There have been many stops and starts in Delino DeShields’s career. Solid rookie season in 2015. Step backward last year. Blistering spring to open 2017, then a quick trip into lineup limbo. That’s life with a Jeff Banister team sometimes.
After rusting on the bench for a few weeks, DeShields finally landed back in the rotation last Sunday. He’s played eight games in a row, all of them in the leadoff spot. Sometimes he’s been in left, sometimes in center. Once he was the DH.
DeShields is 12-for-32 over that stretch, with six runs, six walks, and five juicy stolen bases in five attempts. He’s hiked his average to .285; his OBP is a solid .354. If the Rangers would leave DeShields alone for a minute or two, perhaps they’d realize they have a strong leadoff man here.
A Carlos Gomez shoulder injury cleared the path for DeShields; things could get complicated if and when Gomez returns. The Rangers backdated Gomez’s DL stint to Aug. 16, so he could be just a week away. Then again, another injury could always free up a theoretical spot for Double D. Joey Gallo, ostensibly the team’s primary left fielder these days, suffered a non-displaced nasal fracture Sunday, the result of a fielding collision with teammate Matt Bush.
It’s been a difficult year to find steals; we’re living in a homer and strikeout world. I scooped up a few DeShields tickets this week, with the idea that stolen bases often come in clumps. He’s at the top of a plus lineup, and he can be a three-category contributor. We’re also talking about someone who just turned 25; someone with a first-round pedigree; someone with excellent stolen-base bloodlines.
If you want to kick the tires, Kid DeShields is ready to go in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.