For the first time this season, the Texas Rangers will have to alter their starting rotation. All things considering, that's pretty good, especially on the injury front.
This upcoming Wednesday, which will be the third game of the upcoming series in Minnesota, Korean southpaw Hyeon-jong Yang will make his first MLB start in place of Kohei Arihara.
Arihara received an injection in his right middle finger on Saturday, for what was described as a callus by Rangers manager Chris Woodward on Sunday. However, the injection was prescribed due to soreness in the tissue under the skin.
Arihara reported that the injection relieved the pain in the finger. The Rangers will monitor his progress and decide if they should just push his next start back a day or two, or put him on the 10-day Injured List.
Jordan Lyles is currently listed as the Rangers' probable starter on Thursday.
With Yang, the Rangers have been more than impressed with his first two outings since activating him early last week. He's provided 4 1/3 innings in each of his first two appearances, saving the bullpen after poor starts from Lyles and Arihara during the last homestand.
Yang, 33, gave up only three runs in 8 2/3 innings (2.08 ERA) with an impressive 0.81 WHIP in the two relief appearances, and immediately became a candidate for a spot in the rotation if one were to become available.
"I don't think it's too early to talk about that," Woodward said after Yang's second outing on Friday. "He's been really impressive. ... He knows how to pitch. He just had never pitched in the big leagues. He's faced some pretty good lineups — two of the best in baseball. He doesn't seem to be bothered by much out there."
The Rangers signed Yang to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training after 14 seasons in Korea. Yang impressed the Rangers during camp, and were able to keep him around with a spot at the alternate training site and regularly on the taxi squad.
Now, just over a month later, he'll be starting his first big league game.
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