Texas Rangers reliever Keone Kela threw off a mound Saturday afternoon and reported his sore right shoulder felt good.
Kela has been on the disabled list since July 3 (retroactive to June 30).
“We’ll see how he goes through the throwing program today,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Pitching coaches said he looked normal.”
Banister wants to wait until Kela is capable of pitching on consecutive days before activating him.
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“It comes down to can you continue to have the same strength that it takes to pitch back-to-back, or back-to-back-to-back days?” he said. “We’re at that point now.”
Reliever Jake Diekman will pitch off a mound Thursday in Baltimore for the first time since October.
Diekman had three major surgeries this spring to remove and rebuild his colon after suffering from ulcerative colitis for much of his life. The last surgery was June 9.
The left-hander has been throwing on flat ground for several weeks. His rehab assignment is likely to require ample build up before he’s an option for the Rangers.
Joey Gallo wasn’t in the lineup Sunday against right-hander Ian Kennedy, but it wasn’t due to the tendon strain behind his left knee.
Banister elected to use Drew Robinson at third base (with Adrian Beltre as the designated hitter) and Mike Napoli at first. Gallo is 0 for 7 with seven strikeouts against Kennedy, although Banister did not suggest that as a reason. Gallo was 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk against Kennedy on April 22.
“Sample sizes are what you make of them,” Banister said. “It does tell you a portion of the story, it just depends on how old the story is.”