ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Keone Kela, who was expected to be one of the top relievers for the Rangers, will start the season at Triple-A Round Rock for issues not related to performance."One of our competitive advantages, maybe our biggest competitive advantage, is our clubhouse culture, our atmosphere, the family that
ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Keone Kela, who was expected to be one of the top relievers for the Rangers, will start the season at Triple-A Round Rock for issues not related to performance.
"One of our competitive advantages, maybe our biggest competitive advantage, is our clubhouse culture, our atmosphere, the family that is our organization," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Sometimes when things happen in families, you need a little time to address them. That's what's happened here."
Kela didn't allow a run in four spring outings. He was a huge part of the Rangers' success as a rookie in 2015, posting a 2.39 ERA in 68 appearances. Injuries hampered him in '16 as he had a 6.09 ERA and missed nearly three months of the season after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow.
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Daniels declined to get into specifics about what led to the club sending Kela to the Minors, and Daniels made it clear that Kela is still in the Rangers' plans.
"This does not change how we feel about him, short, medium, long term," Daniels said. "I have a lot of faith in him as a pitcher and as a young man. I expect he'll be back with us. Hopefully, he'll be back with us at some point going forward."
Daniels said the club has an idea of when Kela could rejoin the team, but he declined to get into specifics. Kela will work in the Round Rock bullpen.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said his club will adjust its bullpen accordingly.
"We all know the talent that Keone has and what he's able to do for us," Banister said. "It has given us and some other guys an opportunity, and we'll use certain guys differently. What I will say is Sam Dyson is closer. The rest of those guys will be used as we feel like they are best used in certain situations. We are a very talented club."
Banister said the Rangers will continue to evaluate the final pieces of the bullpen before Opening Day against the Indians on Monday.
Anthony Andro is a contributor to MLB.com.