The Rangers announced that they’ve given right-hander Zach McAllister his unconditional release. It’s a somewhat surprising development given that McAllister had signed a Major League contract with Texas in the offseason and enjoyed a solid Spring Training to date. In a dozen Cactus League innings, he’s allowed four runs on 12 hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts.
With McAllister now out of the fold, the locks for the Texas bullpen include Jose Leclerc, Jesse Chavez, Shawn Kelley, Chris Martin and Jeffrey Springs (the latter of whom was informed last week he’d made the team). Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is also in line to make the roster following the sudden retirement of Jason Hammel. Out-of-options righty Connor Sadzeck, presumably, is a candidate to open the year in new skipper Chris Woodward’s bullpen as well, though offseason acquisition Kyle Bird is also still in camp.
McAllister, 31, struggled through an awful 2018 campaign with the Indians and Tigers, posting a combined 6.20 ERA in 45 innings of relief between the two clubs. He did turn in a quality 39-to-10 K/BB ratio in that time, though, and McAllister’s 95.3 mph average fastball velocity was as strong as ever. Prior to that ugly season, McAllister was a mainstay in the Cleveland bullpen from 2015-17, where he worked to a 2.99 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 through 183 1/3 innings of relief.