The Texas Rangers are optioning righthanded reliever Keone Kela to AAA Round Rock, with Jon Daniels saying the move is due to “clubhouse culture” issues, rather than performance related issues, per the beat guys on Twitter.
What specific “clubhouse culture” issues? No one is saying publicly, though the beats all seem to indicate that this is a disciplinary move.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is a shock, but it is definitely surprising, as Kela was a revelation in 2015, being a big part of the bullpen as a flame-throwing rookie. Kela missed much of 2016 due to elbow surgery, and wasn’t quite the same once he was activated, but he has dominating, swing-and-miss stuff. With Jake Diekman on the d.l., the only other reliever you can really say that about on the Rangers’ major league roster is Matt Bush.
Kela is one of those guys who is said to have an “edge” to him. Hopefully, he responds to this move, and gets back in the majors and contributing to the Texas Rangers.