Texas Rangers

Next step Rangers take with Smyly may be placing him on injured list. What’s nagging him?

The Texas Rangers will consider a stint on the injured list for Drew Smyly, who has been trying to pitch through a sore left ankle for nearly two months.

Manager Chris Woodward said an IL move is a possibility after Smyly lasted only three innings Sunday and surrendered five runs in an eventual 9-8 loss. Smyly has allowed 19 runs in his past three starts, and his ERA this season is 8.40.

His rotation spot comes up again Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.

A plan forward will be discussed with Smyly, Woodward said, and there are several options besides the IL -- keeping him in the rotation, using an opener ahead of him, having a bullpen day his next time through the rotation and removing him from the rotation all together.

Woodward said Smyly showed some positive signs despite getting roughed up by the Oakland A’s.

“If we were have him start or stay in that role, I feel better after watching what I did yesterday,” Woodward said. “That’s a starting point. I know his ankle has been bothering him, so that opened my eyes up that that was worse than we thought. Yesterday, he competed and went out and pitched every pitch. If we can build off that, he’s got a chance to be successful.”

The only way the Rangers can bring back Joe Palumbo, another left-hander, to take Smyly’s spot is with an IL move. Palumbo made his MLB debut Saturday, allowing four runs in four innings, and was optioned to Double A Frisco after the game.

He can be recalled before the required 10-day stay in the minors for an IL move. It doesn’t have to be Smyly who hits the IL, but that seems to be under consideration.

The only other healthy starters on the 40-man roster are two right-handers, Phillips Valdez at Triple A Nashville and Jonathan Hernandez at Frisco. Another righty at Nashville, Seth Maness, has big-league time but would need to be added to the 40-man roster.

The Rangers would also need an IL move to bring back Valdez, who also made his MLB debut Saturday.

“There’s always options,” Woodward said. “There’s all different kinds of ways you can do it. We’re going to discuss it.”

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After 11 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.