Texas Rangers pitcher Clayton Blackburn is likely out until at least the All Star Break, and possibly longer, according to Evan Grant. Evan says that the belief is that Blackburn has a torn UCL in his right elbow, which would likely necessitate season-ending Tommy John surgery. Blackburn, who left his start yesterday in the middle of the first inning due to the elbow problem, had an MRI done today, and it will be reviewed by Dr. Keith Meister on Thursday.
Its a blow for Blackburn, who was having a strong camp, as well as the team, given that Blackburn was viewed as potential rotation depth in AAA. Ronald Herrera and Yohander Mendez will also be on optional assignment at AAA Round Rock this season and will be working in the rotation, and they will each move up in the possible promotion pecking order as a result.
Blackburn will presumably be moved to the 60 day disabled list at some point in the near future, which will open up a 40 man roster spot.
In addition, the Rangers have announced that catcher Brett Nicholas has cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA Round Rock. Nicholas, 29, was designated for assignment last week to make room on the 40 man roster for Tim Lincecum. Nicholas remains with the organization and under team control, and will presumably be in the catcher/first base/DH mix for the Express.