With Jonathan Hernandez Already at least in the first part of April due to a sprain at UCL, Leclerc’s injury represents another long-term blow to the Texas paddock. Any mention of an elbow problem naturally raises concern over Tommy John’s surgery, which would keep Leclerc, 27, out of action until the middle of the 2022 season.
This is the second major injury in as many years for Leclerc, who pitched just two games last season with a torn right teres muscle. His return to action was marked by a late arrival at the camp due to visa issues, then Leclerc did not have his usual speed on 3 2/3 outings of the Cactus League, which perhaps is not. be not unexpected because he was rebuilding his arm strength.
Regardless, Leclerc was the provisional favorite to enter the season as Texas moved closer. He was first promoted to the position in 2018, in a season that saw Leclerc posting a 1.56 / 2.60 SIERA ERA and a whopping 38.1K% (eighth highest of all pitchers baseball with at least 50 IP) on 57 2/3 frames outside the Rangers pen. His performance took a back seat in 2019, in part due to both an increase in steps and a sharp decrease in batting odds (a .306 BABIP in 2019, compared to a .211 BABIP in 2018) , but it should be noted that most of Leclerc’s struggles that year were confined to April.
Ahead of this 2019 season, Leclerc signed a contract extension that paid him a guarantee of $ 14.75 million throughout the 2022 season, with the Rangers holding club options on his services for 2023 ($ 6 million , $ 750,000 in buyback) and 2024 ($ 6.25 million, $ 500). K redemption). While not a huge financial investment, this expansion will end up looking like a failure for Texas if the worst happens and Leclerc requires TJ surgery.
Rodriguez (sprained ankle) and Martin (full back) have yet to pitch during spring training, but both lefties could end up spending a relatively short time on the IL, maybe even just a minimal absence. of 10 days. Their returns will be very well received by a Ranger enclosure that is now suddenly thin on its hands. It remains to be seen who will be the first choice for the stoppage with Leclerc and Hernandez, and the role could go to minor league signings. Ian Kennedy or Matt Bush.