Rangers plan to add 'pen arms in September

Rangers plan to add 'pen arms in September

Rangers plan to add 'pen arms in September
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will discuss September additions this week and are expected to add at least a couple of relievers to their bullpen once the rosters are expanded. One or two may come right away, while others may have to wait until Triple-A Round Rock is finished with the playoffs.

"We want to be respectful of that," general manager Jon Daniels said.

Darren O'Day is almost certainly to be one callup. He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 18 games with Round Rock, holding opponents to a .213 average while striking out 27 in 21 1/3 innings. He was called up earlier this month when Alexi Ogando went on paternity leave. Another candidate is right-hander Tim Wood, who was claimed off waivers from the Pirates last week.

Some of the other candidates have been here already while others might be new faces. Pedro Strop has been pitching well since the All-Star break, posting a 1.80 ERA with a .211 opposing batting average and 20 strikeouts in 15 innings. Cody Eppley has a 0.73 ERA in his last 10 appearances.

The one guy on the 40-man roster who has struggled is left-hander Michael Kirkman. He has a 4.57 ERA in 11 games since the All-Star break and has walked 18 in 21 2/3 innings. He is not positioning himself well to be a September callup, but the southpaw has had success at the big league level.

The Rangers have only one left-hander in their bullpen, so Beau Jones could be a more viable candidate. He has a 2.05 ERA since the All-Star break, a 1.38 ERA in August and left-handed hitters are batting .232 off him. Calling him up in September would also give the Rangers a chance to evaluate him for next season.

One right-hander to watch is Mark Hamburger, who was acquired from the Twins for reliever Eddie Guardado in 2008. Hamburger is 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last 12 games and has made three straight starts. That has allowed Round Rock to stretch him out to six innings in case the Rangers need another long reliever in September.

Jones and Hamburger are not on the 40-man roster, but Daniels said the Rangers will find a way to create roster space in September if they need to add somebody.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.