Shawn Kelley will undergo an MRI after feeling what the Rangers described as right biceps tendon soreness during today’s game, manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com’s Alyson Footer and other reporters. Kelley left today’s game without throwing a pitch, as the veteran righty’s injury developed during his warmup pitches after being called out of the bullpen during the eighth inning. Over 33 innings this season, Kelley has posted a 3.00 ERA, 8.73 K/9, and a 6.4 K/BB rate, so he’ll be sorely missed in the Texas bullpen if an injured list placement is required.
Kelley’s loss could be doubly problematic for the Rangers since the 35-year-old profiled as a potential trade chip for a Texas club that seems to be falling out of contention. After surprising many by staying within striking distance of the wild card hunt, a seven-game losing streak has dropped Texas to a 50-49 record and a deficit of 6.5 games between the Rangers and the A’s for the last AL wild card berth. With such players as Mike Minor and Danny Santana already drawing trade interest from rival teams, Texas is running short on time to prove to the front office that it can contend.
Some more from around the AL West…
- In an interview on the Astros’ pregame show today (hat tip to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome), general manager Jeff Luhnow projected that Brad Peacock will likely be out of action until roughly the “middle of next month, realistically.” Peacock’s recovery from shoulder inflammation hit a setback last week, and the right-hander is now looking at an injured list stint of at least six weeks (he hit the IL on June 28) if Luhnow’s mid-August timeline ends up being accurate. Peacock’s extended absence has only further deepened the Astros’ need for pitching reinforcements, as he was expected to return from the IL last week.
- Top Athletics pitching prospect A.J. Puk will be promoted to the organization’s Triple-A affiliate, according to Melissa Lockard of The Athletic (Twitter link). After Tommy John surgery forced Puk to miss all of 2018, the 6’7″ left-hander got back into action in June, posting a 5.02 ERA, 13.8 K/9, and 3.14 K/BB rate over 14 1/3 combined innings at Double-A and high-A ball. They aren’t exactly dominant numbers for Puk, though between his long layoff and perhaps some bad luck (four homers in those 14 1/3 IP), the A’s are clearly encouraged enough to give Puk his first taste of Triple-A competition. The hard-throwing Puk would very likely have been in the big leagues last season had he avoided injury, and is still on track to make his MLB debut this season if he stays healthy. While the A’s will surely be as cautious as possible with one of their top young hurlers, Puk has the potential to be a very intriguing addition to Oakland’s bullpen or perhaps even the rotation as the A’s continue to chase another postseason berth.
- In AL West news from earlier today, the Angels officially released Matt Harvey, and the Mariners acquired righty Matt Magill in a trade with the Twins.