The Rangers are selecting the contracts of left-hander Hyeon-jong Yang and infielder Ryan Dorow before this evening’s game against the Indians, according to Levi Weaver of the Athletic (Twitter link). Catcher Jonah Heim is landing on the COVID-19 injured list, joining four other Rangers (Charlie Culberson, Brock Holt, Drew Anderson and Mike Foltynewicz) on the COVID list. It seems Spencer Howard and Dane Dunning could join them, as neither player accompanied the team to Cleveland as part of health and safety protocols. Weaver notes that left-hander Jake Latz is expected to be selected tomorrow as part of the roster maneuvering.
Yang returns for his second stint on the active roster. The KBO veteran signed a minor league deal with Texas over the winter and was selected to make his big league debut in late April. Yang went on to make eight appearances — including four starts — and posted a 5.59 ERA with worse than average strikeout and walk rates (15% and 11.8%, respectively) over 29 innings. Texas designated the 33-year-old for assignment and passed him through outright waivers in June. Yang has worked 45 frames with Triple-A Round Rock this season, posting a 5.60 ERA.
Dorow, who just turned 26 over the weekend, was selected by the Rangers in the 30th round of the 2017 draft out of Division III Adrian College in Michigan. That’s not the draft profile of a likely big leaguer, but Dorow has earned a look at the highest level against the odds with solid numbers up through Double-A. The right-handed hitter owns .260/.347/.405 line across 1455 professional plate appearances, including a .333/.394/.600 showing over 99 trips to the plate with Double-A Frisco this season. He’s struggled in his first look with Round Rock, hitting .210/.305/.359, but Dorow has ample experience at each of second base, third base and shortstop in the minors.
Like Dorow, Latz is in line for his first MLB opportunity. A fifth-rounder out of Kent State in that same draft, Latz has spent most of the season in Frisco. The 25-year-old has a 4.69 ERA over 63 1/3 innings, but he’s punched out a very strong 30.9% of batters faced. That’s come with a slightly elevated 10.3% walk rate, but Texas will give Latz a look in the hope he can carry over his strong bat-missing capabilities to the highest level. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs slotted Latz as the #50 prospect in the Texas organization in May, praising the southpaw’s above-average curveball.
Because that trio has been (or will be, in Latz’s case) selected to replace players landing on the COVID-19 IL, they can be removed from the active and 40-man rosters upon players’ returns from the COVID list. It seems they could be on the big league club for the near future, though, since COVID spread within the Texas clubhouse has now dealt a significant hit to their infield and rotation depth charts.