SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Pitcher Miles Mikolas #36 poses during Texas Rangers photo day on February 25, 2014 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
With the news of Joe Saunders' release on Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Rangers will be starting a first-time MLB pitcher on Wednesday evening in Baltimore as Triple-A call-up Miles Mikolas will make his Rangers debut in starting for the Rangers against the Orioles.
Mikolas was called up to replace Saunders in the rotation, and the Rangers pushed back their scheduled Wednesday starter Nick Tepesch to Friday to allow Mikolas to slide in on his schedule. Mikolas was acquired from Pittsburgh back in December for first baseman Chris McGuinness and was having a nice year for Triple-A Round Rock. He made 27 appearances with the San Diego Padres in 2012 and 2013 as a reliever.
To date, Mikolas was 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA in Round Rock, and had been in its starting rotation since May. In his six starts, he's struck out 29 and walked just three.
The Rangers insist Mikolas' start isn't a one-time thing, and he's a member of the rotation for the time being, presumably at least until Derek Holland returns from the DL, whenever that happens.
"This is not a spot start,” assistant general Thad Levine said. “He is going into our rotation. I think initially when we acquired him, we were enamored with his plus velocity and his curveball, but we’ve gotten some very positive reports on how he has pounded the strike zone. He seems to be more of a pitcher. But we know this is a work in progress, and we are going to be patient.”