Texas Rangers transactions: Austin Bibens-Dirkx has been called up, and Brandon Mann has been sent down, the Rangers announced today. As was indicated yesterday would happen by the team, Austin Bibens-Dirkx had his contract purchased from AAA Round Rock, being brought up to be the starting pitcher tonight in place of the injured Matt Moore. To make room for him on the 25 man roster, Brandon Mann has been optioned. The Rangers had an empty 40 man roster spot after designating Kevin Jepsen for assignment, so no additional 40 man roster move was necessary.
Mann was a good story, a guy in his 30s who spent over a decade toiling in the minors and overseas before getting his break and making the majors two weeks ago. In 5 major league innings, he walked 2, allowed 2 hits, struck out 1, hit a batter, and didn’t allow any runs. He may end up getting another look in the majors at some point later this season.
Bibens-Dirkx could be up for just this spot start, or he could stay in the rotation longer, depending on when the Rangers feel like Moore can return. I have not seen any clear indication as to what the plan for him is, though that may depend in part on what happens tonight — if Bibens-Dirkx gets pulled early and the Rangers run through a bunch of the bullpen, they may send him back down immediately to get a fresh arm up for Friday.
The other issue looming over Mann and Bibens-Dirkx is how long they will keep their 40 man roster spots. Tim Lincecum is eligible to come off the 60 day disabled list in a few days, Ricky Rodriguez is on a rehab assignment and will need to be activated from the 60 day d.l. soon, and Elvis Andrus will be back off the 60 day d.l. in mid-June. The Rangers may end up cutting ties with some other players on the 40 man roster — Eliezer Alvarez could be back on the waiver wire soon, the team could move on from Rule 5 pick Carlos Tocci, or someone else could be on the chopping block — but Texas may decide that the risk of losing Mann or Bibens-Dirkx on a waiver claim is slight enough that they could one of those two on waivers to clear a roster spot in the near future.