Pitching prospects Klein, Jackson switch roles

Pitching prospects Klein, Jackson switch roles

HOUSTON -- The Rangers are switching the roles of pitchers Phil Klein and Luke Jackson at Triple-A Round Rock. Klein, who has been almost exclusively used in relief in his professional career, is being moved to the rotation. Jackson will go from the rotation to the bullpen.

Klein has a 2.35 ERA in four relief appearances for Round Rock since being optioned by the Rangers on April 14. He has made only two starts in his professional career -- against 123 relief appearances in the Minors and 23 in the Major Leagues.

"The more reps you get, the quicker you can hone your craft," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "It's a good chance to use all his pitches and pound the strike zone. It's a good chance to expand your role and not be a one-inning pitcher. The one thing about development, the more touches you get, the more you're doing to develop."

Jackson, the No. 8 ranked prospect in the Rangers' system, has made 97 starts and four relief appearances in his career since being taken with the 45th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He made five starts for Round Rock and is 2-1 with a 5.64 ERA this season.

Worth noting
• The Rangers gave Rougned Odor a day on Monday to work with hitting coaches Dave Magadan and Bobby Jones. He went back into the lineup on Tuesday and was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. On Wednesday, he was back on the bench.

Odor is hitting .151, and there is still a possibility he could end up in Triple-A Round Rock if he doesn't get things turned around quickly. For now, he will continue to get extra work with the hitting coaches, while Adam Rosales plays second base.

"This is a league where [there's] a level of production each player should look to," manager Jeff Banister said. "We want to give him the opportunity to fight through the things he has been fighting through this year. We have to allow some of that to happen, as far as the work and the grit and making adjustments."

• Commissioner Rob Manfred, after an introductory meeting with the Rangers before Wednesday's game, said he was pleased with how the Josh Hamilton trade turned out between the Rangers and the Angels.

Said Manfred: "I'm positive about the outcome that was achieved. Both clubs reached the conclusion that the trade was good for their team. I think the Players Association and the Labor Relations Committee worked very hard to try and accommodate the desires of the club and achieve an outcome that was successful for everyone."

• Hamilton, on the disabled list while recovering from shoulder surgery, was 0-for-4 with a walk in his second extended spring training game on Wednesday in Surprise, Ariz. He is scheduled to take living batting practice against Matt Harrison on Thursday.

• Rangers trainer Kevin Harmon turned 53 on Wednesday.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.