ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are putting Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez in the rotation, and it is not for just one start. He is taking over the spot vacated by Ross Detwiler, who is going to the bullpen when he returns from the disabled list.
Gonzalez, 23, will make his first Major League start on Saturday night against the Red Sox, and that spot in the rotation is now his to lose. Gonzalez, the Rangers' No. 1 Draft pick in 2013 out of Oral Roberts, was 3-5 with a 4.15 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Round Rock, including 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in his last three starts. The righty is the Rangers' fifth-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com.
Phil Klein made two starts for the Rangers in that spot before being sent back to Round Rock. Now Gonzalez gets his chance.
"He is the best option and the most deserving of the candidates," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Part of me would like to give him a little more time. At the same time, it is a combination of his pitch mix and his maturity. He is going to give us a chance to win and compete, and we also see him getting better at the big league level.
"We do have other options, but we feel he gives us the best chance to win the game [Saturday] and every five days. We are thin right now from a rotation standpoint."
Gonzalez said he has only been told that he is pitching on Saturday. But he added that he would love the chance to stay in the rotation for an extended period.
"I would be happy to fill that role," Gonzalez said. "Whatever it takes for the club to succeed."
Detwiler was acquired in the offseason from the Nationals with the idea of him being in the Rangers' rotation. The Nationals used Detwiler as a reliever in 2014. He made seven starts and was 0-5 with a 6.95 ERA before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder.
Detwiler is scheduled to pitch two innings for Double-A Frisco on rehabilitation assignment Saturday. He will make just a couple of rehab appearances before returning to the Rangers as a reliever.
"He has the ability to pitch multiple innings," Daniels said. "For [manager Jeff Banister] to have confidence against left-handers coming out of the bullpen, that's the best fit right now."
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.