Palumbo, Hernandez among roster moves

Lynn throws four scoreless innings; Odor walks three (!) times

March 9th, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have optioned top pitching prospects Joe Palumbo and Jonathan Hernandez to Double-A Frisco. Palumbo is the No. 7 prospect in the system and Hernandez is No. 8, according to MLB Pipeline.

Both made two appearances in Cactus League games but were never serious candidates to make the team in their second big league camp. They are part of a group of young Minor League starters who represent the Rangers' long-term future.

“They are too valuable to keep around,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We don’t have innings for them. If we keep them around, they are pitching one or two innings. That doesn’t make any sense. They are too valuable.”

Hernandez is entering his seventh season in the Rangers' system. He began last season at Class A Down East and was 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 10 starts. He was promoted to Double-A Frisco and went 4-4 with a 4.92 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 12 outings.

Palumbo underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery on April 26, 2017, and made a strong return late last season. He made a combined 11 starts for the Arizona Rookie League Rangers, Down East and Frisco, going 2-4 with a 2.78 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.

The Rangers also returned left-handed reliever Zac Curtis, right-hander Richelson Pena and infielder Andy Ibanez to Minor League camp. Pena will be a candidate to start at either Triple-A Nashville or Frisco. Ibanez is currently sidelined with a strained right oblique muscle.

Curtis was claimed off waivers from the Phillies last year and had a 9.45 ERA in eight appearances late in the season. The Rangers did not tender him a contract in the offseason, but re-signed him to a Minor League contract.

Lynn sharp for four

The Rangers couldn’t hold a 7-0 lead in an 11-10 loss to the Rockies on Friday, but the big takeaway was four scoreless innings from starter . He allowed just one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out four. The only hit was a single by Chris Iannetta.

“Lance Lynn made them look pretty silly at times,” Woodward said. “I am a little worried. He finally had a fastball hit hard off him. Chris Iannetta. That’s the only time this spring I’ve seen him have a ball hit hard off his fastball.”

helped the Rangers build their 7-0 lead with a grand slam off Rockies starter Rico Garcia. Andrus is 7-for-14 so far this spring.

Sampson shines in intrasquad

Right-hander Adrian Sampson pitched three scoreless innings in an intrasquad game on Friday morning in Surprise. Sampson allowed two hits, walked one and struck out four.

Right-hander Phillips Valdez and left-hander Jeffrey Springs both pitched two scoreless and lefty Miguel Del Pozo retired three straight hitters. Left-hander Brock Burke allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings, but struck out four.

Connor Sadzeck allowed two runs on three hits in two innings. Taylor Guerreri allowed two hits and a walk against five batters while throwing 26 pitches. Tim Dillard allowed a run in his inning of work, walking two and striking out three.

Rangers beat

• Preston Beck delivered a two-run single in the Rangers' loss to the Rockies on Friday. He is 12-for-45 as a “JIC” for the Rangers over the last four seasons. The record for most at-bats and hits by a Rangers “Just in Case” player is held by Nate Gold, who was 13-for-56 in 2006-08.

had three walks in Friday’s game. He has had just two games of three walks or more over 675 total games in his career.

• Yoel Espinal is having a quiet but impressive camp. He has three scoreless innings in three appearances and is scheduled to pitch again on Saturday.

“Espinal’s got unbelievable stuff,” Woodward said. “He’s got closer stuff. I am a big fan because his stuff plays so well and he’s got three pitches that are elite.”

Up next

Right-hander Edinson Volquez is scheduled to make his third start of the spring at 2:05 p.m. CT on Saturday against the White Sox in Surprise. He pitched two scoreless innings in his last outing against the Rockies.