Rangers stay away from prospects

Rangers stay away from prospects

BOSTON -- By promoting converted reliever Phil Klein to their starting rotation, the Rangers resisted the temptation of calling up one of their top pitching prospects. The Rangers want Alex Gonzalez, Anthony Ranaudo and Jerad Eickhoff to keep working in the Minors.

"The evaluation of all parties is Klein was the better fit right now," manager Jeff Banister said. "He was almost on turn, he was the one guy we could hold back and we liked the way he was pitching in Triple-A. ... He has some experience at the Major League level and he is stretched out."

Gonzalez made a serious bid to make the team in Spring Training, but he started the season at Triple-A Round Rock and is 3-4 with a 4.10 ERA in seven starts. He is averaging 3.85 walks per nine innings. In his previous two seasons, he averaged 2.82 walks per nine innings.

"His stuff has been good. ... He is just over 18 pitches an inning," Banister said. "You really want it to be lower than that. He is continuing to develop. He is getting a much better breaking ball, his fastball has been good and he is getting his changeup in play. I believe in [Alex], I believe in what he can do. This is an opportunity to see Phil Klein and allow [Alex] to continue to develop."

Ranaudo is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in six starts at Round Rock, but he has allowed 33 hits and 18 walks in 31 1/3 innings. He also lasted just 1 2/3 frames in his only start for the Rangers this year and allowed six runs in a 10-2 loss to the Angels on April 15.

"Ranaudo has made some improvements, but he needs to continue to improve," Banister said.

Eickhoff began the season at Double-A Frisco and was promoted to Round Rock after two starts. He is 3-2 with a 4.99 ERA in five starts at Round Rock.

Worth noting
Matt Harrison, approaching his one-year anniversary of spinal fusion surgery, made his second start in an extended Spring Training game on Monday, allowing two runs in three innings. He threw 44 pitches. Harrison had the surgery on June 3, 2014.

Adrian Beltre has sent his batting helmet to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to commemorate his 400th career home run. Beltre hit his 400th home run on Friday against the Indians.

Delino DeShields started in center field instead of Leonys Martin on Tuesday with left-hander Wade Miley on the mound for the Red Sox. Banister said he is not going with a platoon in center but felt DeShields' patience at the plate was a better fit against Miley.

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.