SEATTLE -- The Rangers are pushing Cole Hamels back one day in the rotation so he can start on Monday in the opener of a four-game series against the division-leading Astros.
Chi Chi Gonzalez will be called up to start on Sunday against the Athletics. If Hamels had started that game, he would have missed the four-game series with the Astros and -- with the way the rotation is set up -- another three-game set later this month in Houston.
"This is why we got him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "There is nothing else to say."
Banister said the plan is to push everybody back one day, beginning with Hamels. Colby Lewis, Yovani Gallardo and Gonzalez will pitch against the Athletics this weekend. Hamels will start Monday against the Astros, followed by Martin Perez, Derek Holland and Lewis.
"This was kind of our plan all along," Banister said. "We just wanted to evaluate our options for [Sunday]."
The Rangers were trying to decide between Gonzalez and Nick Martinez. Gonzalez was the choice after throwing two scoreless innings in a playoff game for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.
Martinez is 7-7 with a 4.09 ERA in 21 starts for the Rangers this season, while Gonzalez is 2-5 with a 4.25 ERA in nine starts. Martinez is also 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts against the Athletics, while Gonzalez is 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA.
"As we look at it, we felt having Nick up here, he was a better option for us in the bullpen," Banister said. "The guy has experience in the bullpen and has added value in length. If you look at past history, Nick's numbers against Oakland play better, but that was April. This is September. We felt with the skill sets of the two guys, Chi Chi gave us the best option."