Notes: RHPs getting big chance; Rangers rally
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are going to put right-handers Jonathan Hernández and Luke Farrell on the spot this week.
Hernández is going to start against the Athletics on Monday night against and Farrell is scheduled to do the same against the Giants on Wednesday. Both pitchers are mounting strong bids to win a job in the Rangers bullpen this season.
Lance Lynn was originally scheduled to pitch against the A's, but he’ll throw 80 pitches over five innings in a simulated game on one of the back fields. The Rangers plan to do the same with Corey Kluber on Wednesday.
By starting Hernández and Farrell, they'll have a chance to face the opposing team’s best hitters before the usual mid-game lineup changes. Hernández threw three scoreless innings in a start against the Cubs on Thursday.
“We want to put him in as many difficult positions as we can,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We are seeing really nasty stuff, but the execution of it has been really impressive.”
Farrell has been both a starter and a reliever in his career. The Rangers might stretch him out as a starter in Triple-A if he doesn’t make the team, but Woodward said Farrell’s best role could be as a 2-3 inning middle reliever.
“Not just 2-3 innings when we are down or up by eight,” Woodward said. “He has legitimate stuff for one time through a lineup or two.”
Farrell has pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings this spring, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out seven.
“He has been executing, man,” Woodward said. “He’s got a lot of conviction behind what he is throwing. He’s got the stuff to compete at a really high level. His execution has been phenomenal this spring.”
Rangers rally past Dodgers
The Rangers trailed 7-0 after starter Jordan Lyles gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings before rallying for a 9-8 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday.
Nick Solak, who entered the game after Willie Calhoun was hit in the face by a pitch, hit a three-run home run to lead the rally. Todd Frazier also hit his first home run of the spring.
On the pitching side, right-hander Jesse Chavez was scoreless in his first outing of the spring after being held back by a sore right shoulder. Right-hander Cody Allen also pitched a scoreless outing striking out two. That was his second scoreless outing after missing time with tightness in his right forearm.
Mendez remains a mystery
Left-hander Yohander Méndez has all but disappeared in Rangers camp. The once highly touted Méndez has been sidelined from the beginning of camp with inflammation in his left shoulder and has yet to pitch in a game.
“He is still feeling some shoulder soreness right now,” Rangers assistant general manager Shiraz Rehman said. “He is seeing the doctor this weekend. We are trying to figure this out.”
Méndez, who was considered one of the Rangers' top five prospects in 2017 (No. 4) and ’18 (No. 18), missed most of last season with a sprained ligament in his left arm. Méndez has been a starter in the past but the Rangers were planning on him competing for a spot in the bullpen this spring. Now it appears unlikely he’ll be competing for anything in the near future.
He said it
“We continue to throw a lot of changeups. Finished the outing on a swing and miss changeup. I wish I could bottle that changeup and use it when I want to with two strikes.” -- Lyles on Sunday’s outing
• Designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo was 1-for-3 at the plate on Sunday and 2-for-16 on the spring. He has been dealing with some soreness in his neck but that problem has cleared up.
• Left-hander Joe Palumbo is also scheduled to pitch two innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. He has been bothered by inflammation in his right heel but threw a bullpen session on Saturday without any issues.
• Veteran reliever Juan Nicasio has also been cleared to throw again after being sidelined for a week with a sore lower back.
Right-hander Jonathan Hernández continues his quest for a spot in the bullpen when he pitches against the Athletics at 8:05 p.m. CT Monday in Surprise. Hernández has allowed three runs in seven innings while striking out 10. Fans can watch the game via MLB.TV or listen live via Gameday Audio.