As Brad noted this morning, the Texas Rangers placed relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress on the d.l. today, and purchased the contract of relief pitcher Preston Claiborne to take his place on the 25 man roster. To clear a 40 man roster spot for Claiborne, the Rangers designated pitcher Eddie Gamboa for assignment.
Claiborne is someone who had been getting talked about lately as someone who could possibly get a look in the big league bullpen. He’s an interesting guy, having spent parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons in the Yankees bullpen, putting up 71.1 IP with a 3.79 ERA. Claiborne was claimed by Miami after the 2014 season, missed 2015 with a shoulder injury, and then was released before the 2016 season. He ended up spending 2016 pitching for the Giants’ AA affiliate.
Signed by the Rangers to a minor league deal this past offseason, Clairborne has been impressive for Round Rock this year, putting up a 1.37 ERA in 26.1 IP, with 31 Ks against 11 walks and just 1 home run allowed. He will now get the opportunity to audition for a middle relief role while Tony Barnette and Jeremy Jeffress are on the shelf.
Jeffress supposedly felt his back bothering him in his last appearance. He’s been awful this year, and supposedly the Rangers considered DFA’ing him a few weeks back like they did with Sam Dyson, but he’s looked better lately before this injury. This doesn’t, at first glance, appear to be an injury ginned up to get a guy off the roster temporarily. That said, Jeffress being lousy, after missing a month last year going to rehab, doesn’t make the Milwaukee trade from last year look any better.
Gamboa is a knuckleballer the Rangers acquired from Tampa in the offseason, and who had been passed over enough times when the Rangers needed a spare body in the bullpen that it became clear he wasn’t in their plans. Honestly, I’m a little surprised he made it to late June without being waived.