Hard-throwing right-hander Connor Sadzeck, who hit 102 mph during the Arizona Fall League, was one of four players optioned to minor-league camp, and right-hander Steve Johnson was released.
Joining Sadzeck in minor-league camp were righty Jose Leclerc, left-hander Yohander Mendez and outfielder/infielder Pat Kivlehan.
The Rangers decided it was time for them to start getting regular reps rather than spot duty in Cactus League games. That’s particularly important for Sadzeck, who came back last year from Tommy John surgery.
“We liked everything we saw,” Banister said. “What Sadzeck showed us is that he can throw strikes whether it’s at 94-95 or 99. His composure on the mound showed us that he has a new maturity level.”
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Sadzeck finished 2015 at Double A Frisco, where he struggled. Kivlehan is headed to Triple A Round Rock, where the Rangers want him to show his versatility by playing the infield corners in addition to the outfield.
“We talked to him about playing multiple positions,” Banister said. “He like that. He’s got that mindset.”