ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Adrian Sampson is back in the Major Leagues. He could be a preview of coming attractions for Rangers pitching.Sampson was one of the September callups for the Rangers, bringing him back to the Major Leagues for the first time in over two years. His only Major League
ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Adrian Sampson is back in the Major Leagues. He could be a preview of coming attractions for Rangers pitching.
Sampson was one of the September callups for the Rangers, bringing him back to the Major Leagues for the first time in over two years. His only Major League appearance was on June 18, 2016, while with the Mariners, pitching 4 2/3 innings in a start against the Red Sox.
Less than two weeks later, he underwent major surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.
"It's over," Sampson said Tuesday. "Good to put it behind me. It was a long road back. But I feel I was mentally engaged in the rehab process, so it went by a little faster in my mind. It was tough, but it's nice to be back."
Sampson did most of his rehab work with the Rangers after they claimed him off waivers on Nov. 2, 2016. He spent most of 2017 working out at the Rangers Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz. The staff there helped put him back together and he was 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock this season. He was 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in his last 14 starts.
"Missing a whole year of professional baseball, you forget how to plan to get guys out, scouting reports, reading guys swings, all the small details of watching a game every day," Sampson said. "Being away from that … the game hasn't changed but figuring out how to succeed is a little harder."
The Rangers rehab team in Surprise has been busy. Jason Roberts is the medical coordinator and the team also includes rehab coordinator Sean Fields, assistant Chris Olson, strength and conditioning coordinator Ric Mabie and pitching coordinator Keith Comstock.
The Rangers have seven prominent pitchers in various stages of rehabbing from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery: Joe Palumbo, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Edinson Volquez, Kyle Cody, Cole Ragans, Clayton Blackburn and Alex Speas. The Rangers are hoping they have a similar road back to success as Sampson.
"Once I was picked up by Texas in the offseason, rehabbing with those guys they make it a team," Sampson said. "It was great. They make it a team. Doesn't feel like you are doing it on your own. The way they run it is really awesome. Just being around those guys, they keep your spirits up. Mental game is remarkable."
The Rangers also made it official calling up pitchers C.D. Pelham and Austin Bibens-Dirkx, and outfielder Willie Calhoun on Tuesday. In addition, infielder Hanser Alberto was activated off the disabled list.
• The Rangers' team in the Dominican Summer League lost to the Rays, 8-1, in the final of the best-of-five DSL championship series.
• Bartolo Colon is returning to the rotation and will start on Wednesday against the Angels.
• Manager Jeff Banister said Yovani Gallardo will start on Friday against the Athletics. Banister said Yohander Mendez will pitch on Saturday and Ariel Jurado will pitch on Sunday against the Athletics, but there is a possibility the Rangers could "open" the game with a reliever.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.