If I asked any Texas Rangers fan what their number one priority this offseason would be if they were the general manager, they would most likely answer ‘bullpen,’ and I would have to agree.
But this is not just the concern of fans.
Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels knows we need another arm in the bullpen. Not just any arm though. The Rangers need, maybe prefer is the better term, is a lefty in the pen.
JD made a move here and there trying to get a decent competition going for a spot in the bullpen when camp breaks in April.
The Rangers have two left-handed non-roster invitees hoping to earn a spot – Martire Garcia and Michael Kirkman – as well as two players on the 40-man roster looking to break camp with the club – Alex Claudio and Edgar Olmos. Except, as of Tuesday morning Olmos is no longer a Ranger.
Texas paid merely $20,000 when the club claimed Edgar Olmos off of waivers from the Seattle Mariners February 24. They even placed Jurickson Profar on the 60-day disabled list to make room for him.
I imagine that, at the time, JD thought he was getting a good deal and even if Olmos started the season in the farm system, that this was not a huge loss. However, I am now imagining JD being a very, very unhappy person Tuesday morning when he realized that the claim he made was in fact damaged goods.
Only three days after being claimed, Edgar Olmos was shut down due to a left shoulder impingement.
Impingement, impact on bone into rotator cuff tendon or bursa
Impingement can range from a mild soreness to pain caused by a tear in the rotator cuff that needs to be fixed surgically. It’s my belief that Olmos’ condition is closer to the latter of the two, which is why Olmos has been sent back to Seattle.
I don’t see Jon Daniels going through the trouble of reversing the waiver claim and shipping him back to the Mariners Tuesday morning for further evaluation. Then there is the fact that,
"Major League Baseball ruled Olmos had been injured at the time the Rangers put in a waiver claim on him and agreed to rescind the claim.” via Evan Grant, The Dallas Morning News."
So, what does this all mean for the Texas Rangers?
Well, it means JD needs to find another left-handed reliever. STAT. But, I say let’s slow the roll on this. Did you listen to the game yesterday?
I hear you grumbling. Let’s bypass the score and some questionable plays, hits, etc… And instead let’s focus on the two relief pitchers – Alex Claudio and Martire Garcia.
Claudio entered the game after Colby Lewis tossed one inning where he gave up 6 runs on 5 hits. Alex Claudio faced four batters in his one inning where he managed to give up only one hit while striking out two – Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Roberts. Martire Garcia closed out the game, striking out two of three batters faced. Claudio threw ten strikes over 14 pitches while Garcia tossed ten pitches with seven strikes.
I know this was just a Spring Training game, but why not let these two compete for a relief role? I know we need experienced arms, but sometimes experience isn’t the only thing that matters.
I’m not saying JD shouldn’t look for another lefty to put in the bullpen. I’m just saying let’s slow things down a bit and not rush into any trades or impulse purchases.
We don’t need to panic, Alex Claudio and Martire Garcia showed us that in a game where not much went the Rangers’ way.
So, while there is an open spot on the roster to fill, I’m hoping Daniels takes his time in filling it. Or at the very least, can he please have everyone get a full-blown physical before adding them to the roster?
One game down, 33 to go before Opening Day.
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