Last spring, I was mystified by the amount of internet ink spilled by those who cover the Rangers on Brad Hawpe. Of all the NRIs, he seemed to get the most attention, and there was a lot of discussion about his injury situation, his progress, and even after he didn't make the team out of spring training, T.R. Sullivan (for example) was writing in April that the team needed Hawpe to get healthy and show he could play the outfield.
It was a mystifying amount of attention devoted to somebody who wasn't good and didn't have a role here, although in retrospect, I wonder if it wasn't the beats acknowledging that Hawpe was the only guy with the veteran credentials to get playing time off the bench for Ron Washington.
In any case, the 2013 version of Brad Hawpe was Kyle McClellan. McClellan, who had had a couple of years of some success while pitching out of the Cardinals' bullpen, was an NRI for the Rangers this year, but the way his presence was covered by the beats, it sounded like that, if he were healthy, he had a job on the team locked up, with the only question being whether it was as a starter or as a reliever. When an early injury sidelined him, the reaction seemed disproportionate to his potential impact...although again, I'm just wondering if this was a reflection of Ron Washington's desire for someone with experience, and his not wanting to have to rely on a Nick Tepesch as the #5 starter, or guys like Tanner Scheppers, Josh Lindblom, Joe Ortiz, or Cory Burns in the bullpen.
In any case, McClellan came back from injury, got promoted to the major league bullpen, posted a 7.71 ERA in 9.1 innings over 7 games while walking 5 batters, striking out just 3, and allowing 2 homers (good for a 7.13 FIP), and now has been designated for assignment by the Rangers.
Josh Lindblom is taking McClellan's place in the bullpen, and is likely vying with Ross Wolf to see who will be the long man when Joakim Soria returns in a week or so.
Evan Grant has tweeted that the Rangers are hoping that McClellan will stay with the Rangers after clearing waivers, rather than electing free agency, and will go to AAA to work on his arm strength.