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Texas trade makes room for flamethrower Sadzeck

This is a 2017 photo of Connor Sadzeck of the Texas Rangers baseball team. This image reflects the Rangers active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Charlie Riedel/AP)
August 31, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Connor Sadzeck, one of the hardest-throwing pitchers ever produced by the Rangers farm system, is finally coming to the big leagues.

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Connor Sadzeck, one of the hardest-throwing pitchers ever produced by the Rangers farm system, is finally coming to the big leagues.

Sadzeck, who stands 6-feet-7 and can hit 100-plus mph with his fastball, was called up to the big leagues on Friday when Cory Gearrin was traded to the Athletics.

"I'm excited for it, for sure," Sadzeck said. "I'm just looking forward to getting out there and getting the opportunity. I mean, it happens when it's meant to happen, right? Now's my time, and I have to take advantage of the opportunity."

Sadzeck was 5-3 with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 32 games at Triple-A Round Rock. Over 38 innings, he has allowed 36 hits, walked 16 and struck out 43.

"Similar to what we have seen in the past with the big fastball, breaking ball combo, swing and miss is there," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Look forward to getting him out on the field and seeing how the stuff plays out against big league hitters."

What the Rangers have seen in the past has always intrigued them. Sadzeck was an 11th-round pick in 2011 out of Howard (Tex.) College who missed all of 2014 because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

The velocity has always been there, but injuries and erratic command have kept him from advancing as quick as the Rangers had hoped. He was once used as a starter, before being switched to the bullpen last summer. He was on the disabled list from June 22 to Aug. 8 with a strained left oblique muscle and that kept him from being called up earlier this season.

"There has been some intrigue on my part since I saw him for the first time in the (2015) Arizona Fall League," Banister said. "Wiped out three hitters and every pitch was 98 or above with angle. So, I know in the past whether it has been some injuries or the walks -- I know this year in Spring Training didn't go as well as he'd like -- but it's still a big arm. Power plays at this level and he's big and creates angles. Guys like that come in and throw strikes, they can be challenging for hitters."

Colon, DeShields ready to come off disabled list
The Rangers are expected to activate pitcher Bartolo Colon off the disabled list on Saturday. He is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Twins after being sidelined since Aug. 20 with stiffness in his back.

The Rangers are also expected to activate outfielder Delino DeShields off the disabled list on Saturday. He has been out since Aug. 17 with a fractured tip of his right middle finger.

The Rangers will likely wait until the Minor League season is over before making any more September callups. Triple-A Round Rock pitchers Chris Rowley, Yohander Mendez, Adrian Sampson and Austin Bibens-Dirkx and are all candidates to be called up, but they have one more start each. Double-A Frisco right-hander Jonathan Hernandez is another possibility.

Infielder Hanser Alberto could be added on Tuesday when he is eligible to come off the disabled list. Outfielder Ryan Rua's return is uncertain as he remains on the disabled list with muscle spasms in his back. Outfielder Willie Calhoun will also be called up when Round Rock's season is over.

Rangers beat
• Class A Spokane first baseman Curtis Terry has been selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Northwest League and Double-A Frisco right-handed pitcher Reed Garrett has been selected to the Texas League All-Star team.

• Joey Gallo started at first base for the 30th time this season on Friday night to go with his 84 starts in the outfield. It is the fourth time in club history that a player has made at least 30 starts each at first base and the outfield. The others were Larry Bittner (1972), Mike Hargrove (1975) and Brad Wilkerson (2007).

• Gearrin only pitched in 21 games for the Rangers. But his 0.89 WHIP is the eighth lowest ever in one season by a Rangers reliever with at least 20 innings pitched.

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.