Heim (COVID-19) lands on IL; Taveras returns

August 24th, 2021

The Rangers were hit once again with COVID-19. Catcher was placed on the injured list, while right-handers and are on health and safety protocols.

The trio did not travel from Boston to Cleveland, where Texas opened a three-game series on Tuesday at Progressive Field.

“We are continuing to take extreme precaution in terms of the health and safety protocols,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “The team is undergoing additional testing on a daily basis. We have required masks at the park, hotel and buses. We are doing our best to prevent further spread.”

On Monday, the club placed right-handers Drew Anderson and Mike Foltynewicz, and infielder Brock Holt, on the injured list because they tested positive for COVID-19. Later this week, Texas will have to make additional roster moves to replace Dunning and Howard, who are part of the rotation.

“Today has been quiet thus far in terms of further positives or contact tracings. My hope is we managed to get through the worst of this,” he said. “As we all know, we can’t predict it. Certainly, we are prepared for additional moves if they occur. We hope this is the end of it.”

To fill 26-man roster spots, the Rangers added left-hander Hyeon-Jong Yang and infielder Ryan Dorow from Triple-A Round Rock.

A 30th-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Dorow spent time with Double-A Frisco and Round Rock this year and hit a combined .251 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. This will be Yang’s second stint with the Major League club. During his first stint as a starter and a reliever, Yang allowed 18 earned runs in 29 innings.

Taveras back in big leagues

The Rangers recalled outfielder Leody Taveras from Round Rock and optioned 1B/DH Curtis Terry to Triple-A. Taveras batted leadoff and started in center field against the Indians on Tuesday.

Once a highly touted prospect, Taveras got off to a tough start this season and spent a lot of time in the Minor Leagues, hitting .245 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs.

“We saw early on that Leody put a lot of pressure on himself at the big league level,” Young said. “… He has gone [to Round Rock] and simplified his approach. He has worked very hard on his mechanics with a simplified plan at the plate. We are very happy with the progress that he has made.

“He got off to a slow start even in Round Rock, but over the last month, he has turned it on and hit for power. Obviously, the defense speaks for itself. More importantly, the attitude, the work ethic, all the things we wanted to see in terms of intangibles have allowed him to make progress and get back [to the big leagues].”

As for Terry, he went 4-for-45 [.089] with 15 strikeouts in 13 games for the Rangers.