Rangers' Adrian Sampson: Beginning second half in bullpen
Manager Chris Woodward said Thursday that Sampson would work in relief until the Rangers next require a fifth starter during the series in Seattle that runs July 22 through 24, Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Due to a string of off days to begin the second half, the Rangers will be able to get by with a four-man rotation through their next three series. Woodward cited Sampson's experience as a leverage reliever capable of throwing multiple innings as the main factor in the decision to move the right-hander to the bullpen temporarily, though Sampson's inconsistency prior to the All-Star break probably played a role, too. Sampson tossed two quality starts among his final five turns but still finished with an ugly 7.40 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in that span, owing largely to his struggles with keeping the ball in the yard (eight home runs allowed). He was at least able to turn in a scoreless inning in relief in Friday's 9-8 victory over the Astros.
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