Joe Palumbo, who manager Chris Woodward said Friday would be starting for the Texas Rangers against the Seattle Mariners on Monday, is now not starting on Monday. The Rangers say he is dealing with right leg tendinitis, and so Adrian Sampson, who was slated to start on Tuesday, will instead start on Monday. Tuesday’s starting pitcher is undetermined.
Palumbo was going to come up to essentially replace Jesse Chavez in the rotation. Chavez had been moved into the rotation after Palumbo struggled badly in his last major league start (though Palumbo did pitch well in three innings of relief work the Sunday before the All Star Break). Sampson had moved to the bullpen while Chavez was part of a four man rotation in the immediate aftermath of the Break, due to a fortuitous ordering of off days.
So the Rangers now will have to decide who to go with on Tuesday. Woodward mentioned Pedro Payano as a possibility, and Chavez could end up sticking in the rotation for the time being. If the Rangers bring someone up to make a start, it raises the possibility of someone like Ronald Guzman or Nomar Mazara — position players who have struggled and who have been losing playing time lately — getting sent down to make room for an extra arm. The bullpen currently has 7 relief pitchers, but the team has generally tried to go with an 8 man pen when possible.