Posted: May 15, 2014 6:11 PM
Updated: May 15, 2014 6:13 PM
The Texas Rangers are really hurting.
Along with adding Martin Perez and Matt Harrison to an already crowded disabled list, and possibly being without both left-handed starters the rest of this year and beyond, the Rangers (20-21) have a losing record this late in a season for the first time since 2009.
"We'll just keep battling and keep seeing what resources we have and keep running them out there," manager Ron Washington said.
Except the injuries just seem to keep coming. The Rangers have 13 players on the disabled list, easily the most in the majors.
"Just the sheer number of injuries we've had, it's startling," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We've had a combination of everything. ... We've had freak deals."
Just more than one-fourth of the way through the regular season, Texas has already used 38 players 22 of those who have pitched. Both those numbers are also major-league highs.
The Rangers, fourth in the AL West and five games behind leading Oakland, were off Thursday after losing two of three at Houston. Texas had won 15 consecutive series since 2008 against its in-state rival.
Perez has a common baseball injury, a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow that could require Tommy John surgery. He could be out three months with an injection and rehab, but with no guarantee of avoiding the ligament replacement surgery that could keep him out a year.
Harrison, who made only two starts last year before two operations on a herniated disk in his back, faces a potentially career-threatening issue.
The 28-year-old Harrison has significant nerve irritation and a forward displacement of his vertebra that was a known risk after earlier operations. Harrison could rehab and try to pitch through likely discomfort or have a spinal fusion operation when the odds for a full recovery are low.
Derek Holland, yet another lefty starter with a long-term deal, is still rehabbing from left knee surgery in January after being tripped by his dog on the steps of his home.
"We're talking about three mid-to-late 20 left-handed starters that we signed to multiyear deals because we believe in them so much," Daniels said. "It's an opportunity for Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez to step up. We're looking forward to seeing those guys, but that doesn't in and of itself take away the sting of losing our left-handers."
Holland got a $28.5 million, five year deal with team options for 2017 and 2018 after consecutive World Series appearances during spring training in 2012. Harrison signed a $55 million, five-year deal with a team option for 2018 after winning 18 games in 2012.
Perez got a $12.5 million, four-year deal last offseason that includes team options from 2018-2020. The 23-year-old Venezuelan was 16 when he initially signed with the Rangers.
Among others on the DL are opening-day starter Tanner Scheppers, the converted reliever who got the coveted spot because Yu Darvish (neck stiffness) and others were hurt to start the season.
Reliever Joseph Ortiz broke his left foot when he was run over by a motorcycle while home in Venezuela last winter. About a week after getting his first two major league wins in consecutive games, left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa had a torn ligament in his elbow. Starting second baseman Jurickson Profar (right shoulder tear) and catcher Geovany Soto (right knee), hurt on consecutive days late in spring training, could be back in July.
"We're just going to see how we weather the storm," Daniels responded when asked if Texas was still a playoff contender. "I'm not going to sit here now and sell out club short. There's still a lot of good players, and it's going to be more challenging to get it done, but I think it's possible."