The Texas Rangers recalled pitcher Spencer Howard from AAA Round Rock yesterday, in a move that had been announced as to be occuring the day before, but which didn’t actually occur until less than an hour before yesterday’s game. To make room for Howard on the active roster, the Rangers optioned pitcher Josh Sborz to AAA Round Rock.
Howard had been on the taxi squad, and his return to the rotation, after a string of solid outings at Round Rock, was known. What was kind of weird is that neither Howard’s recall nor the lineup were announced until late in the afternoon, much later than normally occurs, which leads one to wonder whether there was another possible move in the works. Speculation had been that Mitch Garver, who will need surgery on his flexor tendon at some point, and whose season likely will be cut short as a result, was headed to the injured list, but he was in the lineup (and hit a home run).
Sborz was basically the extra guy in the bullpen until they activated a fifth starter, so his being optioned was no surprise. The question now is whether Howard will be sent down today. The Rangers likely have several arms unavailable for action in tonight’s game against the Orioles. They do have an off day on Thursday, which will help, but with Glenn Otto scheduled to start are several relievers potentially unavailable, they may want to send Howard down so they can get someone who can absorb a few innings, if need be, up.