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Joe Palumbo returns to game action

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Lefthanded pitcher Joe Palumbo pitched in an official game today for the first time since April, 2017

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

Joe Palumbo, Texas Rangers lefthanded pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery in April, 2017, began a rehab assignment tonight with the Rangers’ rookie league team in the Arizona League. Palumbo pitched two innings, facing 7 batters, striking out three, allowing two singles, and getting a 1-6-3 GIDP and a 6-3 ground out. It is Palumbo’s first game action in an official game since April, 2017.

Palumbo, 23, finished the 2016 season strong for the low-A Hickory Crawdads, and appeared to be taking a big leap forward in 2017 when he allowed just 1 earned run over 13.2 IP over his first three appearances for the high-A Down East Wood Ducks, striking out 22 while walking just 4. He was generating buzz about possibly being the best pitching prospect in the system before the damaged UCL ended his season.

Palumbo was a 30th round pick in the 2013 draft, and would have been Rule 5 eligible this past offseason had the Rangers not added him to the 40 man roster. He’s been on the 60 day disabled list all season, and, since he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Rangers can keep him on a rehab assignment for up to 60 days before they have to activate him and option him.

Palumbo most likely was on a 2 inning/30 pitch limit today, and I would think they may look to extend him to 3 innings/45 pitches next time out. I’m guessing Palumbo will get a couple more outings in the AZL before the Rangers look to move him up to Spokane or one of the full-season A ball teams.