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Rangers' injury updates: Chavez, Pence, Gallo

@Sullivan_Ranger
August 24, 2019

CHICAGO -- Rangers right-hander Jesse Chavez is returning to Texas to be examined by Dr. Keith Meister, and there is a possibility Chavez could need season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Chavez was placed on the injured list on Aug. 13 with an impingement in his right elbow, and it

CHICAGO -- Rangers right-hander Jesse Chavez is returning to Texas to be examined by Dr. Keith Meister, and there is a possibility Chavez could need season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

Chavez was placed on the injured list on Aug. 13 with an impingement in his right elbow, and it has not shown enough improvement. The surgery would shave off a bone spur that is causing discomfort.

“If that were to happen, he would not be back this year,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “But he would be 100 percent next year. This would be a relatively minor deal, but it’s bugging him enough to get it taken care of now.”

Chavez signed a two-year, $8 million contract last offseason. He is 3-5 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over 48 games.

Other injury updates
• Outfielder Hunter Pence is not going to play this weekend in Chicago because of tightness in his lower back. Pence said he felt the tightness working in the batting cage on Friday afternoon and was scratched from the original lineup.

“I went out for batting practice to see if I could loosen it up, and I didn’t feel I could put up a competitive at-bat,” Pence said.

The Rangers conclude the series Sunday and are off Monday. The hope is Pence will be ready when the Rangers open a two-game set against the Angels on Tuesday.

“This has happened before,” Pence said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a terribly long time. It’s just tight.”

• Outfielder Joey Gallo is swinging the bat, but he is not taking batting practice. There is still some soreness in his right hand after he underwent surgery to repair a broken hamate bone. Gallo said he still wants to play again this year, and manager Chris Woodward said it’s important to give him that chance.

“This is a tolerance thing,” Woodward said. “He can’t hurt it, but he’s going to have to play with pain if he wants to play. It’s not going to be fully healthy by the end of the year. I want him in there, but I want to make sure his swing is there. If the pain is causing his swing to be off, I’m not going to play him. But he needs to play and finish the season, more for him than for us.”

• Outfielder Nomar Mazara, who is on the injured list with a strained left oblique muscle, has started throwing and doing some light swinging with the bat. Woodward said Mazara is expected to increase his workouts over the next few days, and the Rangers are cautiously optimistic he could be ready by Sept. 1 when the rosters expand.

• The Rangers are considering the idea of going with a six-man rotation in September when the rosters expand, and Joe Palumbo has recovered from a blister on his left thumb. They currently have a five-man rotation of Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Ariel Jurado, Kolby Allard and Brock Burke. If Palumbo is not ready, the Rangers could use the bullpen for the sixth spot, with Jonathan Hernandez leading off.

The six-man rotation would give the Rangers a chance to look at their younger pitchers and reduce Minor and Lynn’s workload. Both are closing in on a 200-inning season. Lynn is at 170 2/3 innings, and Minor has 167 2/3.

Andrus introduces Baby Shark bat
Shortstop Elvis Andrus introduced his "Baby Shark" bat that he is using for Players' Weekend. "Baby Shark" is the song that he uses for his walkup music at Globe Life Park, and it's Andrus' son's favorite song.

“I hear that song all day long, so I am going to use this bat,” Andrus said. “I hope it has some hits in it.”

This weekend, Major League Baseball, clubs and partner organizations are allowing players to showcase their passions, backgrounds and interests by putting their own touches on what they wear and the equipment they use for Players' Weekend.

Rangers beat
• Rangers farm director Matt Blood has been reassigned to Director of Baseball Innovation. His responsibilities include identifying best industry practices and recruiting the best available talent for baseball operations. Assistant general manager Mike Daly will oversee the farm system.

• Lynn threw four wild pitches on Friday night, tying a club record for most in one game. Bobby Witt and Charlie Hough both did it in a game in 1986.

• Right-hander Luke Farrell joined the Rangers in time to select a nickname for Players' Weekend. He chose “Lucky.” In addition to surviving the line drive that broke his jaw in Spring Training, Farrell twice had tumors removed from his jaw while in college at Northwestern.

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.