When the Rangers summoned prospect Mike Olt from Class AA, a lot of people were wondering why, since Olt's a third baseman and the Rangers already have a really good third baseman. For example, I saw this on the Internet:
I am wondering why the Rangers summoned Mike Olt from Class AA. Don't the Rangers already have a pretty good third baseman?
Why yes, they do! Adrian Beltre's his name, and third base is indeed his game. Unless Beltre is injured or is given a one-day vacation from the ol' hot corner, Olt won't be playing third base. Even though he is, by all accounts, an accomplished fielder.
There are other positions, though.
Like first base. Mitch Moreland usually plays first base, but his career statistics against left-handed pitching are terrible. When the Rangers are facing a left-handed starter, Moreland shouldn't (and usually doesn't) play first base, which opens the position for a right-handed hitter with some pop.*
* In fact, Olt is in the lineup Thursday night, playing first base against left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Also, like Designated Hitter. Michael Young usually hits, designatedly, but he's been terrible. He does bat right-handed, like Olt. So there's not a natural platoon situation there. But Olt will undoubtedly get some of the plate appearances that Young's been wasting.
Olt also played a few games in the outfield this season, though the Rangers have little need for a slow, right-handed-hitting outfielder.
As brilliant as Olt's been this season, he's nearly 24 and hasn't yet seen a pitch above Class AA, so nobody should expect immediate stardom in the majors. He's probably just a small- or medium-sized improvement over Michael Young, or rather what the Rangers might expect from Michael Young over the rest of the season.
But the Rangers are locked in a fierce battle with the Angels for a division title. When you can find a small- or medium-sized improvement, you should grab it. So while they might have waited a few weeks longer than necessary, kudos to management for making the obvious move.