Longshot Tobin Makes Rangers' Roster
ARLINGTON — Even though he was a Rule 5 pick, righthander Mason Tobin was a longshot to make the Rangers' Opening Day roster.
Tobin, who was originally a 16th-round pick out of Everett (Wash.) CC in 2007, has a resume that includes three elbow surgeries in two years, never pitching above high Class A, and not pitching in a regular-season game at any level in almost two years.
"I might have been dead last," the righthander said of his chances of making the club over the other 55 players in big league camp.
Still, Tobin earned his spot.
"You go into a Rule 5 pick wanting to keep the guy, but he went out and earned it," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Sometimes it's hard for a big-league coaching staff to really get their arms around an inexperienced guy, even if they like the talent. To Mason's credit, he made it easy for them to like him."
Tobin posted a 1.86 ERA in eight Cactus League games after getting derailed a few days by general arm fatigue early in camp. He was at his best when a roster spot was on the line, tossing scoreless innings in his final three appearances.
He joined Mark Lowe and Pedro Strop as the final three to make the Rangers, and manager Ron Washington's plan early on is to use Tobin in less pressure-packed situations.
That was the case when Tobin was summoned for his major-league debut. He pitched the seventh inning of the Rangers' second game against Boston, entering with a 12-3 lead. He was glad to get his feet wet, though the results weren't to his liking.
He hit the first batter he faced, walked two others and allowed a two-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury. But Tobin also got Adrian Gonzalez to bounce into an inning-ending double play just as the wheels appeared to be coming off.
"Trying to be perfect gets me in trouble every time," Tobin said. "Don't try to do too much, and learn just got to trust your stuff. It'll be better, for sure."
• Corner infielder Chris Davis was shipped to Triple-A Round Rock despite hitting .362 with five homers and team-highs in RBIs (18) and slugging percentage (.741). Davis, the Rangers' Opening Day first baseman in 2009 and 2010, runs out of options next year and realizes that he might have to find a big-league job with another organization.
• The Rangers became the first major league team to play in Myrtle Beach, S.C., when they played an exhibition game against Coastal Carolina. The Rangers have a new four-year development agreement for Myrtle Beach to be their high Class A affiliate after several years in Bakersfield, Calif.