ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers are turning to a former Houston Astros pitcher against the Astros Tuesday night.
Left-hander Travis Blackley, who the Rangers acquired from Houston last week, will start for Texas Tuesday night.
The Rangers will make a roster move for Blackley Tuesday. He’s pitched in just one game for Triple A Round Rock since being acquired, pitching three innings last Thursday.
Blackley, who will be the first Australian to pitch for the Rangers, worked 42 games in relief for Houston this year before being designated for assignment.
“I’ve been resting my head on about five different pillows the last seven days,” said Blackley, who had a 4.89 ERA for Houston. “It’s a little bit of ride but it’s good to be back up and getting to play some ball at this level again. (Starting) is a little bit more of my comfort zone. It’s something I’ve been doing my of my career, minor leagues and majors leagues. It will be good to get back there and use all my pitches again and go after hitters.”
The Rangers opted to use Blackley as the starter instead of long man Ross Wolf. But Texas manager Ron Washington said he expects Wolf to pitch because Blackley isn’t stretched out. Washington hopes to get around 65 pitches from Blackley.
“He’s got experience,” Washington said. “He certainly pitches well against us. I think his experience played into it more than anything else. We’re not looking for him to give us six or seven innings. We’re looking for him to give us what he can give us and then we’ll go to the bullpen from there.”
Blackley has started 23 games in the majors, with his last start coming in 2012 for Oakland. He has eight wins at the big-league level and half of those have come against the Rangers.
How long Blackley remains in the rotation remains to be seen. Washington said Alexi Ogando’s right shoulder is feeling better since he had a cortisone injection this weekend. Despite that, Ogando could go on the DL for a third time this year to make room for Blackley, who could mean an extended look at a pitcher the Rangers acquired for cash considerations.
The only thing Blackley knows is he’s facing his former teammates Tuesday.
“Every time I seem to go to a new team the first time I seem to be playing against is my old team,” said Blackley, who has pitched for Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland as well as the Astros. “It’s kind of different. We’ll see if I’ve watched enough during the season.”