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Clayton Blackburn leaves start with right elbow tightness

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Today’s matinee starting pitcher, Clayton Blackburn, was pulled in the first inning with elbow tightness

MLB: Texas Rangers-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers pitcher Clayton Blackburn was removed in the first inning of his start today due to “tightness in his right elbow,” according to John Blake on Twitter.

This is an ominous sign for Blackburn, who started off strong this spring, and was getting good reviews as someone who would likely start the year in AAA, but who could be starting pitching depth later in the season. Blackburn was acquired in April, 2017, from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Frandy de la Rosa. He was briefly called up to the majors by the Rangers last year, but didn’t get into a game.

When a pitcher is pulled mid-inning with an elbow issue, you always have concerns about if it is a UCL sprain or tear. Blackburn will apparently see Dr. Keith Meister for further evaluation, and we will wait to see how serious it is.