Matt Moore's place in the Texas Rangers' starting rotation is officially in jeopardy, and right-hander Yovani Gallardo might have the inside track on replacing him.
Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers haven't decided if Moore will start for them Friday to open a three-game weekend series against the Colorado Rockies after yet another ineffective start.
Moore was tagged for six runs (five earned) in three innings Sunday as the Rangers fell in a 6-0 hole against the Houston Astros before eventually losing 8-7. Moore received a no-decision, but he definitely factored into a loss that resulted in a four-game sweep.
"We are looking at options and what's best for Matt and for us," Banister said. "I'm sure he's not pleased with all of his performance. I know he has some mixed emotions about how some of the games have gone. He's had some really quality innings, and then there are innings that get away from him. He goes out and throws a pretty good game, and the next game gets away from him."
Austin Bibens-Dirkx is also a candidate for the start Friday, in part because he has a spot on the 40-man roster and can be optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock. The same goes for lefty Yohander Mendez and righty Ariel Jurado.
Gallardo, 32, is not on the 40-man, but he can opt out of his Triple-A contract Friday.
That could serve as leverage, but the Fort Worth resident and former Rangers starter has also been pitching well. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 10 starts and has issued only one home run in 49 2/3 innings.
Banister said that fellow right-hander Jesse Chavez is likely to stay in his role as long reliever.
"I'm not saying that he wouldn't be, but Jesse's been extremely valuable to us in that role," Banister said. "Gallardo's been throwing the ball well."
Back-to-back for Beltre?
The Rangers don't have the luxury of putting Adrian Beltre at designated hitter while at Dodgers Stadium, where National League rules will be used in this two-game interleague series.
That could result in Beltre playing third base on consecutive days for the first time since coming off the disabled list May 31. He said that's the plan, at least in his mind.
"We'll see how he feels," Banister said. "He'll play tonight and see how he feels and how he's recovered."
The lack of the DH almost gave Ronald Guzman a start at first base, but he was inserted into the lineup after Nomar Mazara was scratched because of flu-like symptoms. Guzman would sit Wednesday if Mazara is better, with Joey Gallo starting at first and Shin-Soo Choo in left field.