Left-hander Cesar Ramos will start for the Texas Rangers onMonday in place of Yu Darvish after not being needed Sunday in relief in the series finale against the Seattle Mariners.
Manager Jeff Banister said that veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse was also an option in the opener of a four-game series at Oakland. He was bumped from his scheduled start Sunday for Triple A Round Rock, but he doesn’t have a place on the 40-man roster.
Double A Frisco starter Connor Sadzeck, who has a 40-man spot, was also considered and was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday night.
Ramos hasn’t pitched in eight days but said that he shouldn’t have any issues logging multiple innings if he is the choice.
“I’ve gone 15 or 16 or 17 days without pitching and pitched multiple innings,” Ramos said. “It won’t be the first time. It’s just the endurance. Hopefully I can be efficient and go deep into the game.”
Ramos has appeared in seven games, making three starts, and is 1-2 with a 3.58 ERA. He’s 1-1 with a 2.76 ERA as a starter.
Lohse, 37, signed a minor league deal with the Rangers last month and has gone 2-2 with a 5.86 ERA in five starts. He has posted three quality starts and allowed three runs or fewer in four starts, but he allowed seven runs in four innings June 4.
To use Lohse, though, would have required creating a spot on the 40-man roster. Triple A starters Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez, both on the 40-man, were not options because they would not be on full rest.
A spot starter became a necessity after Darvish had a recurrence of the shoulder and neck stiffness that forced him to leave his start Wednesday after only five innings. He is scheduled for an MRI exam Monday and a visit with team physician Dr. Keith Meister.
Shin-Soo Choo will meet the Rangers on Monday and be at Oakland Coliseum after completing a rehab assignment Saturday night, but he might not be activated until Tuesday.
One possible reason is that A’s left-hander Sean Manaea, who beat the Rangers last month, is holding lefty hitters to a .152 average while right-handers hit him at a .317 clip.
But the Rangers are still waiting to decide if third baseman Adrian Beltre needs a stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Sunday was the fourth day since he was injured, and Banister said that Beltre could get a few more days.
Darvish’s status could also affect the timing of the decision.
Choo went 9 for 23 with two walks over parts of seven games with Double A Frisco and Round Rock. He played nine innings in right field on back-to-back days Friday and Saturday.
“The test of the innings, running in and off the field, the bases, everything that goes into the grind of what it takes to play in the outfield, he’s been tested pretty good,” Banister said.
When Choo is activated, he will play right field and push Nomar Mazara to left field, and could become the leadoff hitter. Banister said that he likes having Ian Desmond bat second.
First baseman Ike Davis was released from his Triple A contract to pursue other opportunities, and he quickly found one in a major league deal with the New York Yankees.
Davis came to Rangers spring training on a minor league deal but played in only four games because of a knee injury. He was batting .268 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games with Round Rock.
Banister said that the Rangers could stick with their current bench configuration of two catchers and an outfielder through the foreseeable future, including next weekend during an interleague road series at St. Louis.
Banister used catcher Robinson Chirinos as a pinch runner Saturday night for Prince Fielder. Banister said that he will not use a starting pitcher as a runner because of the injury danger on the bases.