Texas Rangers

Rangers likely to stick with Gonzalez in rotation even with new call-up

Newest Rangers pitcher Michael Roth back in MLB

The Rangers promoted left-hander Michael Roth from Triple A Round Rock on Sunday, and he is back in the majors for the first time since 2014 (video by Jeff Wilson).
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The Rangers promoted left-hander Michael Roth from Triple A Round Rock on Sunday, and he is back in the majors for the first time since 2014 (video by Jeff Wilson).

Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will probably get another turn in the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation, even though he and the recently promoted Michael Roth are on the same schedule.

Gonzalez recorded only two outs Saturday before exiting in the first inning after 38 pitches and four runs allowed. But only one of the runs was earned, and he could have had a scoreless inning if the defense behind him had been better.

We had outs all over the place.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on Chi Chi Gonzalez not deserving of all the blame Saturday

“Chi Chi’s outing yesterday, he only gave up two hits,” manager Jeff Banister said. “That was me protecting that kid. He’s out of the inning if he doesn’t panic on the ball back at him. We didn’t make the proper decision on one ball. We had outs all over the place.”

Rangers right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez recorded only two outs in his second start of the season Saturday (video by Jeff Wilson).

The Rangers purchased Roth’s contract from Triple A Round Rock, where he was selected as a Pacific Coast League All-Star. The 26-year-old left-hander threw a two-hitter June 25, the last time he pitched, and was 7-3 with a league-leading 2.66 ERA.

Roth, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014, said that he has found an arm slot that works for him and has been able to keep it consistent. The Rangers are his third organization after the Los Angeles Angels drafted him in 2012 out of South Carolina, and he pitched in the Dominican Republic over the winter.

I’ve learned some more things about my delivery and about my mechanics that have helped me be who I am and be good on the mound.

Rangers pitching call-up Michael Roth, on his arm slot

“I’ve bounced around, but this year was good for me,” Roth said. “I was a late-sign in spring training, so you’re always having to go and prove yourself. I think you’re always doing that as a player, and I’ve learned some more things about my delivery and about my mechanics that have helped me be who I am and be good on the mound.”

To make room for Roth on the 40-man roster, right-hander Colby Lewis (strained oblique) was moved to the 60-day disabled list. Righty Luke Jackson, who allowed six runs Saturday, was optioned to Double A Frisco to create a spot on the active roster.

Jackson didn’t go to Round Rock because the Triple A All-Star break begins July 11 and the Rangers want him to get regular work. The Texas League All-Star Game was last week.

A key for Jackson is to control his emotions when things start getting away from him.

“It looks like the effort level picks up,” Banister said. “You need to be able to control the effort, throw strikes, and the curveball needs to be more consistent.”

Martinez’s simple goal

Right-hander Nick Martinez allowed two runs in five innings Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium despite walking five batters and throwing only 38 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

So, as he opens a three-game series Monday against the Boston Red Sox, he has a fairly obvious goal.

“Don’t walk so many people,” he said.

38 Strikes thrown, out of 84 pitches, by Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez in Wednesday’s five-inning stint against the Yankees

Martinez said that a few of the walks he issued were by design, as he worked around hitters for better matchups, but the walks to the Yankees’ speediest players were not by design.

But as he looked back at video from the start, Martinez didn’t see anything that needed to be fixed.

“It’s going out there and having that mindset of getting ahead,” he said. 

Praising Desmond

As the daily pregame media session with the manager wound down Sunday, the discussion turned toward the All-Star Game prospects of center fielder Ian Desmond and if he’s is the first-half MVP in the American League.

MLB will reveal the All-Star teams Tuesday, and Banister expects Cole Hamels to be picked to the AL squad and would be shocked if Desmond is not.

“I think we’d have to ask for a recount,” Banister said.

Banister believes that Desmond at the very least is a part of the conversation for MVP.

Moreland scratched

First baseman Mitch Moreland was a late scratch from the lineup for the series finale against the Twins because of tightness in his right calf.

He was replaced in the lineup by Jurickson Profar but pinch hit for Bobby Wilson in the seventh and drew a walk. Robinson Chirinos, though, ran for Moreland, who said that he felt the discomfort while running sprints before the game.

Catcher Bryan Holaday and manager Jeff Banister talk about Holaday's pitching appearance Saturday (video by Jeff Wilson).

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