Ross Detwiler came to the Texas Rangers in a trade with the promise that he’d be given a chance to start. Three struggling starts into the season, his spot in the rotation is hanging by a thread.
The Rangers announced Wednesday left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will be called up from Triple A to get the start Friday night against the Angels in Anaheim. The move allows the Rangers to give Colby Lewis an extra day of rest after a 100-pitch outing.
Lewis will pitch Saturday, and Nick Martinez will pitch Sunday on a normal four-day schedule.
The Rangers will have to make a move Friday to make room for Rodriguez on the 40-man roster.
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“It gives [Detwiler] extra rest and an opportunity to work on things,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Detwiler won’t be used out of the bullpen, Banister said. Instead, he’ll work on his delivery with pitching coach Mike Maddux and attempt to work out some flaws in his mechanics.
Rodriguez, 36, spent eight seasons with the Astros before being traded to the Pirates in 2012, when Banister was a coach there. He’s 91-94 with a 4.06 ERA in his career.
He pitched well for the Braves this spring (2-0, 3.13 ERA) but was released in early April. Texas signed him to a minor league deal the next day. He was supposed to start Wednesday for Triple A Round Rock but was scratched to make the start for the Rangers.
“Very similar to the guy I’ve seen in the past as far as the reports,” Banister said of Rodriguez. “He competes.”
Lewis threw 103 pitches in 5 2/3 innings Saturday against Seattle. He’s allowed eight earned runs in 19 innings. The move gives him an extra day to rest.
“The number of innings he’s pitched for us, pushed him pretty hard his last outing. Allowing him to have a couple extra days rest, I believe it’s only going to benefit him and us in the long run,” Banister said.
Nick has a knack
Nick Martinez pitched his third consecutive quality start in Tuesday’s 7-1 win against the Diamondbacks. But he’s been much more than just quality on the mound.
He’s only allowed one earned run (in Tuesday’s second inning against the D’Backs) in his first 20 innings in 2015. He’s the second pitcher in Rangers history to open the season in the rotation with three starts of six-plus innings while allowing one or zero runs. The other was Rick Honeycutt in 1983.
Reliever Shawn Tolleson has been the sturdiest arm out of the bulpen thus far, allowing just one earned run in 7 1/3 innings. Batters are hitting .120 against him in seven appearances. He has 11 strikeouts and no walks and has stranded all four inherited runners.
He entered Tuesday’s game with the scored tied 1-1 in the seventh with runners on the corners and two outs. He went after Paul Goldschmidt, getting ahead in the count 1-2 before striking him out with a 94 mph fastball.
“I feel good, I feel sharp. I have good fastball command right now, which always helps everything else you’ve got going on,” Tolleson said. “I feel comfortable out there.”
Along with Anthony Bass, Tolleson has been one of the few reliable bullpen arms the first couple weeks of the season. Tolleson said he hasn’t felt any added pressure to fill the void.
“No, not really. I worry about what I do and honestly every time one of our guys goes out there I’m extremely optimistic because I’ve seen everything they can do,” he said. “It’s just how the season goes. Everyone has ups and downs. I’m going through an up and I’ll probably go through a down.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760