The Texas Rangers have announced that David Perez has been promoted from high-A High Desert to AA Frisco. To make room for him on the roster, the Rangers have released Cody Buckel.
This is one of those happy news/sad news things. It is exciting, happy news for Perez, a 23 year old righthanded pitcher who was one of the more exciting, lightning arms in the system a few years ago, but who missed most of 2012 and 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. Perez wasn't impressive in 2014, resulting in him falling off the radar, but he bounced back with a solid 2015 campaign, putting up an 0.93 ERA in 29 innings at Hickory with 37 Ks against 14 walks before earning a promotion to High Desert. In 55 IP in high-A last year, Perez struck out 60 and walked 14, registering a 4.42 ERA. This year, Perez had 12 IP over 4 games, allowing just a single run, earning the promotion. Perez will most likely be working as a reliever in Frisco, and has the stuff to be a potential impact reliever if he continues to develop.
The flip side is that this is the end of Cody Buckel's time in the Rangers organization. Buckel, 23, was a 2nd round pick of the Rangers in 2010, and was considered one of the organization's top pitching prospects from the time he joined the organization until spring training, 2013. Buckel was among the pitcher who was said to be competing in the major league camp for a big league job, but had a poor camp. Upon starting the season at AA Frisco, he developed Steve Blass Disease, aka the yips -- the sudden inability to throw strikes. In 2013, Buckel faced 66 batters for Frisco, walked 28 of them, hit 3, and gave up a pair of home runs. Sent to the AZL to try to get straightened out, he faced 12 batters, hit one of them, struck out four, and walked the other seven. That put an end to his season, and while he pitched in 2014 and 2015, he continued to struggle with his control. This year, Buckel faced 22 batters for Frisco, walked 7 and hit 1.