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02/14/09 5:18 PM EST
Jennings could start season in Minors
New Rangers arm still recovering from second surgery
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jason Jennings might be ready for Opening Day but it might not be with the Rangers. It might be with the Double-A Frisco Roughriders. Jennings, who reported to Spring Training on Saturday, acknowledged that is a possibility as he continues his comeback from his second flexor tendon surgery in the past two years. "I'm willing to do whatever they feel is in everybody's best interests," Jennings said. "Whatever is best for my arm and the long haul. We don't want to rush me to Opening Day, have a setback and then go back on the DL."
That's what happened last spring. Jennings had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow in August 2007 and the Rangers, after signing him as a free agent, went into the season with him in their rotation. But Jennings lasted just six starts before coming down with more problems in the flexor tendon. He had a second surgery last month.
"This one was different," Jennings said. "The first one was just a cleanup. This time they attached the tendon to the bone. One of two weeks after the surgery I could tell a big difference in how I felt."
The Rangers still want to be cautious with Jennings, who was the National League's Rookie of the Year with the Rockies in 2002 and is 60-70 with a 5.00 ERA in 180 Major League starts and one relief appearance. He agreed to a Minor League contract with the Rangers just eight days ago.
"That's one of the things we talked about," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Especially after the experience we all went through together last season. We want him to be 100 percent before he steps on the gas."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.