The need for bullpen help for the Texas Rangers has taken another twist.
According to a report in the New York Post, Texas senior special assistant Don Welke was in Tampa to scout right-hander Joba Chamberlain.
Chamberlain, who has been both a starter and a reliever in his career, has pitched in just 49 games over the last two seasons because of injuries. But when he’s healthy, he’s been an effective reliever. In 172 appearances, he’s posted a 3.18 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 181 innings.
The Rangers have plenty of arms in camp but only three bullpen spots have been locked down. Closer Joe Nathan, right-hander Jason Frasor and left-hander Michael Kirkman have wrapped up spots. Another spot figures to be secured sometime in May when Joakim Soria is ready to pitch again after having Tommy John surgery last April.
The Rangers traded for right-hander Josh Lindblom and have veterans Kyle McClellan and former All-Star Evan Meek in camp. But Lindblom has a 7.11 ERA this spring while Meek has allowed nine earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. McClellan, who had surgery last year, was slowed early this spring and has made just one relief appearance. Tanner Scheppers, who was solid for Texas last year, has also been slowed by a hamstring injury and has a 12.00 ERA this spring in three appearances.