The Texas Rangers have activated pitchers Brock Burke and Demarcus Evans from the 10 day injured list. Each pitcher has been optioned to
the Alternate Training Site Frisco. This gives the Rangers two more healthy arms on the 40 man roster who they can potentially utilize in the coming weeks.
Evans, a 24 year old righthanded relief pitcher, made his major league debut in 2020 (along with, seemingly, half the Rangers organization), appearing in 4 games. He is a big guy, dubbed “Mississippi Mean” by our pal Tepid, and is a high strikeout, high walk pitcher; in 2019, he struck out 100 of the 235 batters he faced while walking 39, allowing just a 0.90 ERA while splitting the year between Down East and Frisco.
Evans is not the sort of flamethrower you would expect given his numbers — he averaged 93.9 mph on his fastball in 2020, per Fangraphs — but he’s a high spin rate guy and has a quality curveball to compliment the four seamer. He’ll get some work in at the Alternate Training Site, and then likely join the Round Rock Express bullpen when their season starts in (checks calendar) holy shit, just 12 days? If he shows decent command, he’ll be in the big leagues in the relatively near future.
Burke, also 24, is a lefthanded starting pitcher who came to Texas from Tampa Bay in the three way deal that also brought Eli White to Texas, and sent Jurickson Profar to Oakland. Burke was limited early in 2019 due to injury issues, but made his major league debut in August, 2019, giving the Rangers three Quality Starts in a row before having three awful outings and then being shut down. Burke missed all of 2020 due to surgery to repair a torn labrum in his lefty shoulder.
Shoulder injuries are always scary, and so its not unreasonable to have some concern about whether Burke’s stuff will be the same post-surgery, but the reviews this spring were not discouraging, and he’ll likely be with Round Rock once their season starts. My assumption is that we will see Burke in the Express rotation, but with his innings and pitch counter carefully managed. If he performs for Round Rock, we could see him in Arlington at some point later in the year as part of a tandem starter role, if they are still doing the tandem starter thing then.