’m going to have to play every day in Nashville.”
Woodward said Calhoun was told that with Pence’s return the club didn’t want to keep seven outfielders.
“It was a tough one,” Woodward said. “It kept us up. He really has done everything to stay here.”