SEATTLE -- One day after experiencing a rough Major League debut, Rangers rookie left-hander Taylor Hearn was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with tightness in his left elbow.
Hearn was examined by Dr. Keith Meister on Saturday and the diagnosis was inflammation in the elbow ligament. Meister did not find an acute injury, but Hearn will be shut down from throwing for at least three weeks before being re-evaluated. Hearn, who reported the tightness after Thursday's start against the Mariners, will do his rehab work in Arizona.
Hearn allowed five runs in just one-third of an inning. He faced eight hitters and seven reached on four walks and three hits. He threw 39 pitches, and the Rangers noticed during the outing that his velocity was not what they saw in Spring Training or at Triple-A Nashville.
Hearn is normally at 95-97 mph with his fastball, but he averaged 91.6 during Thursday’s start after being called up from Nashville.
“It’s hard to say but I am concerned,” manager Chris Woodward said. “It didn’t feel great. His velocity was down. We’ll see exactly what is going on. I am concerned any time a pitcher is talking about elbow discomfort. Hopefully it’s nothing and we can move on.”
Woodward said there were no indications before the game that Hearn had any physical issues.
“I talked to him before the game and he was fine,” Woodward said. “He wasn’t that nervous. He seemed calm. He seemed great.”
Hearn was 1-3 with a 4.05 ERA in his first four starts at Nashville. The Rangers were not planning to bring Hearn to the big leagues this early in the season, but their options were limited with four other starters -- Drew Smyly, Edinson Volquez, Yohander Mendez and Luke Farrell -- already on the injured list.
“He got off to a pretty good start [at Nashville],” assistant general manager Josh Boyd said. “He has great stuff, great arm, he’s physical, athletic, mature, mentally a strong kid. From that standpoint, we felt good about it.”
Jurado was scheduled to start for Nashville on Friday, but the Rangers needed a long reliever with Shelby Miller starting against the Mariners. Miller pitched a total of 15 1/3 innings in his previous four starts, although he went 5 1/3 innings in his last outing against the Astros on Sunday.
Jurado is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA in four starts at Nashville, and Woodward said there is a possibility he could be used as a starter for the Rangers at some point.
“Hopefully Shelby will give us seven scoreless and we don’t need Jurado,” Woodward said. “But it’s nice to have.”
Springs was 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA in nine games. He had also thrown 68 pitches over two outings in the last three days, so the Rangers decided to go with a fresh arm. The Rangers debated between him and Brett Martin as to who would be sent down.
“Springs, I know his numbers aren’t where he wants it, but I like the way he’s throwing,” Woodward said. “He is attacking hitters. He wants to get better and I trust him. He is going to provide a lot of value to our bullpen.”
Odor activated, Cabrera on hold
The Rangers activated second baseman Rougned Odor off the injured list Friday and optioned infielder Patrick Wisdom to Nashville. Odor has been sidelined since April 10 with a sprained right knee.
The Rangers also kept third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera off the injured list even though he was out of the lineup Friday with tightness in his left calf. The Rangers are going to sit Cabrera on Friday and Saturday with the hope he can be back in the lineup Sunday.
“I don’t want to push anything,” Woodward said.
The Rangers started Logan Forsythe at third base Friday, and Danny Santana had to play first base for the first time in his career.
• Outfielder Nomar Mazara turned 24 on Friday, and reliever Shawn Kelley celebrated his 35th birthday.
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus is playing in his 1,500th game Friday. He is the fifth player to play in that many games for the Rangers, joining Michael Young (1823), Rafael Palmeiro (1,573), Jim Sundberg (1,512) and Ivan Rodriguez (1,507).