The Texas Rangers’ top pitching prospect, right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, will make his major league debut Saturday night in a start against the Boston Red Sox.
The move was confirmed before Friday’s game.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels also said that left-hander Ross Detwiler, who is scheduled to make a two-inning rehab start at Double A Frisco on Saturday, will work out of the bullpen when he returns to the club.
Gonzalez, 23, is 3-5 with a 4.15 ERA at Triple A Round Rock. He pitched well during his first major league spring training in March and made a run at earning a roster spot out of camp.
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Instead, the Rangers wanted him to get a little bit more seasoning in the minors before calling him up. He’s pitched well since a rough outing May 4. Gonzalez has allowed four earned runs in his past 16 1/3 innings, giving up just 14 hits with 13 strikeouts and seven walks in that span.
“From an intelligence standpoint and pitchability, he’s ahead of a lot of guys his age,” Daniels said. “He’s earned this opportunity, but it’s come about because we have a need as a function of some of the things that have been going on.”
Gonzalez was the Rangers’ first-round draft pick (No. 23 overall) in 2013 out of Oral Roberts. He’s 15-15 with a 3.16 ERA in three seasons in the minors.
Rest for Andrus
Rangers shortstop Hanser Alberto made his major league debut Friday night against the Red Sox.
He started in place of Elvis Andrus, who was not in the starting lineup for the first time in 48 games this season. Andrus had only missed four innings total, including the last three innings in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Manager Jeff Banister discussed a day off with Andrus in New York during the last road trip, but delayed it because of his history of success in Cleveland.
Andrus, who had been hitting better lately, was fine with the day off.
“I deserve it, too, right?” he said with a laugh. “He’s [Banister] been asking for a while. He wants me to stay fresh, especially with the long season. I’m just not starting the game, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to play.”
Alberto, who was called up from Round Rock on Thursday, is a premium defender, Banister said. Alberto had an especially strong spring training while getting a lot of playing time early with Andrus out with a sore knee. Alberto was batting .303 with just one error in Triple A.
“Major league players don’t like days down, they really don’t,” Banister said. “They like being in the game, but they also know a day off here and there is valuable.”
Feliz feels fine
Reliever Neftali Feliz, who is on the disabled list with an abscess under his right throwing arm, said he’s feeling good.
He worked out Thursday and feels ready to return to the roster. He’s not concerned with his role when he returns. Banister declared the bullpen had no set roles last week before Feliz, who had been the closer, was put on the DL.
“I’m OK,,” Feliz said. “I’m still working and I’m happy the team is playing better. I’m here to help the team win and I’m happy everybody is doing good. I’m trying to be healthy and do the job whenever they need me, closer, eighth, seventh, sixth, whatever inning, I’ll be ready.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760