The Texas Rangers have released right-hander Adrian Sampson, in a move which allows him to pitch in South Korea. He’ll soon join the Lotte Giants, with whom he has been negotiating.
Sampson went 6-8 with a 5.89 ERA in 125.1 innings in swingman duties for Texas this past season, making 15 starts and 20 relief appearances. He was third on the club in innings pitched after Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. In all he has pitched in three seasons in the bigs, though all but six of his 41 games pitched came in 2019.
Sampson was unlikely to stay on the 40-man roster as the rebuilding Rangers, hopefully, improved over the next couple of years, and it was likely that he’d have to settle for a minor league deal to pitch in the United States in 2020. Signing to pitch in the KBO is, therefore, a smart financial move for him in the short run and, with success for Lotte, he could position himself for a second go-around in the bigs if he chooses to at some point down the line.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.
Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.
Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.
The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.