Kelley, Volquez progressing in rehab process

August 5th, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Rangers could have another piece of their bullpen puzzle back very soon.

 threw a bullpen session in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, and will join the Rangers in Cleveland on Tuesday to be further evaluated.

Kelley, who the Rangers signed as a free agent in the offseason, has been out since July 21 due to soreness in his right biceps muscle. He has a 3.00 ERA and 11 saves in 32 appearances this season.

The Rangers also did some shuffling within their Minor League pitching ranks, as  and  are heading to Double-A Frisco, while  is beginning his rehab assignment with the Ranger's rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League. Farrell, who has a 5.28 ERA over 30 career big league appearances, has been on the 60-day injured list due to a non-displaced fracture in his jaw, while Mendez returned from a UCL sprain to make his 2019 debut on July 26.

The beginning of Volquez’s rehab assignment is the start of what the right-hander hopes will be his last piece of Major League action. Volquez, who has been out since the beginning of April with a right elbow strain, has said that he plans on retiring at the end of the season. He has a career record of 93-87 with a 4.43 ERA over more than 1,530 innings in the Majors. Volquez surrendered six runs in 7 2/3 innings over his two starts this season.

In addition, relief pitcher Taylor Hearn is being shut down from a throwing program due to left elbow irritation that doesn’t appear to be related to his UCL. He will likely be out for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, who had been designated for assignment on July 31, cleared unconditional waivers and elected free agency before signing with the Nationals, a source told's Jamal Collier.

Clase settling into role with Rangers

Emmanuel Clase’s first taste of big league action went about as well as anyone in the Rangers organization could have hoped. Clase landed with the Rangers last May as the player to be named later in the Rangers' trade of Brett Nicholas to the Padres. Clase started the season with Class A Advanced Down East before quickly shuttling through the Minor League ranks, culminating with his Major League debut Sunday in which he threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Rangers’ win over Detroit.

Clase’s velocity was immediately on display, as he topped out at 101 mph with his fastball, the fastest pitch thrown by a Texas pitcher this season.

“It was impressive,” manager Chris Woodward said of Clase’s debut. “He can put it where he wants to, he’s not just rearing back and throwing it down the middle. I feel like he has no fear, that’s what impressed me the most."

Kiner-Falefa moving around diamond

Despite the promotion of catcher Jose Trevino, utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s days behind the plate might not be over just yet. Prior to Monday’s game against Cleveland, Woodward said that he’s planning on having Kiner-Falefa catch "once every 10 days or so," and that he’ll still do some catcher preparation.

Kiner-Falefa was reinstated from the injured list on Friday and each of his three appearances since -- including Monday's series opener -- have come at third base.

“We don’t want to abandon him as a catcher," Woodward said. "It’s nice to have a third catcher."

Trevino and Jeff Mathis figure to serve as the primary catchers, with Kiner-Falefa working in occasionally.