Ranaudo callup will give rotation a break

Rangers pitcher will start series finale vs. Dodgers

Ranaudo callup will give rotation a break

LOS ANGELES -- The Rangers are calling up pitcher Anthony Ranaudo so he can start Thursday against the Dodgers. The Rangers wanted a sixth starter to give a break to the rest of the rotation.

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Rangers starters, going into Wednesday, had a combined 1.69 ERA in their last 12 games while averaging 6.4 innings per start.

"We wanted to give them extra rest," manager Jeff Banister said. "More than anything else, where we were and the number of innings, giving them an extra day of rest will be beneficial to all of them."

The move could be a precursor to the Rangers' plans when Matt Harrison is ready to rejoin the rotation. Harrison has made three starts for Triple-A Round Rock on a rehab assignment and is scheduled to pitch again Friday. At that point the Rangers will see if he is ready for the big leagues and if they are ready to commit to a six-man rotation.

Ranaudo earned the promotion by going 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts at Round Rock. He was 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his last six starts. He made one start for the Rangers, allowing six runs in two-plus innings in a 10-2 loss to the Angels, but that was on April 15.

"I'm excited, I'm just going to have fun with it," Ranaudo said. "I have never been to Los Angeles and obviously have never pitched in Dodger Stadium. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. The other starters have been throwing the ball well, it would be fun to be a part of it. However long the stay, I'm OK with it."

Putting Ranaudo into the rotation keeps Colby Lewis from pitching against the Dodgers and also swinging the bat in a National League city. Banister said that was not a major consideration.

"He is out there fielding his position and doing all those things," Banister said. "Those are as tough of a proposition as being on the bases."

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.