Melhuse informed he won't make team
Rangers decide to go with youth tandem as veteran ponders options
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Adam Melhuse is hitting .632 for the spring. He is 12-for-19, giving him the highest batting average anywhere in Spring Training for a player with a minimum of 15 at-bats.That's not good enough. The Rangers have told him that he's not going to make the team. The Rangers are set with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their starter and Taylor Teagarden as the backup.
"I knew I was up against it," Melhuse said. "Those are the two guys they wanted and I was here if something unforeseen happened. When they told me there wasn't room for me, I understood. You always plan for the worst and hope for the best.
"Now I'm at the point where I need to do what I have to do. We've put some feelers out. Hopefully we'll get something from somebody. If not, I'm going to take it home and call it a career."Melhuse is still in camp. The Rangers haven't let him go or cut him. They still need catchers in camp and they're trying to see if there's interest out there. He was brought in mainly as depth against injury or a possible trade. The Rangers have had interest in their catchers but are holding on to them. They have had no substantive talks with the Red Sox since the Winter Meetings. "He's made it hard," manager Ron Washington said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's got a lot of big hits for us. His game has improved." Melhuse, 37, entering his 17th season of professional baseball, is in camp on a Minor League contract but has no interest in going back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. "No desire whatsoever," Melhuse said. "The only way I can explain it is maybe people say baseball is baseball no matter where it is. I'm not saying I'm a hard-luck guy or 'woe is me,' but I spent a lot of time in the Minor Leagues and I've got six years up here. "To go back as a just-in-case guy or hoping for an injury -- I personally don't like hoping for an injury -- to go back to banging around, hoping for a September callup is not something I'm interested in doing." Melhuse was first drafted by the Blue Jays in the 13th round of the First-Year Players Draft back in 1993. Most of his time in the Major Leagues was spent with the Athletics in 2003-07. He opened last season with the Rangers, but was let go on April 25. He spent much of the summer with Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies organization and hit .311 in a backup role. When the Rangers called him this winter, he decided to give it one more try. "I came in here and did what I want to do, prove I can play," Melhuse said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.