Rangers pitcher Kohei Arihara has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a contusion on his right middle finger. Outfielder Eli White was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and was available for Sunday's series finale against the Mariners.
Arihara was scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Twins with the same injury, but he returned to the mound for Saturday’s 9-8 win over Seattle. He got through just 3 2/3 innings in the comeback victory, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks.
Manager Chris Woodward said Arihara was trying to pitch through the injury, but it was clear that he was a different pitcher than the one the club signed out of Japan in the offseason. His command and his mechanics were very different in his last three starts than they were at the beginning of the season. Arihara has allowed 16 runs over 8 1/3 innings (17.28 ERA) in his three starts since tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels in an April 19 victory that lowered his season ERA to 2.21 at the time.
“As far as command goes, to see that command kind of go away, it's not from pitching in the big leagues -- there's something going on, obviously, with his finger,” Woodward said. “It made a lot of sense as to where the misses [were] and why the misses were the way they were. So we want to make sure he's fully healthy. I don't know how long it's gonna take. I would assume it wouldn't be too long.”
Through seven starts, Arihara has posted a 6.59 ERA over 28 2/3 innings. Woodward isn't sure yet what the Rangers will do with the starting rotation, with Arihara's spot not coming up until Friday against the Astros.
Texas has an even split of pitchers and position players on its active roster at 13 each. Hyeon-Jong Yang or Kolby Allard, each of whom has been used out of the bullpen this season, could slide in for a spot start. Or Wes Benjamin, who was on the Opening Day roster but recently optioned, could be recalled from Round Rock. It's also worth noting that the club also has an off-day on Wednesday.
White, who was optioned on Saturday following Khris Davis’ return from the injured list, will be vital as the Rangers travel to San Francisco to face the Giants for a two-game Interleague series on Monday.
“I don't know if it's gonna be a long-term thing with Eli,” Woodward said. “I know that, with the National League games, it's nice to have -- for those two games -- that extra guy on the bench, if we’ve got pinch-hitting and double switching and all kinds of stuff. I know it's only two games, but that'll help. And then we'll figure out who fits into that slot [pitching-wise].”
Other roster moves
• Right-hander Kyle Cody was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL with a right shoulder impingement. Cody originally went on the IL on April 25. He has pitched 11 1/3 innings in seven relief appearances this season, posting a 7.94 ERA.
• The Rangers also claimed catcher Jack Kruger off waivers from the Angels. He was designated for assignment when the Halos traded for Texas catcher Drew Butera on Friday. Kruger made his Major League debut with the Angels on Thursday against Tampa Bay. He entered as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth inning, but he did not get an at-bat in the bottom half. The 26-year-old was taken in the 20th round of the 2016 Draft out of Mississippi State. Kruger slashed .265/.326/.357 over four Minor League seasons with the Angels.