Texas Rangers

Ariel Jurado, not Cole Hamels, will start for Rangers on Saturday

Ariel Jurado will make his big league debut on Saturday for the Rangers.
Ariel Jurado will make his big league debut on Saturday for the Rangers. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Ariel Jurado is coming up to the big leagues.

The Texas Rangers will call up the right-hander from Double A Frisco to start Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, manager Jeff Banister said. Jurado will become the seventh starting pitcher used by the Rangers this season.

Left-hander Cole Hamels had been a candidate, but he remains sidelined with neck stiffness. Hamels was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday, and the hope had been he could go by Saturday. But Banister said Hamels next start will likely be next week when the Yankees visit for a three-game series.

"Just felt like let's give him a little more time and let that neck calm down," Banister said.

As of Friday night, Banister said he didn't expect Hamels to land on the disabled list, although that is subject to change.

"As of tonight, he will not go on the DL," he said.

Jurado will get the nod instead. He is pitching well for the RoughRiders, posting a 2.57 ERA in six starts with 18 strikeouts and eight walks. He's held opponents to a .233 batting average.

Jurado, 22, has been with the organization since signing on Dec. 14, 2012, as a teenager out of Panama. He pitched with Frisco all of last season, going 9-11 with a 4.59 ERA.

Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels has been scratched from Thursday's start with neck stiffness. He addressed the injury before Thursday's game, saying he hopes to be pushed back just a couple of days.

Jurado is known for his command and sinking fastball that sits in the 88-92 mph range.

"Sinker has been really solid, breaking ball commanding for strikes, much-improved from spring training," Banister said. "The sinker, which is his pitch, has been back in play for him. Very solid reports."