The Rangers have signed left-hander Bernardo Flores Jr. to a minor league deal, as initially reported by Flores’ Mexican League club, Diablos Rojos del Mexico (Twitter link). Flores also addressed the news himself, on his own Twitter feed.
Flores was released by the Rockies last spring, and he caught on with the Reds on a minor league contract before being released again, prior his signing with Diablos Rojos. The southpaw had a 7.13 ERA over his 17 2/3 innings with the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, and then a more respectable 4.15 ERA in 26 frames of Mexican League action. Walks were a big issue for Flores at both stops, continuing the control problems that began to significantly emerge during Flores’ 2021 season, while he was pitching in the minors in the Rockies and Cardinals organizations.
Originally a seventh-round pick for the White Sox in the 2016 draft, Flores’ tenure with Chicago culminated in his MLB debut — two innings over two games in the 2020 season. St. Louis claimed Flores off waivers in April 2021, and he appeared in only one game with the Cardinals at the Major League level during what ended up as an injury-hampered year for the southpaw.
The 27-year-old will try to add to this brief MLB resume by catching on with the Rangers, though a move to relief pitching might be Flores’ best way of getting back to the Show. Flores has started 93 of his 100 career games in the affiliated minor leagues, but his numbers largely hit a wall once he reached the Triple-A level. Flores has only a 6.15 ERA over 60 innings of Triple-A ball, with unimpressive strikeout (16.84%) and walk (12.98%) rates. There’s no risk for the Rangers in giving him a look during camp, and then perhaps keeping him as rotation depth in the minors or perhaps as a bullpen option.