Spencer Howard, who is coming off his best start of the season in the minors, was added to the Texas Rangers practice squad and threw a side session in New York on Saturday.
MLB.com reported the move.
Howard was in the starting rotation to begin this season. He made one start and pitched in three games, going 0-1 with a 12.15 ERA. A blister put Howard on the injured list on April 14. He returned to the Rangers on April 24 and on April 30 he was sent to Triple-A Round Rock.
Howard pitched his longest game of the season against Las Vegas on Thursday, going seven innings and giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out 11. He didn’t give up a run.
That makes him a potential option for the Rangers, who need a fifth starter next week in Baltimore.
The Rangers are scheduled to start Jon Gray on Sunday against the Mets, followed by Dane Dunning on Monday in Baltimore.
Glenn Otto is the Rangers’ fourth starter, but he pitched on Friday night against New York, giving up four runs in four innings. Otto would only be on four days’ rest if he threw Tuesday. The Rangers could also opt for a bullpen game.
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Howard, if he started on Tuesday, would be pitching on five days’ rest.
The Rangers created this situation when they sent Taylor Hearn down to Triple-A on June 24. The Rangers were able to get around needing a fifth starter at the start of this road trip because they had an off-day on Thursday.
In 10 starts, Howard is now 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 19 walks.
Howard was a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2017 MLB Draft. Howard worked his way up through the Phillies organization to make his MLB debut on Aug. 9, 2020.
The Rangers acquired Howard in a deadline deal last season that saw the Rangers send Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy to the Phillies.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard