Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers designate a pitcher for assignment. Who will fill his place in rotation?

Texas Rangers Globe Life Field view from home plate

Here is a view from behind home plate at Globe Life Field, the future home of the Texas Rangers, which will open for the 2020 season. The biggest difference between this stadium and the current one, Globe Life Park, is that this will have a roof.
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Here is a view from behind home plate at Globe Life Field, the future home of the Texas Rangers, which will open for the 2020 season. The biggest difference between this stadium and the current one, Globe Life Park, is that this will have a roof.

The move that came down Thursday morning was only a matter of time, and time finally ran out on Drew Smyly.

The left-hander was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers, who made a flurry of transactions before their matinee with the Cleveland Indians.

But the biggest news involved Smyly, who was acquired in the off-season to fill a rotation spot but won only once this season while amassing an 8.42 ERA. Along the way, his teammates were privately voicing concerns about his performances while the Rangers flirted with being a postseason contender.

Smyly wasn’t going to help them get there. He’d been given enough chances and simply wasn’t getting any better.

“It’s a tough situation anytime you have to DFA somebody,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He’s coming off injury. I don’t think the expectations were overly high, but it honestly didn’t work out. He was fighting to figure things out. I think it’s just best for him and, honestly, best for us to just have him move on.”

The Rangers also optioned lefty Joe Palumbo to Triple A Nashville after he was rocked for seven runs Wednesday. The initial plan was to give him multiple turns in the rotation, but his inexperience was exposed by the Indians.

Right-hander Jesse Chavez, who replaced Palumbo and has been the Rangers’ best reliever the past two months, will move into the rotation Tuesday at Detroit. Left-handed reliever Kyle Bird and Locke St. John were added to the bullpen.

Chavez has started 70 games in the majors and an additional four this season as an opener.

None of them was needed in the finale against the Indians as Mike Minor remained on course for a spot on the American League All-Star team next month.

He allowed one run in eight innings, and Danny Santana and Elvis Andrus hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning en route to a 4-2 victory and a series split with the Indians.

Smyly’s last act came Tuesday, when he allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning of a 10-3 loss. He was making only his second appearance since losing his rotation spot, but it was more of the season.

He allowed two runs in his first inning, in which he labored through 32 pitches. After two scoreless innings, he allowed the three homers in the span of five pitches and did not look competitive in doing so.

The Rangers, on the other hand, are competitive and believe they can make a run at a playoff spot.

“We’re just at a point in the season where we felt like we had given it a chance,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He was pointing work it. It wasn’t paying consistent dividends at this point.”

Chavez allowed only one run in five innings and was stretched out to 59 pitches. He could push 75 or 80 next week against the Tigers following the Rangers’ first off day since June 3.

The Rangers will continue to look internally for bullpen help when and if it’s needed. Daniels seemed more apt to promote deserving relievers than acquiring from outside the organization.

Palumbo could get another shot at the rotation once he gains more command of his off-speed pitches. Woodward said that the Indians were ready for his fastball and showed patience when he couldn’t throw his off-speed pitches for strikes.

The Rangers’ patience with Smyly ran out Thursday.

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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.
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