Texas Rangers

Rangers notes: Bullpen shakeup could be prelude to more moves

Rougned Odor has struggled early this season and did not start Monday. He’s batting .148 with 19 strikeouts.
Rougned Odor has struggled early this season and did not start Monday. He’s batting .148 with 19 strikeouts. Star-Telegram

The first of what could turn out to be a daily occurrence came down Monday.

The Rangers called up right-hander Spencer Patton and optioned right-hander Roman Mendez to Triple A Round Rock.

Expect more moves if the Rangers, who are at the bottom of the American League West at 9-16 don’t turn it around.

That includes second baseman Rougned Odor, who has played in every game, including 23 starts. Odor, 21, has struggled at the plate and committed three errors. He’s batting .146 with 20 strikeouts, including three on nine pitches in Sunday’s loss. He also struck out Monday as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.

Manager Jeff Banister and general manager Jon Daniels both intimated in separate interviews that Odor could be sent down.

“That’s not out of the realm of possibility,” Banister said. “But I’d like to give him an opportunity to have extended time with [hitting coach Dave Magadan] and see if that doesn’t get him going in the right direction.”

Banister hopes a day or two off could help snap Odor out of a funk, much like it did with Shin-Soo Choo and Leonys Martin this season.

“But more than anything else, production is important. It’s been a month now and we need to start seeing things trending in the direction where you want them to go on the positive,” he said.

Patton, 27, will be tasked with steadying a shaky bullpen. He had a 0.96 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 91/3 innings at Round Rock this season. Batters were hitting .216 against Patton, who made his major league debut with the Rangers a year ago. Mendez had struggled lately with a 5.40 ERA in 112/3 innings this season.

“We need to throw strikes out of the bullpen,” Banister said. “We needed another arm out there to give us that opportunity. I believe Roman is going to be one of those pitchers who is going to help us win at some point. Patton has been throwing the ball well.”

Hamilton update

Josh Hamilton will spend about another week in Arizona before joining Triple A Round Rock, Daniels said. That means Hamilton could be with the Express in Round Rock for a game May 12, or perhaps a few days earlier in Nashville.

Hamilton hit three grounders to first and struck out in his first game Monday in extended spring training in Surprise. He also played three innings in left field. Reports have been positive, with Hamilton showing his trademark bat speed and no signs of lingering pain from a Feb. 4 shoulder operation.

Verrett returned

Right-hander Logan Verrett was sent back to the New York Mets. Verrett, who was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft from the Mets, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers on April 2.

Verrett then was put on waivers when Texas signed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez April 24. By rule, Verrett was required to be offered back to the Mets after passing through the waiver process.

Free clinic May 16

The Rangers are holding a free clinic for fans called Baseball 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Watching and Enjoying Live Baseball, from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. May 16 at Globe Life Park. The clinic is free for fans with tickets to that night’s game between the Rangers and Indians.

Members of the Rangers front office will conduct the clinic, which includes a 45-minute classroom style lecture and a 15-minute Q&A with Daniels.

Staff writer Jeff Wilson contributed to this report.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST