The Texas Rangers today announced that right-handed pitchers Shawn Tolleson and Lucas Harrell have cleared outright waivers and will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. Tolleson and Harrell had been on the club’s 60-day disabled list. Both pitchers are eligible to decline the assignments and declare free agency.
Tolleson, 28, has led the Rangers with 174 appearances from 2014-16, compiling a 3.84 ERA across his three seasons with Texas. He had a 2-2 record with a 7.68 ERA (31 ER/36.1 IP) over 37 relief appearances for the Rangers in 2016 before he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on July 29. He allowed 6 runs in 4 games/4.1 innings with the Express, and was recalled by Texas on August 23 and placed on the 60-day disabled list with a lower back sprain. The team’s closer for roughly a year-long span from 2015-16, he ranks 8th in Rangers history with 46 saves.
Harrell, 31, went 1-0 with a 5.60 ERA (11 ER/17.2 IP) over 4 games/starts with Texas after being acquired in a trade with Atlanta on July 27. He combined to go 3-2 with a 4.21 ERA (22 ER/47.0 IP) across 9 major league starts with the Braves and Rangers in 2016. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 17 with a right groin strain suffered in his final outing of the season on August 16 vs. Oakland and transferred to the 60-day disabled list on September 10 for the remainder of the campaign.
With these moves, the Rangers still have 40 players on the club’s major league roster and one player (Prince Fielder) on the 60-day disabled list.
RANGERS NAME PRO SCOUTS: The team has also hired Vinny Rottino (pronounced row-TEEN-oh) as Professional Scout, and named Donzell McDonald as a Professional Scout.
Rottino, 36, played 62 major league games with Milwaukee (2006-08), Florida (2011), New York-NL (2012), and Cleveland (2012). He appeared in 78 games with Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox organization this season in his final action as a player. Rottino played for Orix in the Japanese Pacific League in 2013 and with Nexen in the Korean Baseball Organization in 2014.
McDonald will be in his seventh season with the Texas organization after serving a dual role of roving instructor and professional scout in 2016. McDonald, who saw action in 15 major league games with the Yankees (2001) and Royals (2002), previously spent five years as a hitting coach with the Arizona League Rangers from 2011-15 following the end of his playing career.
WINTER BALL UPDATE: Some updates below from members of the Rangers organization currently playing in winter ball:
Venezuelan Winter League: Joey Gallo debuted with Magallanes on Tuesday night and went 1-for-3 with a home run, 3 RBI, 3 walks, and 4 runs scored in a 20-7 win over Caracas…RHP Ariel Jurado is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA (5 ER/13.0 IP) in 4 starts with Magallanes.
Dominican Winter League: INF Hanser Alberto has multiple hits in each of his first 3 games with Cibao, batting .538 (7-13) with a home run and 5 RBI…1B Ronald Guzman has appeared in 4 games with Este and has gone 2-for-6 with a double and walk…LHP Dario Alvarez (Este) has retired all 7 batters faced with a pair of strikeouts over 2 relief appearances…RHP Jose Leclerc debuted for Cibao on Monday night and pitched a scoreless inning of relief with a strikeout…RHP Nick Martinez has made one start for Este, allowing 2 runs over 4.1 IP on Sunday.
Mexican Winter League: OF Delino DeShields is 1-for-11 with 2 RBI and 3 sacrifice bunts in 3 games with Obregon, going 2-for-2 in steal attempts.
Arizona Fall League: OF Scott Heineman is batting .467 (7-15) over his last 5 games with Surprise to raise his AFL average to .321…INF Andy Ibanez has hit safely in each of his 7 starts for the Saguaros and his .355 average (11-31) ranks T9th in the AFL…RHP John Fasola has tossed 5.0 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts over 4 relief outings for Surprise…LHP Brett Martin (4.0 IP, 3 R-2 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB) took a no decision in his last start for Surprise on Thursday vs. Peoria.