The Rangers announced Tuesday that outfielder Elier Hernandez has been designated for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to right-hander Kohei Arihara, whose previously reported selection to the Major League roster has now been formally confirmed and announced by the club. Additionally, Texas optioned right-hander Yerry Rodriguez to Triple-A Round Rock and recalled infielder/outfielder Mark Mathias in his place.
Hernandez, 27, made his big league debut earlier this season after spending parts of ten seasons in the minor leagues. Once a notable international signee of the Royals, he latched on with the Rangers organization prior to the 2021 season and, after a pedestrian minor league showing last year, forced his way onto the MLB roster with an impressive Triple-A effort in 2022. Through 62 games and 231 plate appearances in Triple-A this year, Hernandez slashed .295/.364/.546 with 11 homers, nine steals, an 8.7% walk rate and a 19.5% strikeout rate.
Unfortunately, that success has yet to carry over to the Majors. Hernandez hasn’t gotten much playing time, to be fair, but he’s managed just a .182/.200/.242 output in 35 trips to the plate. He’s punched out 15 times (42.9%) against just one walk (2.9%). Trades of DFA’ed players are no longer permitted now that the deadline has passed, so Hernandez will be placed on either outright waivers or release waivers within the week.
Mathias, meanwhile, is up for the first time in a Ranger uniform. Acquired alongside pitching prospect Antoine Kelly just before the trade deadline in the deal that sent reliever Matt Bush to Milwaukee, he’s appeared in eight games with Round Rock. Mathias has collected ten hits and four walks in 35 plate appearances, a continuation of the .318/.421/.518 pace at which he’d hit with the Brewers affiliate in Nashville.