Bibens-Dirkx was shelled for three runs on five hits and a walk over 3.1 innings of relief in Tuesday's 10-3 loss to the Mariners. He struck out one batter in the 54-pitch appearance. Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been considering removing fifth starter A.J. Griffin from the rotation for the right-hander's upcoming turn Friday against the Angels, but Bibens-Dirkx's extensive usage Tuesday probably takes him out of consideration for a spot start. For now, it appears Banister is content to use Bibens-Dirkx as a long reliever out of the bullpen, with most of the rookie's appearances coming in non-competitive contests.
Bibens-Dirkx (5-2) was the pitcher of record in the Rangers' 12-8 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday with the Braves. He tossed three scoreless innings in relief, working around five hits and striking out two batters. Starter Miguel Gonzalez lasted only three innings in his Rangers debut before getting pulled from the outing, prompting manager Jeff Banister to turn to Bibens-Dirkx in long relief. The soft-tossing rookie proved quite hittable, but with none of the five hits he allowed going for extra bases, he was able to clot the bleeding for the Rangers, whose offense caught fire in the middle innings. It's not expected that Gonzalez will lose his rotation spot after the poor team debut, so Bibens-Dirkx still looks bound to work out of the bullpen for the remainder of the campaign.
Bibens-Dirkx (4-2) was credited with the win in Thursday's 9-8 triumph over the White Sox after tossing 1.2 perfect innings of relief and striking out one. It was only the third appearance in August for Bibens-Dirkx, who moved back to a long-relief role following a July 29 spot start against the Rangers. Though he's likely in line to see mostly mop-up work over the final month and a half of the season, Bibens-Dirkx at least endeared himself to manager Jeff Banister on Thursday by coming up huge in a big spot. After starter Tyson Ross walked two of the first three batters in the fifth inning before getting pulled, Bibens-Dirkx stepped in to induce back-to-back flyouts to close out the frame with no further damage on Ross' ledger.
Bibens-Dirkx won't start Thursday against the Twins and will likely work out of the bullpen for the foreseeable future. With Tyson Ross (finger) not ready to return from the disabled list this week, the Rangers had an opening in the rotation for Thursday, but manager Jeff Banister opted against handing Bibens-Dirkx another turn. The right-hander was mediocre during his most recent start July 29 against the Orioles, conceding four runs on six hits (two home runs) and three walks over five frames, so Banister will see if A.J. Griffin (oblique), who looked strong during a four-start rehab assignment in the minors, can offer better production is his return from the 60-day DL. Bibens-Dirkx should be ticketed for mop-up duty as he heads back to the bullpen.
Manager Jeff Banister said he's planning to have Bibens-Dirkx start Thursday's game against the Twins, Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News reports. With Tyson Ross (finger) not ready to make his next turn through the rotation, Bibens-Dirkx tentatively lines up for another start after giving up four runs in five innings to take the loss Saturday against the Orioles. It's expected that the Rangers will trade Yu Darvish, an impending free agent, prior to Monday's deadline, but if a deal doesn't come to fruition and Darvish ends up making his scheduled start Tuesday, Bibens-Dirkx could head back to the bullpen. The Rangers would likely activate A.J. Griffin (oblique) from the 60-day disabled list to start Tuesday in the event of a Darvish trade, but if Darvish sticks with the team, Griffin could instead be pushed back in the schedule to Thursday.
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