Rangers setup man Jeremy Jeffress has checked into an inpatient rehab clinic following last week’s DWI arrest but will not be suspended by Major League Baseball, reports Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. According to Passan, Jeffress will spend about a month in a Houston-area clinic, lending uncertainty as to whether he’ll rejoin the team for the remainder of the regular season. Even if he does not, a postseason return is still possible.
Jeffress was arrested last Friday for driving while intoxicated and reportedly had a blood-alcohol content of .115 at the time of the arrest. Police found marijuana in the car’s glove compartment, according to Passan’s report, but Jeffress denied that it was his and was ultimately not charged with possession. However, Jeffress has a history of marijuana usage, which resulted in a pair of suspensions while he was in the minor leagues. Jeffress attributed that use to self-medication for his epilepsy in a candid interview with MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, during which the 28-year-old also spoke about his ongoing anxiety issues. Marijuana use typically does not result in suspensions for Major Leaguers, but FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets that Jeffress was asked to choose between a suspension and entering a treatment program, and he opted for the latter.
Via a press release from the Major League Baseball Players Association, Jeffress has issued the following statement:
“First, I would like to offer a sincere apology to the Texas Rangers, my teammates, my family, and to the fans for the incident that took place last Friday morning. Make no mistake, drinking and driving is wrong. I made a mistake that not only jeopardized my wellbeing, but the wellbeing of others, and I thank God that nobody was hurt because of my mistake. I have faced and overcome much adversity in my life, some of it self-inflicted, and I try very hard, every day, to be a positive influence in the lives of my family, friends, fans and, most importantly, my daughter, Jurnee. Moving forward, I promise to do everything I can to live my life the right way, as I look to put this incident behind me. I promise to do whatever it takes to get back on the field playing the game I love. And I will begin this process by being away from the team while I get the help I need to overcome these difficult personal issues. I am also making a commitment to speak out against impaired driving for the rest of my life, as I hope others will learn from my mistake. I also would like to thank the police department for their professionalism in handling the situation as well as they did. Lastly, I ask that others respect my privacy during my absence, just as I ask for their forgiveness. Thank you and God bless you all.”
The Rangers acquired Jeffress alongside Jonathan Lucroy in an Aug. 1 trade that sent Lewis Brinson. Luis Ortiz and a player to be named later to the Brewers. His absence will only further magnify what has been a shaky Rangers relief corps for much of the season. Of course, it’s worth noting that the group has performed better as a unit in the season’s second half, working to a 3.82 ERA that is markedly better than the collective 5.10 ERA posted by Texas relievers prior to the All-Star Game.