Spencer Howard, the righthanded pitcher acquired by the Texas Rangers from the Philadelphia Phillies, was officially activated and put on the 26 man active roster before the team’s game on Saturday, the team announced. The Rangers had played Friday with a 25 man active roster, so there was no move needed to clear an active roster spot for Howard.
Howard is expected to be used in a starter role, though the Rangers indicated that he will have to be stretched out, having been used in a role where his pitch count was generally limited. Howard did have an 84 pitch outing in AAA in early July, but he has generally been at around 50 pitches, and he has ranged from 42 to 51 pitches in his last three appearances.
Given what has been reported about how the lack of a consistent routine is thought to have potentially hampered Howard this season, and his expressed desire to be able to work in a rotation structure, I expect that even if the Rangers opt to use Howard in a tandem starting role, he will pitch the first leg of the tandem, allowing him to prepare and enter the game in the first inning as a regular starting pitcher would.
In addition, because I don’t think I have previously mentioned this in a transaction post, John Hicks cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Round Rock.