Rich Harden has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left gluteus muscle, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
It’s a bit ironic, since the 28-year-old right-hander has been a real pain in the tuchus for Rangers fans all season. Harden, who was signed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract last December, is just 3-3 with a 5.68 ERA and 1.68 WHIP over his first 13 starts and has completed seven innings just once all season. He gave up a career-high four home runs in a loss to the Brewers on Friday night.
The Rangers have called up right-hander Alexi Ogando in a corresponding roster move. Ogando, 26, has compiled a 2.05 ERA over 15 starts and three relief appearances between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, averaging 12.3 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.