The Texas Rangers will be without their best reliever through the remainder of the first half, though the good news for right-hander Keone Kela is that there is no structural damage in his right shoulder.
He hit the 10-day DL, retroactive to Friday, with shoulder inflammation but is eligible for reinstatement July 14 to open the second half at Kansas City. Manager Jeff Banister said that while it’s difficult to put Kela on the DL with the bullpen in turmoil, the move is necessary to have him healthy for the stretch run.
“Key is a tough kid and wants to continue to grind through it,” Banister said. “The value for me is the long haul. I could get real selfish, but that’s not what we’re going to be. I still think a healthy Key is going to play a huge role for us after the All-Star break.”
Kela hasn’t allowed a run in his past nine appearances and has a 1.02 ERA in his past 17 outings. His .133 opponents batting average was good for second among American League relief pitchers.
As the Rangers attempt to sort through their bullpen woes, Kela seemed like a candidate to receive some save chances. Instead, the Rangers will go forward in the short term with no established roles.