The Rangers will deploy reliever Jose Leclerc as an opener in today’s game, the club announced. He’ll throw in front of Drew Smyly. The 25-year-old Leclerc will open for the second time this year. He entered the campaign as the indisputable closer after inking an extension over the winter, but lost that job when his prior control problems resurfaced. It seems the Rangers are looking to provide some stability for the live-armed hurler, who has dealt with minor shoulder and calf issues recently. Otherwise, he has been much more impressive of late, with a whopping 16:1 K/BB ratio in his last seven frames.
More from the AL West:
- Though he departed last night’s game with wrist soreness, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo doesn’t seem to be at any risk of a trip to the injured list. As Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, Gallo will get a day of rest today. That had already been planned, says Texas skipper Chris Woodward. Even as he has ramped up his offensive productivity by boosting his walk rate and continuing to launch prodigious long balls, Gallo has stretched his legs in the field. He has graded as a clear positive at all three outfield positions in recent seasons, though he had never before been utilized exclusively on the grass and had limited experience in center field. That modified deployment might itself warrant a few added days off to keep Gallo fresh over the course of the season.
- The Angels seemingly dodged a bullet when superstar Mike Trout wore a foul ball off his foot. Though he’s dealing with some soreness, he says there’s no fracture, as Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group tweets. The L.A. organization needed a break — of the other kind — after watching Andrelton Simmons hit the shelf, followed in short order by Zack Cozart.
- In other Halos health news, outfielder Justin Upton suggested a return from his turf toe injury is now within sight, as Fletcher reports. Though Upton cited a three-week target, that may be on the optimistic side. He’ll still need to don his cleats and run at full tilt, then complete a rehab assignment, without any recurring issues.
- In case you missed the late-night news, Mariners infielder J.P. Crawford appears to be headed to the injured list after suffering an ankle injury in last night’s contest.