Rangers right-handed reliever Ross Ohlendorf is back on the disabled list with a strained right groin, an injury that first sidelined him during spring training.
Right-hander Spencer Patton was recalled from Triple A Round Rock to replace him on the roster. Ohlendorf’s DL stint is retroactive to June 4. He was in the bullpen Saturday when the tightness occurred.
“I just felt like it was a bad idea to try to pitch through it,” Ohlendorf said. “This isn’t that bad. I don’t want to have a relapse.”
Ohlendorf missed significant playing time in spring training with the same injury. His slow return to the roster prevented him from starting the season with the Rangers. Instead, he pitched with Round Rock before getting called up May 17.
“Ross said something to us early enough so we feel like we shut him down,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Ohlendorf is 1-0 with a save and 3.52 ERA in eight appearances. He headed back to Texas on Sunday to have more tests and get treatment. His DL stint ends June 19.
Patton adds curve
Patton had been stellar with Round Rock recently. He has 0.53 ERA in 16 innings.
He was available Sunday but did not pitch. It’s his second stint with Texas.
Patton allowed three runs in three innings in early May before being sent back down to Round Rock. He has five saves in five chances and Triple A batters are hitting .175 against him. He included a curve ball into his mix since the last time he was with the Rangers. It has made his slider and split changeup more effective.
“I felt like I was pitching well, gained some more confidence after going back down and hopefully I can bring some of that confidence up here,” he said. “[Pitching coach Mike] Maddux and I talked about it last time I was up here.
“He said it looked good and wanted me to start implementing it more. It’s a great pitch, especially if you have a curve and slider, one’s softer and one’s harder and it’s hard to look for one if you’re expecting another. They just play off each other.”
Patton’s last appearance was on Wednesday when he threw 10 pitches in a hitless inning. Patton, 27, was drafted by the Royals in 2011 and came to Texas in the Jason Frasor trade a year ago.
Rangers first baseman Kyle Blanks (cyst) has been able to consistently take batting practice and has run the bases the past two days in Kansas City and is close to returning from the DL. Blanks has been out since May 22.
“It’s still sensitive but it’s to the point that it’s manageable,” Blanks said.
Banister could use Blanks’ right-handed power off the bench. He is batting .322 with three homers in 15 games.
“When Blanks is ready we’d like to get him on the roster,” he said. “The power threat of Blanks [off the bench], I would think, would make other teams pay attention. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was earlier than Thursday.”
When Blanks is activated the Rangers probably will choose one of eight pitchers in the bullpen to send down.
“That is respect. He’s earned that. Ned [Yost] managed him, he knows him as good as anybody. I’m sure his memory of Prince Fielder is very vivid because he got to live what Prince could do and what he did do. He got to see it first-hand like I get to see it first-hand.” — Rangers manager Jeff Banister on Fielder twice being intentionally walked by Royals manager Ned Yost on Saturday. Yost managed Fielder with the Brewers.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760