The Texas Rangers have purchased the contract of lefthanded pitcher Michael Roth, according to John Blake on Twitter. To make room on the 40 man roster for Roth, the Rangers have transferred Colby Lewis to the 60 day disabled list. To make room on the 25 man roster for Roth, the Rangers have optioned Luke Jackson to
AAA Round Rock AA Frisco.
The move to send down Jackson isn't surprising...he threw a lot of pitches yesterday, got hammered in his second inning of work after throwing a scoreless inning when he first came in, and generally has been not terribly reliable for the Rangers, with the result being that Jeff Banister hasn't trusted him. With Jackson and Cesar Ramos both throwing a bunch of pitches yesterday, a move for another arm seemed inevitable, and the question is whether it would be Jackson, or Chi Chi Gonzalez, or both, who was sent down.
Roth, 26, was a 9th round pick of the Angels in 2012 out of the University of South Carolina, an underslot sign who got a $20,000 bonus, but who made it to the majors the following season. Roth had 32.1 IP for the Angels in 2013-14, mostly in relief, putting up a 7.79 ERA before getting released after the 2014 season. Roth spent 2015 in the Indians' system, though not making it to the majors, and was signed as a free agent this past offseason by the Rangers. He has excelled in a swingman role for Round Rock this year, putting up a 2.66 ERA in 81.1 IP, though with just 52 Ks against 20 walks.
Roth is your stereotypical crafty lefty, as he doesn't throw hard -- his velocity is in the upper
980s -- but he changes speeds, mixes pitches, and seeks to keep batters off-balance. He will likely be in the pen as a long man for the time being, though once Yu Darvish and Keone Kela are ready to return after the Break, he would seem to be a likely candidate to be dropped.