The Rangers announced that Kyle Gibson has been activated off the 10-day injured list, and the right-hander will start tonight’s game against the Rays. The corresponding roster move happened yesterday, when left-hander Wes Benjamin was optioned to Triple-A. Gibson’s IL placement (due to a right groin strain) took place on May 25 and was backdated to May 22, so he’ll end up missing only slightly beyond the 10-day minimum.
The Rangers will surely welcome the quick return of a pitcher who has somewhat unexpectedly become the ace of their rotation. After a lackluster 2020 season, Gibson has posted a 2.24 ERA over 60 1/3 innings this season, aided by a 52.7% grounder rate and perhaps some batted-ball luck in the form of a .234 BABIP. Gibson’s SIERA is two runs higher at a still-respectable 4.24.
Should Gibson maintain this performance, he’ll draw a lot of attention at the trade deadline. MLBTR’s Steve Adams ranked Gibson eighth on the most recent listing of the top 40 trade deadline candidates, noting that Gibson’s contract (he is owed roughly $5.88MM for the rest of this season and owed $7MM in 2022) makes him a pretty inexpensive pickup for most contenders.