Hunter getting a look at relief role

Hunter getting a look at relief role

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are going to take a look at right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter in the bullpen. He will pitch one inning for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday and continue to be used out of the bullpen for the immediate future while on medical rehabilitation assignment.

"Effectively, we want to see how he will respond to a reliever's role," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We want to see if there is another means for him to contribute to a big league club and just see how he performs and responds to being a reliever."

Hunter may have to be used as a reliever when he is ready to come off the disabled list because the Rangers appear to have a set rotation with C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Derek Holland.

"We're just making plans and seeing what he can do," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Hunter, who has been on the disabled list since the end of Spring Training with a strained right groin muscle, has made just one relief appearance, as opposed to 44 starts, at the Major League level the past three years. He has also made just 14 relief appearances against 42 starts prior to this season at the Minor League level.

But he was used both as a starter and a reliever at the University of Alabama before being drafted by the Rangers in 2007.

The Rangers have been looking at multiple options to reinforce their bullpen and are still hoping to get Darren O'Day back soon. He makes a second rehab appearance on Wednesday and will also be pitching for Round Rock in New Orleans. His next big hurdle will be showing the Rangers that he can pitch back-to-back games. He has been sidelined for two months with a torn labrum in his left hip.