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Howard to Round Rock, Zavala to Down East

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A handful of minor league moves have occurred

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Spencer Howard, the righthanded pitcher for the Texas Rangers acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Kyle Gibson trade, has been sent to Round Rock on a rehab assignment, it was announced today. Howard, who has been on the COVID-19 list and has not pitched since August 19, will make a rehab start for Round Rock this evening.

Howard was on a limited pitch count this year even before the COVID-19 injured list stint, and after being out for almost two weeks, I’m not sure how long he may go tonight, or if the Rangers will have him make another rehab appearance after this before returning to the majors.

Meanwhile, outfielder Aaron Zavala, the Rangers’ 2021 second round pick, has been promoted to low-A Down East. Zavala has played seven games for the ACL Rangers, slashing .273/.385/.318.

Grand Prairie’s own Josh Stephan has also been promoted to Down East, and is starting for the Wood Ducks today. Stephan, a 19 year old righthanded pitcher who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, threw 28 innings over 7 appearances for the ACL Rangers this year, with a 3.86 ERA and 31 Ks against 12 walks. As I’m typing this, Stephan, who started today, has recorded five Ks in three shutout innings.

Moving from Down East to the ACL Rangers is Keithron Moss. Moss, a 20 year old second baseman, put up an 866 OPS in the AZL in 2019, and started the 2021 season with Down East. In 223 plate appearances, however, he has slashed just .171/.296/.337.