The Texas Rangers have placed relief pitcher Keone Kela on the 10 day disabled list, retroactive to August 5, due to shoulder soreness. Replacing Kela on the 25 man roster is relief pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez was not on the 40 man roster prior to having his contract purchased today, and the 40 man roster now is at 38.
Kela will be eligible to return to the active roster on August 15, which means that, with the off day Thursday, he may miss just 6 games if he is ready to return from the disabled list after the minimum. He has been dealing with shoulder issues for much of the season, and so this may just be a precautionary move to be safe with him, particularly given where things stand in terms of the Rangers playoff chances (or lack thereof) right now.
Rodriguez, who turns 25 at the end of this month, is an interesting case. A righthander out of Venezuela listed at 6’2”, 220 lbs., Rodriguez had a respectable season in 2014 in his first year of full season ball at low-A Hickory. Rodriguez then missed most of 2015 and all of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Returning this year, Rodriguez started 2017 at high-A Down East and dominated, giving up just 5 runs in 32 innings while striking out 44 and walking just 9. He was promoted to Frisco last month and has allowed just 2 runs there in 15 innings, with 17 Ks against a single walk.
Rodriguez was eligible to be a minor league free agent after this season if he was not added to the 40 man roster, so this is probably at least in part a move to get a look at a guy the team was going to have to make a decision on in a couple of months anyway. Calling Rodriguez up at this point gives the major league staff an opportunity to evaluate him and make a better determination if he is worth keeping on the 40 man this offseason, and with the current state of the bullpen, he would appear to have an opportunity right away to show if he can contribute.