Texas Rangers transactions: Chris Rowley, a righthanded pitcher designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays last week, has been claimed on waivers by the Texas Rangers and optioned to AAA Round Rock. The Rangers had an open 40 man roster spot prior to this move, and the 40 man roster is now full.
Rowley, who turns 28 next month, was an undrafted free agent signed by the Blue Jays in 2013 after he graduated from West Point. Rowley didn’t pitch professionally in 2014 or 2015, as he served in the military as a lieutenant, and was released from active duty in January, 2016, which allowed him to resume his baseball career.
Rowley split the 2017 season between AA, AAA and the majors, putting up a 6.75 ERA in 18.2 IP in 3 starts and 3 relief appearances in the majors. He has appeared briefly in the majors this year, allowing 4 runs in 2 relief appearances totaling 0.2 IP in the majors in 2018, but primarily has started for AAA Buffalo, where he has put up a 3.30 ERA in 101 innings over 17 starts, albeit with a 4.89 FIP. Fangraphs shows him as a fastball/slider/changeup guy, whose fastball last year was around 89 mph.
Rowley is a nice story — he’s the first graduate of West Point to play in the majors — and he gives the Rangers another depth option at AAA. With Cole Hamels on the block, and Bartolo Colon and Yovani Gallardo currently holding down rotation spots, the Rangers can use some AAA rotation depth, and with an open roster spot, claiming him doesn’t cost them anyone else.