Kela off disabled list; Kozma DFA'd

July 20th, 2017

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers activated right-handed reliever off the disabled list on Thursday and designated infielder Pete Kozma for assignment.

Kela hasn't pitched in a game since June 27 because of a sore right shoulder, and although the Rangers will be conservative with him, at some point they will likely try him at closer.

"I can definitely see Kela there," manager Jeff Banister said. "He has all the elements -- mentality, pitches, attitude -- to do that. Right now it's all about getting back on the mound and being conservative on how we use him."

Kela has been throwing the past 10 days, including mound sessions on Sunday and Tuesday.

"They were good, they were productive," Kela said. "I located my fastball and I located my curve. I was commanding both sides of the plate and executing. I'm very excited to be back on the field with this great group of men and go out there and battle with them."

Kozma played in just 28 games for the Rangers since being claimed on waivers from the Yankees at the end of April. takes over as the Rangers' utility infielder.

Diekman throws off mound: Left-hander Jake Diekman, who has been out all season while recovering from abdominal surgery, threw off a mound on Thursday for the first time. He threw 21 pitches without issue as he works toward his goal of returning to the bullpen at some point this season.

"I felt really, really good," Diekman said. "I felt like I was keeping everything close enough to the strike zone. I felt like today was a win."

Diekman feels he could get Major League hitters out right now, but Banister said he showed some fatigue midway through the session.

"That's to be expected," Banister said. "But I saw a lot of joy in a guy who hadn't been off the mound for a long time."

Diekman will continue to throw off a mound at regular intervals until the Rangers deem him ready to pitch in a Minor League game.

"A lot of things I have to fine-tune, but today I felt great," Diekman said. "Physically and mentally, I believe I can get anyone out right now. I wasn't trying to throw that thing 50, 60 percent. I was trying to air that out. I'm pretty sure I hit 200 miles per hour."

Rangers beat

• Right-hander A.J. Griffin, on the DL with a strained left intercostal muscle, allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings on rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. He threw 59 pitches. The Rangers expect that he will need at least two more starts before he is an option at the Major League level.

• The official scoring on the fly ball dropped by right fielder to end Sunday's game in Kansas City has been changed to an error. It was originally scored a hit because Choo lost the ball in the sun.

• Third baseman set a Rangers record on Wednesday with his 54th consecutive game without an error. That's the longest by a third baseman in club history.