Cole Ragans set to start Wednesday at the Houston Astros

The Texas Rangers are scheduled to activate rookie Cole Ragans on Wednesday and start him in the series finale against the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m. at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Ragans has been on the 15-day disabled list since August 26 (retroactive to August 23) with a sprained left calf. Wednesday is the first day it can be activated.

Ragans’ return to the rotation is timely. With Ragans on the IL, the Rangers lost three starting pitchers, along with Spencer Howard and Jon Gray. Martin Perez has been Rangers’ top pitcher all season, while Glenn Otto has found some consistency over the past month. But the flyer Rangers took against former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel did not pay off. After two terrible starts for Texas, the Rangers picked Keuchel for an assignment last weekend.

Now Ragans has a few more starts to try and show Rangers he is worth a full audition for a starting spot in 2023.

He’s 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA in four starts for Texas. Walks have been a problem for the former first-round pick, as he has more walks (10) than strikeouts (nine) in his four starts with the Rangers.

In his last start on August 22 against Minnesota, he found himself without a decision. He pitched four innings, allowing five hits, one run (earned) and two walks. He struck out two, threw 89 pitches and 55 strikes. He pitched three scoreless innings to start this game.

Ragans has faced the Astros before. In fact, it was his second Major League start at Minute Maid Park on August 11. This game saw Rangers lose 7-3. Ragans pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs. All of those runs came on homers – a three-point shot from catcher Martin Maldonado and a two-point shot from third baseman Alex Bregman.

His Major League debut on August 4 also boded well. Against the Chicago White Sox, Ragans pitched for five innings, allowing three hits and a run, which was unearned. He also walked four bases and struck out three. Ragans became the 10th pitcher (second left-hander) in Rangers history to pitch at least five innings without allowing an earned run in his MLB debut.

He overcame two Tommy John surgeries and missed three full seasons in the minors to finally make his MLB debut this season. He earned it with solid work at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, as he combined to go 8-5 with a 3.04 ERA with 31 walks and 113 strikeouts in 18 matches / departures. He averaged 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings.


You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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