Texas Rangers promote pitching prospect Andrew Faulkner


The Texas Rangers promoted hard throwing left-handed pitcher Andrew Faulkner from AAA Round Rock on Friday afternoon. Faulkner had thrown eight scoreless innings over six appearances with the Express this season. Pitcher Nick Martinez was optioned back to Round Rock and pitcher Chris Rearick was designated for assignment just one day after being claimed off of waivers from the San Diego Padres in corresponding roster moves.

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Faulkner was drafted as a starting pitcher in the 14th round of the 2011 draft from South Aiken HS in Aiken, South Carolina. But after being converted into a reliever this year, he began to thrive after a rough patch in beginning of the season at AA Frisco. After earning a promotion to Round Rock, he struck out 13 batters in his 8.0 innings of work while giving up just two hits and a walk.

Faulkner’s arm will fit in nicely with a Rangers bullpen already stacked with power arms like Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman. The 22 year old will be the third left-handed pitcher available for manager Jeff Banister in relief, joining Diekman and Sam Freeman.

Banister’s options in relief have improved significantly over the course of the season, largely thanks to the replacement of Neftali Feliz in the closer’s role by Shawn Tolleson. While Tolleson has been consistently recording saves throughout the season, he has had an issue with allowing baserunners. Texas’ bullpen situation is better than it was a month ago, but could still use some improvement.

The club could look to add another top pen arm at the waiver trade deadline Monday if they really want to strengthen their roster for the September playoff push. The team currently sits in the second American League wild card spot with a 0.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins and the rival Los Angeles Angels.

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