Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Rangers take longer look at Chavez

Swingman candidate goes 3 perfect innings vs. Royals before allowing 3 runs
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jesse Chavez played the role of long reliever for the Rangers on Saturday night and did it well for three innings against the Royals.

Chavez, entering the game in the fourth for starter Yohander Mendez, retired the first nine batters he faced. Chavez was then sent out for a fourth inning and couldn't get through it, allowing three runs while retiring just one batter. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.

View Full Game Coverage

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jesse Chavez played the role of long reliever for the Rangers on Saturday night and did it well for three innings against the Royals.

Chavez, entering the game in the fourth for starter Yohander Mendez, retired the first nine batters he faced. Chavez was then sent out for a fourth inning and couldn't get through it, allowing three runs while retiring just one batter. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training information

"Chavez was dominant over three," manager Jeff Banister said. "He got a little flat, overthrew and left some balls over the plate. But he was dominant with his fastball over three."

The outing was part of Chavez's audition for two roles as the Rangers see him as possible long reliever/spot starter. Chavez started against the Royals last Sunday and retired all nine batters faced.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The Rangers see him as a strong candidate for their bullpen.

"This is a guy throughout his career has been able to go long, swing starter, spot starter," Banister said. "He is able to fill that role. That's a solid role for him. He has done it and been effective at it."

He made it 18 retired in a row Saturday before giving up a leadoff double to Cody Asche in the seventh. Nick Pratto followed with a two-run home run to give the Royals a 3-2 lead. The Royals added one more run on three straight singles by Drew Butera, Alfredo Escalera and Billy Burns, followed by Whit Merrifield's sacrifice fly.

Kela shines

Keone Kela had his best outing of the spring in the first game of the doubleheader against the Royals. He set down the side in order in the sixth, striking out two of three batters faced.

"Threw the ball well," Banister said. "Probably the best he has thrown this spring. Looked like the ball was coming out clean and hot, good arm angle, got the ball where he wanted it. He was sharp. The fastball had good velocity and the breaking ball was much sharper."

Rangers beat

• The Angels are expecting to use Shohei Ohtani at designated hitter in their game against the Rangers on Sunday.

• The Cubs rotation is set up so that Yu Darvish could pitch against the Rangers on Wednesday in Surprise. The Cubs have not made that official.

• The Rangers are going to have Cole Hamels pitch in a Minor League game Monday afternoon in Surprise rather than in the Cactus League game at night against the Rockies. The Rangers will likely use all relievers against the Rockies.

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.

Texas Rangers, Jesse Chavez, Keone Kela