Texas Rangers

Diagnosis is in on Taylor Hearn’s left elbow. He and Rangers are breathing sighs of relief

The news on Taylor Hearn’s left elbow is what the Texas Rangers were anticipating Friday when they place him on the 10-day injured list: He doesn’t need Tommy John surgery.

An MRI exam read Saturday in Arlington by team physician Dr. Keith Meister revealed only inflammation in the joint. Hearn will not throw for at least three weeks, when he will be evaluated, and will spend that time at extended spring training in Surprise, Ariz.

Hearn made his MLB debut Thursday, struggling with his control and showing a drop in velocity while retiring only one of the eight batters he faced. The Seattle Mariners scored five runs (four earned) on three hits and four walks.

Hearn threw 39 pitches, and his average fastball velocity was 91.6 mph. He has topped out at 98 and usually sits in the mid-90s. After the game, he told the media that he was sacrificing velocity in an effort to throw more strikes.

He didn’t mention any elbow issues, though he told the medical staff that his elbow felt tight. The Rangers sent him to Texas on Friday and used the IL move to recalled right-hander Wei-Chieh Huang from Triple A Nashville.

The Rangers acquired Hearn on July 30, 2018, in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for closer Keone Kela. The Rangers later added infielder Sherten Apostel to complete the deal.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.