Needing starting pitchers at Triple A Nashville after seeing their depth wear away, the Texas Rangers signed right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng to a minor-league deal Tuesday and sent him to extended spring training.
Tseng was released last week by the Chicago Cubs after a rapid fall from their prospect rankings following a miserable 2018 and a minor shoulder injury this spring. He entered last season as the Cubs’ 12th-ranked prospect and was on their 40-man roster before going 2-15 with a 6.27 ERA for Triple A Iowa.
The Rangers are in need of starters after the sudden retirement of Jason Hammel late in spring training and an early-season injury to right-hander Edinson Volquez that forced Adrian Sampson into the starting rotation.
Tseng, 24, was the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in in 2014 and 2017 and made his MLB debut that season. But he struggled throughout 2018 and this spring, and hasn’t thrown in a few weeks.
The plan is for Tseng, who is from Taiwan, to spend up to a month in Arizona as the Rangers try to dissect his delivery and pitches as they try to cure his woes. They have liked him in the past and believe he had more upside.