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Hyeon-Jong Yang had yet to struggle for Texas Rangers. That changed in loss to Angels

May 26, 2021
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A 30-second panoramic tour of the crowd at Globe Life Field Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson captions and subtitles off, selected Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd […]

Click here to view original web page at www.star-telegram.com


A 30-second panoramic tour of the crowd at Globe Life Field

Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson
  • captions and subtitles off, selected
Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson

Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter last week against the Texas Rangers. This week he’s head for an MRI.

The New York Yankees right-hander lasted only three innings Tuesday before leaving with tightness in his shoulder. If that diagnosis sounds familiar, well, that’s what caused him to leave his lone Rangers start last season after only one inning.

That tightness ended up being a torn teres major muscle that cost him the rest of the season. If that is the diagnosis, he likely wouldn’t pitch again until after the All-Star break.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 miles away, the Rangers were playing the Los Angeles Angels and were not no-hit.

Neither were the Angels.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 11-5 loss.

Yang ineffective

For the first time in the major leagues, Hyeon-Jong Yang did not have a good outing.

Yang allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings in his third MLB start, surrendering two home runs and losing a feel for the strike zone in the fourth inning. The final two runs charged to him came as right-hander Bret de Geus continued his up and down season with a downer.

“The movement and the command weren’t there and that’s what caused a lot of hard hits in this game,” Yang said.

Five runs or seven runs, it wasn’t good enough. Not even Adolis Garcia, who hit a two-run homer, could dig the Rangers out of that hole.

“I felt like none of his pitches was effective and he couldn’t executive,” manager Chris Woodward said. “It was basically trouble from the start.”

Yang is serving as the replacement, as least for now, for right-hander Kohei Arihara, who will miss at least 12 weeks with an aneurysm in his shoulder. It seems likely that Yang won’t hold that spot the next three months.

With Kyle Gibson out until the Rangers come home late next week, left-hander Kolby Allard will likely fill in there. Taylor Hearn conceivably could get a look as a starter at some point this season, and Wes Benjamin is back on the roster.

Yang’s next start would be Sunday at Seattle, a pitcher-friendly park.

Yang could use a friend like that after his first bad MLB outing.

Davis doldrums

Woodward reached into the bag of managerial tricks Tuesday and gave Joey Gallo the day off. By coupling it with the Monday off day, Gallo received back-to-back rest days while missing only one game.

If he’s going to miss a game, it might as well be one like that.

Gallo, Woodward said, will be in lineup Wednesday afternoon as the Rangers close out a quick two-game series. Chances are that Khris Davis will be back on the bench after serving as the designated hitter in the opener against left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Woodward has wanted to give Davis multiple starts to help him get into a rhythm. Davis went 1 for 12 on the seven-game homestand, with many of the at-bats as a pinch-hitter late in games.

It’s not easy to come off the bench usually to face a team’s closer or top set-up guy. It’s not easy to stay consistent when the playing time isn’t there.

But Davis is making it look harder than it should be, though he did walk three times against the Angels. Hey, maybe that will get him going.

Davis is the highest-paid Rangers player at $16.75 million. The Rangers have already eaten nearly $12 million on Rougned Odor for this season and next.

That might be keeping Davis on the roster. It’s not performance.

Evans to work late

Demarcus Evans was one of four Rangers roster moves before the game, promoted from Triple A Round Rock as fellow right reliever Hunter Wood (elbow) hit the injured list.

Woodward’s goal was to find a low-leverage situation for Evans to ease himself back into big-league action, and that happened in the sixth inning as the Rangers trailed 11-3.

Evans, made his MLB debut late last season, struck out three and pitched around a one-out walk in the sixth. He struck out one in the a scoreless seventh.

Evans’ minor-league track record, as well as his stuff, suggests he will eventually be working late in games. He struck out at least 100 batters in 2018 and 2019, which is really difficult to do for a reliever.

“He’s definitely a guy we see as a high-leverage guy,” Woodward said.

The Rangers believe Evans has the best fastball in the minors. Evans doesn’t throw 100 mph, but he has an elite spin rate on his four-seamer and commands it at the top of the strike zone.

He also throws a 12-to-6 curveball and added a cutter in the offseason.

The Rangers need right-handed relievers. Josh Sborz is the only one Woodward trusts late in games, and Sborz has been pitching more than the Rangers would like out of necessity.

Evans could help ease that workload.

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