A final day surprise from Texas Rangers camp: Rougned Odor hasn’t made the team yet

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Jeff Wilson
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Just when it looked as if the Texas Rangers had made all their important roster decisions at the end of spring training Sunday, manager Chris Woodward said the following when asked if Rougned Odor will be on the Opening Day roster:

“We haven’t made our final roster, so I can’t definitively say that,” Woodward said. “I will say he’s done a lot of good things. He’s played really well at third base and he’s done a lot of things from the offensive side from a buy-in standpoint.

“I can’t definitively say a lot of these guys, just because they’re on the roster doesn’t mean they’re necessarily on the Opening Day roster.”

Talk about a surprise from the Surprise Recreation Campus.

The Rangers open their season Thursday at Kansas City and play an exhibition game Monday and Tuesday at Globe Life Field against Milwaukee. Odor started Sunday in the Cactus League finale, a 12-8 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

But he went 0-for-2 to drop his spring average to .200. He has been proactive in trying to learn third base, his only chance at regular at-bats this season after being moved off second base in favor of Nick Solak. But the bat hasn’t shown improvement.

While the Rangers have said they won’t make roster decisions based on spring stats, as was the case at first base where Nate Lowe won the starting job despite being out-hit by Ronald Guzman, they have four seasons’ worth of stats to draw a conclusion on Odor.

He has batted only .215 with an equally poor .279 on-base percentage and a below-average .697 OPS since signing a six-year, $49.5 million contract just prior to the 2017 season.

Odor batted only .167 last season, and had to rally late just to do that.

The Rangers have told infielder Brock Holt that he has made the team and still have veteran infielder Charlie Culberson on the camp roster. They could form a platoon, with Holt batting left-handed and Culberson right-handed, until top prospect Josh Jung is deemed ready for the majors.

Jung is recovering from surgery on his left foot March 22 and won’t be ready to play in minor-league games until May.