SEATTLE -- The Rangers are still trying to clean up a bullpen that went into Friday night having allowed 22 runs in the last 29 1/3 innings. But manager Jeff Banister wants to follow a couple of important guidelines.One is that he prefers to refrain from using closer Matt Bush
SEATTLE -- The Rangers are still trying to clean up a bullpen that went into Friday night having allowed 22 runs in the last 29 1/3 innings. But manager Jeff Banister wants to follow a couple of important guidelines.
One is that he prefers to refrain from using closer Matt Bush for more than one inning, especially after he dealt with some inflammation in the AC joint of his right shoulder earlier this season.
That means resisting the temptation to bring him into the game in the eighth inning for a 4-, or-5 out save.
"He is a one inning guy right now," Banister said. "We know that [more than one inning] has been a challenge for him. Given his recent history, the AC joint and he had a [cortisone] shot and was shut down for a few days. ... We are not at a point where that is a comfort zone."
Banister is also determined to be cautious in his use of rookie right-hander Jose Leclerc. That means he'll get the same treatment as Keone Kela did in 2015 and Bush last season.
"Anytime he has anything other than a normal workload or pitch-count, we want to make sure he has an equal number days of rest," Banister said. "I don't want to take a young guy like that and over-do it."
Leclerc has also been dealing with a bruise on the middle finger of his right hand, but that hasn't kept him from striking out 17 in his first 11 innings over nine appearances.
Rangers trade Cantwell: The Rangers have traded Triple-A Round Rock catcher Patrick Cantwell to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash. Cantwell has been assigned to Double A New Hampshire.
Cantwell was the Rangers third-round pick in the 2012 Draft out of SUNY Stony Brook. Cantwell is an accomplished defensive catcher but never really caught fire with the bat. He was hitting .133 at Round Rock.
The Rangers had a logjam of catchers at Round Rock. Cantwell's departure still leaves Brett Nicholas, Brett Hayes and A.J. Jimenez with the Express.
• Pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is sidelined with a partial tear in his right elbow, had an MRI on Thursday and the results showed good progress. He will continue to be shut down from throwing for two more weeks and then be re-evaluated.
• A.J. Griffin was the winning pitcher for the Rangers on Thursday and is now 3-0 after four starts. It's the second straight year he has begun the season winning his first three decisions. Four other pitchers have started 3-0 in consecutive seasons for the Rangers: Matt Harrison (2011-12), Bobby Witt (1997-98), Doc Medich (1979-80) and Ferguson Jenkins (1978-79).
• Pitcher Tyson Ross was scheduled for a bullpen session on Friday in preparation for a two-inning simulated game later this road trip.
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.