Veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez made his first start of the season Friday night at Angel Stadium, and with him out of options and the Texas Rangers in need of rotation help, he would seem to be a fit for the foreseeable future.
Manager Jeff Banister, though, balked at committing to Rodriguez beyond his Rangers debut. Banister, who was bench coach in Pittsburgh during Rodriguez’s underwhelming stay there, needed to see how effective Rodriguez could be.
“It’s a possibility,” Banister said. “You have to allow him to get through tonight’s game.”
Banister wanted to see fastball command and effective use of two breaking pitches from Rodriguez, who was making his first start in the majors since May 21. He hadn’t won a big league start since May 26, 2013.
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Rodriguez went five innings Friday, yielding a run on five hits to the Los Angeles Angels.
The Rangers signed Rodriguez to a minor-league deal April 6 to add another starter to their rotation depth at Triple A Round Rock. He became a candidate for a promotion after lefty Derek Holland was lost perhaps until July with a shoulder injury, and was selected to replace lefty Ross Detwiler as he tunes his mechanics.
Detwiler could start Tuesday. He worked for the second time with pitching coach Mike Maddux since another lousy start Sunday.
“We’re just trying get his delivery more consistent,” Maddux said. “They’re not hitting the pitches he’s making. The times when he’s struggled they’re hitting the pitches he’s not making.”
Rodriguez took the 25- and 40-man roster spots created when right-hander Logan Verrett was designated for assignment. A Rule 5 pick, Verrett must clear waivers and not be wanted back by the New York Mets, the team that lost him, for him to remain in the organization.
Verrett went 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in four games.
“We liked what we saw from Logan,” Banister said. “He’s a guy that needs to work on the command of the fastball.”
Lewis not worried
Colby Lewis returns to the mound Saturday against the team that had more than its fair share of success against him in 2014.
The Angels went 4-1 against Lewis last season, and hung a 9.36 ERA on him. Included was a July 10 start in which he allowed 13 runs (11 earned) in 2 1/3 innings.
Lewis is only 5-8 with a 5.64 ERA in 17 career starts against the Angels, but he’s 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA in seven career starts at Angel Stadium.
“I’ve had success against them in the past,” he said. “Every start varies from start to start. I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot right now.”
Lewis is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA after three starts following a 3.86 ERA in the second half last season.
“I’m going to go out there and continue to do what I’ve been doing, just keep my team in the game,” he said.
▪ Third baseman Joey Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect, is expected to make his season debut Saturday for Double A Frisco, three weeks after having a bone removed from his left heel. Frisco was rained out Friday.
▪ Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff lost a no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning of his Triple A debut. He allowed two runs in the ninth and struck out 11 overall in Round Rock’s 7-2 win.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760