Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers formally announced this afternoon that the club has purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams (#44) from Triple-A Round Rock. To make room for Williams on the active roster, the club has placed outfielder Jake Smolinski on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 22) with a bone bruise. To make room on the 40-man roster, Texas has released right-handed pitcher Justin Marks.
Williams, 33, is scheduled to start tonight's series opener against Oakland in his Rangers debut. He was signed by Texas as a free agent on July 11 and has gone 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA (7 ER/10.1 IP) in 2 games/starts for Round Rock. His last outing came last Friday against Iowa (6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R-ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 85 pitches/60 strikes). Williams went 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA (32 ER/47.2 IP) in 26 relief outings with Houston this season after signing a major league contract on Feb. 6. He was designated for assignment on July 1 and given his unconditional release July 10. He owns a 43-51 record with a 4.45 ERA over 181 games/117 starts with the Giants (2003-05), Cubs (2005-06), Nationals (2007), Angels (2011-13), and Astros (2014) in his major league career.
Smolinski has batted .389 (14-36) with 3 doubles and 5 RBI over 11 games since his contract was purchased from Round Rock on July 7. He had started 10 straight games for the club from July 8-21 until fouling a pitch off the inside of his foot in the sixth inning of Monday's game at New York-AL. The first day he would be eligible to return would be August 6 during the club's next road trip.
Marks was 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA (3 ER/5.1 IP) in 5 relief appearances with Triple-A Round Rock. He has been on Round Rock's disabled list since July 16.
ORTIZ OPTIONED TO FRISCO; KOUZMANOFF TRANSFERRED TO 60-DAY DL: Left-handed pitcher Joseph Ortiz was activated off the 60-day disabled list today and optioned to Double-A Frisco. To make room on the 40-man roster for Ortiz, the club has transferred third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. Ortiz has been on the disabled list all season with a fractured left foot before beginning an injury rehabilitation assignment last week. Kouzmanoff has been on the disabled list since April 23 and had back surgery in early May.
With today's transactions, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.