Rangers notes: Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe designated for assignment

Posted Monday, May. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Ron Washington showed some emotion Monday afternoon, shortly after the Texas Rangers designated veteran right-hander Derek Lowe for assignment.

Lowe, 39, had a 9.00 ERA over nine appearances as the team’s long man, and was let go to clear a roster spot for starter Josh Lindblom.

“That was a tough conversation, it wasn’t an easy conversation,” Washington said. “It hurts because of his presence. He brings value, something you just can’t buy. But we had to make a decision and not all of them are cut and dried, so we’re moving on.”

Lowe had become a popular veteran in the clubhouse, one that routinely advised and mentored a few of the younger pitchers. Ironically, Lindblom credited a conversation he had with Lowe near the end of spring training that changed his approach and mentality about starting.

But, at the end of the day, it was about numbers and Lowe was the odd man out. The Rangers have been impressed by right-hander Cory Burns’ first two outings and wanted to keep him in the majors. They also weren’t ready to option one of their young relievers, such as Joseph Ortiz, back to the minor leagues.

“Sometimes this game just doesn’t work for you,” Washington said. “But [Lowe] is a pro. He’s certainly been big in that clubhouse with our young pitchers. The value he brings, you can’t buy.”

The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Lowe to the minor leagues. They will have to pay his full $1.25 million salary if a team doesn’t claim him.

Washington said left-hander Michael Kirkman will assume the long man role for the team.

Darvish ready

Pitch counts were a hot topic after Yu Darvish threw a career-high 130 pitches in his last start Thursday against Detroit, a game that Texas won 10-4.

That workload hasn’t affected Darvish, though.

“Not much fatigue after the 130 pitches,” Darvish said through a translator. “I haven’t changed my routine.”

Darvish went on to talk about throwing his slow-down curve more often this season, keeping hitters off-balance with a pitch in the low 60 mph range. He used it against Tigers slugger and reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera on Thursday, as he swung through a 62 mph offering.

“I got a swing and miss from Cabrera, I don’t think I have to perfect that anymore,” Darvish said.

Two weeks away

Right-hander Kyle McClellan joined Colby Lewis and A.J. Pierzynski on rehab assignment at Double A Frisco, tossing a scoreless eighth inning in his second appearance.

The reliever was signed to a minor-league deal in the off-season, and was slowed by lingering shoulder fatigue in spring training before suffering a strained right lat muscle that ruined his chances at making the Opening Day roster.

He said that he needs two more weeks before he can become an option for the Rangers. He hopes to pitch multiple innings going forward and work with less rest between appearances.

McClellan passed on the out clause in his deal in March after feeling comfortable with the Rangers’ plans for him. His first goal is to get healthy before reconsidering his options.

“You get healthy first, and then we’ll let them know when I feel I’m ready and then go from there,” McClellan said. “At this time of the year, anything can happen. I’m not worried about that. They brought me here for a reason, and that’s to help the team win. I don’t think that’s changed.”

Equal time

Jurickson Profar and Leury Garcia will get equal playing time with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list, Ron Washington said.

As Washington put it, “when you see Profar sitting and Leury out there, don’t be shocked.”

Profar started Monday and had been swinging the bat well at Triple A Round Rock. He was batting .424 in his final eight games, and .333 for May.

“I just go up there and try to have a good at-bat and hit the ball hard,” Profar said.

Staff writer Jeff Wilson contributed to this report.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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