"We looked at the numbers and the pitch efficiency and a certain set of hitters, and the indicator pointed toward Nick," manager Jeff Banister said.
Griffin was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Angels this season. But he has struggled lately, going 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in his last four starts.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx fell out of the running when he was used for 3 1/3 innings on 54 pitches in relief on Tuesday against the Mariners. The Rangers also have rookie left-hander Yohander Mendez, who was 7-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts at Double-A Frisco. But Banister said the Rangers aren't ready to pitch Mendez in this kind of situation.
Banister said he is planning to pitch Miguel Gonzalez on Sunday against the Angels. Gonzalez has allowed 11 runs in 5 1/3 innings in two starts since being acquired from the White Sox.
• Outfielder Carlos Gomez, who is sidelined with a sprained right ankle, has also started taking batting practice in the cage. His running is limited to the treadmill right now.
"You can see the passion in how much they want to get this done," Banister said. "There is no lack of effort."
• Tuesday night marked the first time this season that relievers Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Matt Bush have all been on the active roster together.
• Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on the news that Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani will be posted to come to the Major Leagues this winter: "We'll deal with Seattle tonight, and deal with that in the winter."
• Willie Calhoun, the club's No. 2 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, had an RBI single in his first Major League at-bat on Tuesday night. The last Rangers rookie to do that was Joey Gallo against the White Sox on June 20, 2015.
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.