Texas Rangers

Why the Rangers sent Ariel Jurado back to Double A Frisco

Rangers starter Ariel Jurado mostly pitched well in his major league debut Saturday against the White Sox, but gave up all four of his runs with two outs in the third.
Rangers starter Ariel Jurado mostly pitched well in his major league debut Saturday against the White Sox, but gave up all four of his runs with two outs in the third. AP

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister thought right-hander Ariel Jurado did a "terrific job" in his big-league debut Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.

But that wasn’t enough to keep him in the rotation for another start. Instead, the Rangers optioned the 22-year-old back to Double A Frisco to clear a spot for right-handed reliever Chris Martin.

The reason, Banister said, is to give the bullpen an extra arm as the team is in the midst of a 20-game stretch in 20 days. The bullpen has been taxed the past two games, too, with Jurado and Friday’s starter Matt Moore failing to make it through five innings.

The decision leaves the Rangers without a starter for Thursday’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals. The top two options are calling up either Yohander Mendez or Austin Bibens-Dirkx from Triple A Round Rock.

Tyson Ross lasted only 4 1/3 innings Thursday, but manager Jeff Banister said that Austin Bibens-Dirkx gave the Texas Rangers' offense a chance to rally (video by Jeff Wilson).

"I would venture to guess maybe those two guys are at the head of the list of options for us," Banister said. "We’re still trying to position guys to be able to be available to us."

Another option is to have a "bullpen day" with long man Jesse Chavez starting and piecing it together after that. But the Rangers would likely want to avoid that in this lengthy stretch.

"It’s not off of the choice of options," Banister said. "But we’re in a longer stretch of period where bullpen guys don’t get a real rest."

That's the benefit of activating Martin (right forearm tightness) from the disabled list Martin threw two scoreless innings in a pair of rehab appearances with Frisco, and declared himself ready to go. He had a 5.14 ERA over 16 appearances with the Rangers before landing on the DL.

Right-hander Chris Martin grew up in Arlington and was a huge Texas Rangers fan. Now, after a long journey, he pitches for them (video by Jeff Wilson).

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