The Rangers announced they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Joe Barlow. Fellow righty Brett de Geus has been designated for assignment to create 40-man roster space. Texas also recalled Wes Benjamin and optioned Demarcus Evans.
It’s a bullpen shuffle that’ll result in Barlow getting his first major league opportunity. An 11th-round pick out of Salt Lake Community College in 2016, Barlow has worked exclusively in relief throughout his pro career. Across parts of five minor league seasons, he’s pitched to a 2.64 ERA. Barlow’s missed bats in droves, striking out 34.2% of batters faced in the minors, but he’s also shown significant control issues. The 25-year-old has dished out free passes to 15.4% of opponents in his career.
To his credit, Barlow has walked a career-low 10.1% of hitters in 21 frames at Triple-A Round Rock this year. That’s right in line with the MLB average for relievers (exactly 10%), so the Rangers will give him an opportunity to try to carry over that passable strike-throwing against big league hitters. Barlow has continued to keep batters off balance as he’s climbed to the minors’ highest level, striking out 36.7% of opponents this season while managing a 2.57 ERA.
The Rangers selected de Geus from the Dodgers organization in last winter’s Rule 5 draft, meaning he needed to stick in the majors all season if the Rangers wanted to retain his contractual rights long-term. He made the Opening Day roster and has gotten a pretty long leash this year, tossing 26 2/3 innings across 19 appearances. de Geus has given up an 8.44 ERA with mediocre strikeout and walk numbers (20.5% and 10.2%, respectively), although he’s kept the ball on the ground at a fantastic 55.6% clip and managed a decent 4.00 SIERA. Nevertheless, the Rangers decided to remove him from the roster. He’ll be placed on waivers; if he clears, he’ll need to be offered back to the Dodgers, who won’t need to keep him on the 40-man roster.