That's the only thing that stood between Ariel Jurado having a solid big-league debut for the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Jurado had a forgettable third inning, giving up four runs with two outs, and took the loss in the Rangers' 5-3 loss to the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"It was a very happy moment for me and I thank all the management who gave me a chance to be here and open a game in the major leagues," Jurado said through a translator. "I know I came quick because I did my job in the minors. I think I did what I had to do and that’s why I got this opportunity."
An argument could be made that Jurado pitched well enough to at least get consideration for another start in the rotation. After all, this is a team that’s been rolling out left-hander Matt Moore every turn through until he landed on the disabled list earlier Saturday to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Jurado.
Moore is dealing with what the team described as "right knee soreness," an issue that has apparently been bothering him since spring training.
The Rangers simply didn’t think Moore needed time to deal with it until he couldn’t make it through four innings on Friday, despite the Rangers leading 9-3. Moore is 1-5 with a 7.99 ERA in 10 games, including nine starts.
"A little discomfort in the right knee, has had some discomfort with it off and on throughout the season," manager Jeff Banister said. "We knew coming into spring training there was a little bit there, he fought through it, but just felt like that it had got to a point to where we just wanted to give it time to calm down."
Moore would be eligible to come off the DL as early as May 29 when the Rangers are on the road at Seattle. Banister said that is the plan and best-case scenario.
That leaves an opening in the rotation for Jurado to get another start.
"Listen, we’ll gather up and talk about it," Banister said. "I will say this – the kid showed a lot of moxie tonight. He showed us everything that our scouts and development people told us. Love what we saw.
"I’m sure there’s a lot of learning experiences for him. He needs to feel good about himself, about what he showed us tonight. There’s so many more positives for me with him and this situation tonight, but we’ll have discussions and we’ll see where this takes us."
For now, the plan is for Mike Minor to pitch Sunday’s finale against the White Sox with Bartolo Colon opening a three-game series against the Yankees on Monday at Globe Life Park.
Cole Hamels, who was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday with neck stiffness, is expected to pitch Tuesday against the Yankees, Banister said. Doug Fister would be in line to pitch Wednesday, which would leave an opening for Jurado to pitch the series opener against Kansas City next Thursday.
The other options would be bringing up Austin Bibens-Dirkx or Yohander Mendez from Triple A Round Rock. Bibens-Drikx is not on the 40-man roster, while Mendez is.
Either way, Jurado may be the most enticing pitcher to give another start. This is a 22-year-old from Panama who flashed potential in his debut and had been pitching well for the RoughRiders.
He worked around a two-out double by Jose Abreu in the first inning, and retired the side in the second.
Heck, it seemed like it could be an easy night for Jurado and the Rangers. They were leading 3-0 when Jurado headed out for the third.
Jurado had another scoreless inning in his sights with two outs and a man on second, but he issued a two-out walk and then gave up consecutive RBI hits to Abreu and Matt Davidson.
The White Sox scored the go-ahead run and took the lead, 4-3, on a two-run triple by Daniel Palka.
Jurado rebounded with a 1-2-3 fourth and recorded two outs in the fifth before being pulled. His big-league debut lasted 4 2/3 innings as he allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Jurado, known for his sinking fastball, induced seven groundouts on a night he threw 85 pitches.
Again, that may not be enough to get him another start, but the Rangers don’t have many options. This is a team that has now lost two of three to the worst team in the majors.
Might as well see Jurado at least once more.