The latest stint is retroactive to Aug. 5. He’ll be available to return on Aug. 15.
“He really hasn’t progressed in a way he or we would have liked for it to progress,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ve been conservative in how we’ve used him with the innings and giving him the days down. Just felt it best to go ahead make a move and get the treatments and see where he is after that.”
The move complicates the Rangers getting a substantial look at Kela (4-1, 2.36 ERA) in the closer’s role, which was the plan when he returned on July 20.
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“Key wanted to pitch,” Banister said. “The medical staff felt like he could pitch. The doctors weighed in on it. It’s never just the player 100 percent. I think we did our due diligence on that.”
Banister said that might not be possible now with just a month and a half left in the regular season.
The Rangers called up right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez from Double A Frisco to help fill the void with Kela out.
Rodriguez, 24, was a starter before having Tommy John in 2014. He started with Class A Down East this season and collected 12 saves and had a stretch where he retired 45 consecutive batters. He was promoted to Frisco on June 28.
Banister said all the reports from their scouts and developmental staff gave Rodriguez high praise.
“This is a guy we’ve got that we like the look of, he progressed to the next level and continued to grow. Let’s see how that plays here,” Banister said.
Rodriguez throws in the mid-to-low 90s with a swing-and-miss slider, Banister said. His fastball has natural run and movement. He is 5-1 with 17 saves and a 1.34 ERA in 47 innings over 35 relief appearances in High A and Double A. He hasn’t allowed a run in his 11 1/3 innings for Frisco. He last pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Sunday.