SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A strained rib cage muscle is going to keep Kyle McClellan off the Major League roster, but it's not going to keep him out of the Rangers organization. McClellan, who is in camp on a Minor League contract, met with club officials on Monday and told them he will not exercise the "out" clause in his contract.
McClellan could have elected to become a free agent if he wasn't added to the Major League roster by March 22. Instead, he will remain with the Rangers and continue to do his rehab work at the Spring Training complex in Surprise.
"For me, it doesn't make any sense to take the out," McClellan said. "Here, you're in a structured environment with a medical staff that knows what it's doing and an organization that believes in you. It's just stressful for me because I was close. I was game-ready, that's the hard part. I feel like I let them down. They gave me a chance. A lot of teams didn't. I'm looking forward to giving them a return on their investment."
McClellan, who had shoulder surgery in July while with the Cardinals, came to camp as a candidate for both the rotation and the bullpen. He was set back by muscle soreness in his shoulder but pitched two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut against the Brewers last week. That was encouraging, but McClellan also injured the lat muscle during the start.
McClelland didn't think the injury was serious, but the medical staff told him he needed to stop throwing for 3-4 weeks. That will require another 3-4 weeks to rebuild arm strength before he can pitch in a game.
"I wish I could say I could be back in 10 days," McClellan said. "But it's one of those things the doctors say if you push it, you could tear it."
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.