The Texas Rangers have placed pitcher Spencer Howard on the COVID injured list. Howard, who stayed in Boston with the rest of the Rangers players in the COVID protocol, is being replaced on the active roster by Glenn Otto, who is starting tonight and making his major league debut.
The 25 year old Otto came over from the New York Yankees in the Joey Gallo deal. A righthanded pitcher who went to Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, Texas, and to Rice University, Otto was a fifth round pick of the Yankees in the 2017 draft. Like many Rice pitchers, Otto has had issues staying healthy as a pro, but his 2021 season saw him move up the prospect boards. Between AA Somerset, AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and AAA Round Rock, Otto has put up a 3.20 ERA in 95.2 IP with 134 Ks and 24 walks.
There are questions about whether Otto can stick in a rotation role due to questions about his durability and command, but he’s going to get a chance for the time being with the Rangers. Otto is Rule 5 eligible after this season, and was seen as a near-lock to be added to the 40 man roster anyway. While players brought up to replace a player on the COVID injured list during a team “outbreak” can be return to the minors and removed from the 40 man roster without going through waivers, I suspect Otto will stay on the 40 man and in the majors the rest of the way.