Rangers pick Ian Kennedy and assign Glenn Otto to the job
The Rangers announced a series of roster moves today, activating a right-hander Nathan Uvaldi From the injured list, choose the right teammate’s contract Ian Kennedy. In the opposite moves, right Josh Spurz He was placed on the IL for 15 days with a left hamstring strain while he was on the right Glen Otto He is assigned to the task.
Kennedy, 38, signed a minor league contract with the Rangers and made the Opening Day roster. But he was a light starter, allowing an earned run average of 7.20 over 11 outings before he was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and was elected to free agency but returned to the Rangers under a new minor league deal. Since then, he’s been posting fairly solidly at Triple-A, with a 3.51 ERA in 25 2/3 innings pitched, along with a strikeout rate of 29.4% and a walk rate of 8.8%.
After many years as an effective player in the big leagues, Kennedy has taken to the playing field in recent years with inconsistent results. He had a 3.41 ERA in 2019 but saw that jump to 9.00 in 2020. He’s back on track with a 3.20 mark in 2021 but rose to 5.36 last year before the aforementioned struggles this year.
Rangers have been a nightmare of late, which is the main reason why their previously strong lead in the division has vanished. The relievers have let several recent games slip away in the late innings, propelling the club into third place in the division and just half a game behind the Blue Jays for the last Wild Card spot in the MLS. For the season as a whole, the Relief have a 4.86 collegiate ERA which puts them 25th in the league. They’ll mix things up by bringing veteran Kennedy into the mix to see if he can help.
Otto, 27, earned a spot in a rotational job with the Rangers last year, starting 27 times with a 4.64 ERA, 18.2% strike rate, 10.6% walk rate, and 43.1% ground ball average. Then, the Rangers underwent a very aggressive off-season, overhauling their rotation by acquiring shooters like Iovaldi, Jacob DeGroom, Andrew Heaney And Jake Odorezi. This could have put pressure on Otto either in the minors or in the bullpen but he suffered a late strain in March and was placed on the 60-day injured list on Opening Day.
He was brought back from IL at the end of June and has pitched in six games for the big league club since then, but six home runs in just 10 2/3 innings pitched resulted in an ERA of 10.13. He also threw 29 1/3 Triple-A innings in 10 games with a 3.38 ERA, defeating 32.5% of opponents in the process.
Since the trade deadline passed, the Rangers will have no choice but to place Otto on waivers in the coming days. It’s not too far from being a standout possibility. In 2021, he posted a 3.20 ERA over 95 2/3 innings pitched in the minor leagues, moving from the Yankees to the Rangers in Joey Gallo trade that summer. He went into 2022 ranked No. 15 in the Rangers system.
Although he had some half-hearted results that year and has been injured for most of this year, he could probably attract interest based on his prospect’s former status. He still has two optional seasons left after this season and has yet to qualify for arbitration. And that means he could be an interesting arm for any club wanting to offer him a place on the list.