ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers are shaking up their roster, looking to give more young players opportunities as any hopes of contention have faded away.
The Rangers added two pitchers to the mix on Wednesday, recalling LHP Wes Benjamin from Triple-A Round Rock, along with selecting the contract of RHP Joe Barlow.
For Benjamin, this is his fourth stint with the big league club. He made the Opening Day roster out of spring training, but was sent down roughly two weeks into the season after struggling with his command. He was recalled for just one day on May 14, then again on May 25 and remained with the Rangers through June 3.
On the flip side, this is Joe Barlow's first big league call-up. The 25-year-old has spent the season with Round Rock, compiling seven saves with a 2.57 ERA, eight walks, 29 strikeouts, a 12.4 strikeouts-per-nine, and a 0.76 WHIP over 17 relief appearances.
"He's been pitching well," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "We've always liked Joe. We brought him into camp last year. This guy's got elite stuff. He's got a really good fastball. He added a slider to the curveball. He's throwing strikes."
Staying in the strike zone is something the Rangers have vehemently demanded of their pitchers throughout the season. It's why Wes Benjamin was demoted earlier in the season. Chris Woodward said the club has seen the necessary growth they demanded of Barlow and feel like now is the time to give him an opportunity.
"He's in a good place. He's confident," Woodward explained. "It goes kind of along those lines of rewarding those who are performing and doing well. We felt like this was a good option for our organization."
To make room for Benjamin and Barlow, the Rangers optioned RHP Demarcus Evans to Round Rock and designated RHP Brett de Geus for assignment.
With Evans, Woodward said he may have been pressing too hard to stay in the big leagues, which is not uncommon for a young pitcher. What was a bit more surprising was the decision to DFA de Geus, who was selected in the Rule 5 draft last winter. Now de Geus will go through waivers, and if he is not claimed, the Rangers must offer him back to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I do believe in the kid. I think he's got good stuff," Woodward said. "It was just one of those things where it put a little stress on our roster, as far as pitching goes. We didn't want to expose him to too many difficult scenarios. We wanted to help him get through. It got to the point where it was too difficult at times to not use him. It hurt the rest of our staff."
Oakland Athletics (45-30) at Texas Rangers (26-47)
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
7:05 PM CT
Globe Life Field | Arlington, TX
OAK: RHP James Kaprielian (4-1, 2.84 ERA)
TEX: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-7, 5.59 ERA)
TV: Bally Sports Southwest
Radio: 105.3 The Fan, KFLC
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: KNEW 960, A's Cast
Texas Rangers Starting Lineup
- SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa
- DH Willie Calhoun
- CF Adolis García
- RF Joey Gallo
- 1B Nate Lowe
- LF Eli White
- 3B Brock Holt
- 2B Nick Solak
- C Jonah Heim
Oakland Athletics Starting Lineup
- 2B Tony Kemp
- 3B Matt Chapman
- DH Matt Olson
- RF Ramón Laureano
- 1B Mitch Moreland
- C Sean Murphy
- SS Elvis Andrus
- LF Seth Brown
- CF Skye Bolt
Rangers Injury Report
10-Day Injured List
- David Dahl (left rib cage contusion, back tightness): Dahl started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday, but had it transferred to Double-A Frisco on Wednesday.
60-Day Injured List
- Kohei Arihara (right shoulder surgery): Arihara had a procedure to repair of posterior circumflex humeral artery aneurysm in right arm. Procedure was performed by vascular surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl in Dallas and went as expected. Arihara will have a follow-up visit this month with no throwing in the interim.
- Matt Bush (right flexor strain): Bush is currently in a six-week shutdown, then will undergo an MRI. It's looking like the soonest Bush could come back is around the All-Star break.
- Kyle Cody (right shoulder impingement): What was initially ruled as just inflammation, Cody's injury is much more long-term than expected. His timetable remains unclear.
- Ronald Guzmán (torn meniscus in right knee): Guzmán underwent successful season-ending knee surgery on April 28.
- Jonathan Hernández (Tommy John surgery): Hernández underwent Tommy John surgery on April 12, which was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He will be sidelined for approximately 12-14 months.
- Sam Huff (arthroscopic knee surgery): Huff was near the end of his rehab regarding his hamstring injury, but tweaked his knee in the batting cage near the end of minor league camp. Huff had surgery on April 28 to remove a "loose body" in his knee. His prognosis from the time of surgery is eight weeks.
- José Leclerc (Tommy John surgery): Leclerc underwent successful Tommy John surgery on March 31, which was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He will be sidelined for approximately 12-14 months.
- Hunter Wood (right UCL sprain): Wood will not throw for two weeks, and then begin an extensive throwing program. He is expected to be out at least two months.
More on SI's Inside The Rangers:
- Rangers Routed By A's, Romo Drops Pants During Foreign Substance Check
- 'I Want To Win': Isiah Kiner-Falefa Discusses Rangers' Potential Pursuit Of Free Agent Shortstops
- Elvis Andrus Reflects On 'Great Memories' With Rangers In Return To Texas
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