Rangers wary of overusing Dyson

Rangers wary of overusing Dyson

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister is aware that his closer, Sam Dyson, is on pace to set a club record with 86 appearances this season. Entering Saturday's game, Dyson's 39 appearances were tied for the most in the American League.

For that reason, he stayed away from Dyson as the team lost a three-run, ninth-inning lead in Friday's loss to the Red Sox.

"We need to back away from the flame a little bit," Banister said. "Because if not, we're staring at 88 appearances, 79-80 innings, somewhere at the end of the year. We don't want that, don't need that."

Despite combining to allow four runs in Friday night's loss, Jake Diekman and Matt Bush have been solid late-inning options for the Rangers, who may be adding another arm to that mix shortly in rehabbing right-hander Keone Kela.

Kela threw 20 pitches Friday in his first bullpen since surgery in April to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. He appeared in seven games and had a 7.11 ERA before going on the 60-day disabled list April 21.

"Felt great, man. Hitting my spots, I added a two-seam [fastball]," Kela said of his bullpen session. "My curveball is still sharp. I'm throwing it for strikes and an out pitch. And I'm in-and-out with my fastball. I'm very excited."

"All [reports] have been good. There's nothing that hasn't been good from him," Banister said. "Keone's strong, he's fresh."

The addition of Kela would add depth to a bullpen that has used the trio of Bush, Diekman and Dyson to close out many of the team's Major League-leading 17 one-run wins. Kela had a 2.39 ERA in 60 1/3 innings, while striking out 68, for the Rangers last year.

"Sam can't be the only guy out there. Diekman can't be the only guy out there. Bush can't be the only guy out there," Banister said.

Kela will throw another bullpen session before Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox, and will then travel with the team to New York to throw a simulated game at some point during the club's four-game series vs. the Yankees. There was no definitive timetable past that.

"Just getting downhill, getting my arm out there and getting extended and staying within myself is the biggest thing right now, because I don't want to just throw as hard as I can when my arm is not conditioned," Kela said.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.