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Joely Rodriguez sidelined with lat injury

Per the beat guys, lefthanded relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez will be sidelined to start the season

2020 Texas Rangers Photo Day Photo by David Durochik/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Texas Rangers reliever Joely Rodriguez has a lat injury, per the beat guys on Twitter. The lefthanded relief pitcher suffered the injury in April.

Rodriguez is on the 40 man roster, having been signed to a major league deal this offseason. He put up a 1.85 ERA in 87.2 IP over 90 games for Chunichi in the Japanese League over the second half of 2018 and all of 2019, and upon deciding to return to the United States, he had several teams pursuing him, with the Rangers ultimately landing him on a 2 year, $5.5 million deal.

Rodriguez is reportedly expected to not be ready for the late-July start to the season, but is expected back before the end of the year. His absence potentially opens the door for Taylor Hearn or Joe Palumbo to have a meaningful role in the bullpen to start the year.