As if Ron Washington didn’t already have enough flexibility on his roster, he is making moves that are giving him even more flexibility with his players.
Wednesday, the Texas Rangers recalled catcher Taylor Teagarden as well as right-handed pitcher Brett Tomko from AAA Round Rock.
Tomko almost got himself a bullpen spot after spring training but the spot ended up going to Mason Tobin. Tomko has been in Round Rock and is 0-2 with an earned run average of 6.35 in his two starts. He’s pitched 11.1 innings this season and has allowed nine runs, eight of which were earned, on 11 hits while striking out six hitters.
This will be his first time back in the Majors since 2009. He was with the Oakland organization last year where he was in three different club affiliates and had just 14 starts in the Minor Leagues. At the time, he was still recovering from the nerve problem within his right arm, which ultimately ended his season in 2009. Tomko will definitely add some extra depth to the bullpen though.
Teagarden was in 28 games for the Rangers last season. He held a batting average of .155 with four home runs and six runs batted in. In his six games while in the Minors this season, Teagarden was 7-for-18, an average of .389 over six games. He has two home runs and four RBIs.
With Teagarden, the club now has three catchers. Washington can now use Mike Napoli more often out from behind the plate at DH as he had originally hoped to do before the club was forced to trade catcher Matt Treanor in order to make room for an eight pitcher in the bullpen after Tommy Hunter suffered a groin injury before the regular season had even commenced, which would have left him with no backup catcher – assuming Napoli was pinch-hitting – if Yorvit Torrealba had to leave a game.
Other Roster Moves for the Rangers
Right-handed relief pitcher Mason Tobin was placed on the 60-day disabled list after experiencing some soreness in his elbow when he left the game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday after pitching to four hitters. He underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday, but the results have not yet bene released. As of now, his elbow has seen three surgeries – hopefully, it’s nothing serious and he won’t require a fourth. The Rule 5 pick says that the soreness was nothing like what he had experienced before when he had to have Tommy John surgery.
Left-handed pitcher Michael Kirkman has been optioned to AAA Round Rock – after struggling in his first appearance this season in the Major Leagues. He only pitched 1.2 innings of relief but allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits. Before being called up to the Majors this year, Kirkman was 0-1 over 6.2 innings with a 16.20 ERA and allowing 12 runs – all of which were earned – on 18 hits.
Mark Lowe was sent down earlier this week by the Rangers. The move was to make room for Colby Lewis when he was reinstated to the active roster after taking a paternity leave following the birth of his daughter, his second child. Lowe had an earned run average of 13.50 for 2.2 innings of pitching out of the bullpen for the Rangers.