Juan Gonzalez and Jeff Russell were inducted into the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame during a ceremony before Saturday’s game at Globe Life Park.
Gonzalez’s son, Juan Gonzalez Jr., accepted on his father’s behalf.
Gonzalez played for Texas from 1989-99 and again in 2002-03 and is the Rangers’ all-time leader in home runs and RBIs.
Russell played for the Rangers from 1985-92 and again in 1995-96. He made two All-Star teams in 1988 and ‘89. He’s second in Rangers’ history with 445 games and 134 career saves. He earned the American League Relief Pitcher of the Year award in 1989 after going 6-4 with 38 saves with a 1.98 ERA. Russell thanked former Rangers pitching coach Tom House for teaching him how to become a better pitcher.
“For not only changing me from a thrower to a pitcher, but to everything from my mechanics to my diet,” Russell said of House as former Rangers players and family members looked on. “Thanks for just being a mentor to me. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’ll always be a Ranger. I can’t thank you enough for this accomplishment.”
The Rangers Hall of Fame was created in 2003. Gonzalez and Russell are the 12th and 13th players inducted. Others include Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, Ivan Rodriguez and Buddy Bell.
Detwiler sent down
The Rangers designated left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler for assignment and recalled right-hander Roman Mendez from Triple A Round Rock.
The Rangers traded for Detwiler for two minor leaguers, infielder Chris Bostick and right-handed reliever Abel De Los Santos in December. Detwiler left the Nationals for the Rangers with the hopes of being a starter and earning a spot in the rotation. But he struggled at the start of the season and was eventually moved to the bullpen in early June. He was 0-5 with a 7.12 ERA. He didn’t fare much better in relief, allowing eight runs on 14 in 10 relief appearances.
“It’s about winning baseball games at this point,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of the move to add a right-hander to the bullpen. “It comes down to this is an execution league. You have to be able to execute at a higher rate. I feel at some point Ross will do that. Right now, it’s a better fit for us to go in the direction we’re going."
Mendez made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster and was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 relief appearances before he was optioned to Round Rock on May 4. He had a 2.57 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings with Round Rock.
Perez and Holland
Left-hander Martin Perez is likely to make his first start with the Rangers in more than a year during the team’s series at Houston after the All-Star break. Perez makes his final rehab start for Triple A Round Rock on Sunday. He had Tommy John surgery in May 2014.
Lefty Derek Holland, who is recovering from left shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session Sunday. Holland is scheduled to travel with the Rangers to Houston, but Banister said it’s probably too early for Holland to throw to live hitters. Holland is expected back in early- to mid-August after a rehab stint in the minors.
Banister said he has a rotation in mind coming out of the break but is waiting a few days to reveal it. Although there remains an “element of the unknown” with their health and how quickly they can return to their former status, Banister is expecting both to be part of the rotation.
“Given the track record of who they are and what they’ve done, it’s pretty good,” he said. “And they’re in-house and they’re ours, and they’re part of this team so there is some anticipation there. Both of them have done some significant things and have pitched very well here.”