The Texas Rangers have purchased the contract of righthanded pitcher Anthony Bass from AAA Round Rock. To make room on the 25 and 40 man roster for Bass, the Rangers have designated pitcher Mike Hauschild for assignment.
Hauschild was the Rangers’ Rule 5 pick from the Houston Astros system, and he was an early camp sensation, with folks in early March suggesting he had won a spot in the rotation. As camp progressed, however, he was moved into a relief role, and ended up making the 25 man roster as a long man in the bullpen.
Hauschild struggled once the regular season started, however, making four appearances, and getting score on in each. He was knocked around especially hard by the A’s yesterday, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits, including 3 home runs, in 3.1 IP. On the season, Hauschild gave up 10 runs in 8 IP, striking out 7 and allowing 5 home runs.
In a different situation, the Rangers may have been more patient with Hauschild, but with the starting pitchers struggling to give the Rangers innings and Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman both being sidelined, the club isn’t in a place where it can burn a bullpen spot on a game that isn’t expected to contribute in any meaningful situation, especially when you don’t have the flexibility of optioning that player. Thus, Hauschild goes the way of Logan Verrett and Seth Rosin, recently Rule 5 guys who started the season with Texas, but didn’t stick long.
The Rangers now have 10 days to trade, release or waive Hauschild. If Hauschild clears waivers, the Rangers have to offer him back to the Astros for $50,000. The Rangers could also attempt to work out a trade with Houston to keep Hauschild in the system.
As for Bass, he was with the Rangers in 2015, and did an acceptable job as a long man out of the bullpen. He went to Seattle in the ill-fated Leonys Martin trade, then had the M’s turn around and sell him to the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese League. Bass spent 2016 in Japan, and then returned to the States this year, signing a minor league deal with the Rangers.
Bass has gotten off to an exceptional start for Round Rock, facing 29 batters over 3 games, striking out 16, allowing just 2 hits and walking 3. Bass isn’t likely to be a world-beater, but he’s an arm Jeff Banister is familiar with from two years ago, and is a veteran who will hold down long man duties at least until Tyson Ross returns, and potentially forces A.J. Griffin out of the rotation.