Prospect Sadzeck to remain in relief role

Prospect Sadzeck to remain in relief role

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers are pushing ahead with their plan to use hard-throwing right-hander Connor Sadzeck as a reliever, even though the transition has not gone smoothly at Double-A Frisco.

Sadzeck retired the two batters he faced in Frisco's 4-1 loss to Corpus Christi on Thursday night. But he still has a 10.42 ERA and a 2.16 WHIP in 15 games as a reliever.

"The stuff was really good," farm director Jayce Tingler said. "The velocity was 98 to 102. He's getting hit ... but we are going to keep running him out of the bullpen."

Sadzeck, the No. 21 prospect in the Rangers system according to MLB Pipeline, was 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 13 starts before being moved to the bullpen. Sadzeck is one of the hardest throwers in the Rangers system, so they were hoping he could make a quick transition to the bullpen and be an option at the Major League level.

That hasn't materialized yet, but Sadzeck could be and candidate for September callup if he can get straightened out.

"Hopefully, the last month, he'll have some success and some security," Tingler said. "It's a matter of trusting his stuff, putting it over the plate and being aggressive."

Cody, Matuella rising: The Rangers have two strong pitching in prospects emerging at Class A Hickory in right-handers Kyle Cody and Mike Matuella. The Rangers are getting ready to promote Cody to Class A Advanced Down East, which is in the higher Carolina League.

Cody, ranked No. 18 in the system by MLB Pipeline, has been a big success story for the Rangers this season. In 18 starts at Hickory, he is 6-6 with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. In 97 innings, he has struck out 101 and walked 33.

"You can make the case he is one of our most improved pitchers," Tingler said. "This is a chance for him to go up there, make 3-5 starts and finish the season on a high note."

Matuella will stay at Hickory, where he is 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 16 games after allowing three runs in five innings in his last start. Matuella, once considered one of the top collegiate pitchers available in the 2015 draft, spent two years overcoming right elbow injuries and the Rangers aren't pushing him.

"We have our clear goal and that's for him to make all his starts and come away injury free," Tingler said.

Rangers beat

• Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers haven't decided if right-hander A.J. Griffin will start on Wednesday against the Mets. The Rangers could use Monday's off-day to push him back in the rotation.

• Shortstop Chris Seise, who was the 29th overall player taken in the 2017 MLB Draft, has been promoted from the Arizona Rookie League to Class A Spokane.

Alex Claudio pitched a scoreless ninth in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Twins for only the Rangers' fifth save since the All-Star break. All have been on the road. The Rangers haven't had a save in a home game since May 14.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.