Chirinos and Lindblom optioned, Pierzynski activated, mystery player up

Rob Tringali

After last night's game, the Rangers optioned backup catcher Robinson Chirinos and emergency starter Josh Lindblom to AAA, and activated A.J. Pierzynski from the disabled list. Another player will be added to the roster today.

After last night's game, the Rangers made three roster moves.

As expected, A.J. Pierzynski was activated from the disabled list, with Robinson Chirinos optioned to AAA Round Rock to make room for Pierzynski on the active roster.

In addition, last night's starting pitcher, Josh Lindblom, was optioned to AAA Round Rock. This was a surprise to me, as the Rangers will need a fifth starter again on May 27 when they play a doubleheader in Arizona, and normally a player cannot be recalled from an optional assignment in less than 10 days unless they are replacing someone who has been placed on the d.l.

However, MLB changed the rules this year to allow a recall in less than 10 days when there is a doubleheader, so Lindblom will presumably be back in the majors on May 27 to make that start.

There is no word yet as to who is being called up to take Lindblom's place, but it will almost certainly be a pitcher, as Joe Ortiz, Cory Burns and Michael Kirkman all threw quite a few pitches last night. Yu Darvish is going tonight, and one would hope it wouldn't be necessary to use the 7th or 8th reliever tonight, but the Rangers are probably going to want a fresh arm out there.

The smart money seems to be on 33 year old lefty Neal Cotts getting called up from Round Rock. Cotts, a 2nd round draft pick of the A's in 2001, the year before the "Moneyball" draft, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009, and didn't pitch at all in 2010 or 2011. However, he's been outstanding in AAA this year, as he has struck out 22 of the 31 lefties he has faced -- lefties are 0 for 28 against him with 3 walks. Cotts allowed 2 runs in his third outing of the season, but otherwise, has blanked the opponents in his other 14 outings, and is currently sporting a 0.78 ERA in 23 innings.

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