Texas Rangers right-hander Clayton Blackburn exited his start Monday with tightness in his throwing elbow, and manager Jeff Banister didn’t sound optimistic while speaking to reporters after the game.
“The way it looked, the optics of it, [it] doesn’t look real good,” Banister said.
Blackburn will undergo further evaluation. Rangers physician Keith Meister is scheduled to arrive in camp on Thursday.
Blackburn recorded just one out, allowing three runs on four hits. He exited after throwing one pitch to the sixth batter he faced.
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Blackburn is viewed as a long-shot candidate for the Rangers’ rotation. The 25-year-old entered Monday’s game with a 4.91 ERA in his first three Cactus League starts. He opened spring training by combining to throw five scoreless innings in his first two starts.
Blackburn has struggled of late, though, and his ERA ballooned to 8.22 after Monday’s appearance.
The Rangers acquired Blackburn last April in a trade with the San Francisco Giants. He spent the season with Triple A Round Rock, compiling a 4.65 ERA over 19 games (18 starts).
Blackburn has had brief call-ups to the big leagues with the Giants (2016) and Rangers (2017), but has yet to pitch in a game.