Klein grateful for opportunity to start in Majors

Klein grateful for opportunity to start in Majors

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Phil Klein had a surprise in store for him when he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on April 14. Pitching coach Brad Holman told Klein the Rangers wanted to give him a chance to start.

That chance was supposed to be at Triple-A, but it lasted only two starts. Now, Klein is in the Rangers' rotation and will start against the Red Sox on Wednesday.

"It's a great opportunity," Klein said. "It takes me back to my college days, knowing that I can get into a routine. I'm a big advocate of getting into a routine, and it is easier to do so when you are a starter and you can pitch every five days."

Klein was a starter at Youngstown State, but he has made just four professional starts. He had two at Double-A Frisco in 2013 along with the two in Round Rock before being called up. That's the fewest professional starts for a Rangers pitcher going into his first Major League start since Alexi Ogando in 2011. Ogando had just three in the Minors prior to his first Major League start.

Klein goes into the rotation for Ross Detwiler, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder. Klein should get at least two starts, Wednesday against the Red Sox and again on Monday against the Indians in Cleveland. He is from Columbus, Ohio, a few hours south.

"I'm not going to read anything into this," Klein said. "It's a new adventure and a new chapter. I'm excited."

Klein's last start was on May 11 for Round Rock, allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings against Nashville. He threw 84 pitches. Klein was supposed to pitch on Sunday, but he was scratched so he could start against the Red Sox. Klein threw an extended bullpen session instead and will be pitching on eight days' rest.

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