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05/21/08 8:01 PM ET
Rangers add Loe, designate German
Righty to serve as long relief; Mathis to get Saturday start
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Needing a fresh arm in their bullpen, the Rangers called up right-hander Kameron Loe from Triple-A Oklahoma and designated reliever Franklyn German for assignment Wednesday. Loe, who was 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 16 games for the RedHawks, will serve as a long/middle reliever. "We needed to get a fresh arm up here, and we needed to get somebody with some length," manager Ron Washington said. "Our pitching people told us Kameron was throwing the ball well." Washington also said Doug Mathis will get a second start against the Indians on Sunday, although the Rangers hope that Kevin Millwood will take the spot back the next time it comes around when they return home after this 10-game road trip. Mathis allowed nine runs in 2 1/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to the Twins on Wednesday, but Washington still wants to look at him one more time. "We felt like the linescore he had was a little skewed and he deserves another chance," Washington said. "I thought he made some good pitches, but they put the ball in play and got some hits. There were also a couple of plays we didn't make that could have made a difference." Millwood, who took some fielding practice on Wednesday to test his groin injury, will throw in the bullpen on Thursday. After that the Rangers will decide if he's ready for a rehabilitation assignment in the Minors. If so, he could do that on Sunday and then be ready to rejoin the rotation on May 30 against the Athletics in Arlington. German pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday night in relief of Mathis, dropping his ERA to 2.08. Opponents are hitting .243 off him, but he has walked 13 in 21 2/3 innings. He also has three losses, which concerned the Rangers about his ability to pitch in close games. The Rangers have 10 days to trade him or put him through outright waivers. If he clears waivers, he has the right to refuse assignment and can instead become a free agent. The Rangers could have optioned Josh Rupe to Oklahoma and kept German. Rupe has a 4.23 ERA in 10 appearances, but the Rangers look at him as being a big part of their future. "The Rupe project is coming along pretty good," Washington said. "We could have optioned him out, but there is no guarantee that he would have come back in 10 days with all the other moves we may have going on. It's tough to put a guy like German out there, but it's a tough decision. Whatever happens we have to live with having him out there." Loe has been with the Rangers for all or parts of the last four seasons and is 18-23 with a 4.92 ERA in 93 Major League games, including 13-19 with a 5.08 ERA in 47 starts. He had cleanup surgery at the end of last season and struggled in Spring Training. He was sent to Oklahoma to start the season and was 1-1 with a 6.19 ERA in nine appearances in April. But he has been much better in May, going 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings. In that stretch, he has struck out 10 and walked none. "Honestly, I probably wasn't ready to come to the big leagues and help the team out at the beginning of the season," Loe said, "Coming off surgery and going through Spring Training, I just wasn't consistent and I didn't know where my arm slot was. The baseball wasn't going where I wanted. Now I'm more than ready to get big league hitters out. It was frustrating not to be here but in hindsight I wasn't ready out of Spring Training." Loe has also seems reconciled the fact that the Rangers plan to use him in the bullpen and no longer see him as a starter. "I'm fine with that right now," Loe said. "Everybody knows my passion is to start and I will be a starter for this team or another team, this year or next year. But I'm glad I'm here. I'm ready to throw multiple innings and that's a good way to slip back in the rotation. But that's not my focus. My focus is whenever they give me the ball, I've got to get somebody out."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.