The Texas Rangers “starting pitcher” for Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners will be Pedro Payano, the Rangers announced today. The phrase “starting pitcher” is in quotes because manager Chris Woodward says the team may use Brett Martin as an opener.
The Rangers originally planned on calling up Joe Palumbo to start Monday’s game against the Mariners, but he was scratched due to a leg issue. So instead Adrian Sampson was moved up a day, and Payano will be called up tomorrow.
The interesting decision will be what the Rangers do to open up a 25 man roster spot for Payano. They could option Phillips Valdez or Kyle Bird. Taylor Guerrieri and Rafael Montero are both out of options, so they’d have to be waived to open up a roster spot, and it seems unlikely they would call up Montero today just to waive him tomorrow.
Another possibility, however, is that Texas drops a position player and goes back to an 8 man bullpen. If they go that route, Nomar Mazara or Ronald Guzman, each of whom has been slumping, could be sent down. A less likely possibility would be designating Asdrubal Cabrera for assignment — the Rangers seem likely to try to move him by next week’s July 31 trade deadline, and designating him for assignment would clear a roster spot while giving them seven days to trade, waive or release him.