There hasn’t been much going right for the Texas Rangers in the last month. Relief pitcher Keone Kela did provide a ray of light in the midst of these dark days, returning to the mound Saturday in Wrigley Field and mowing down the Chicago Cubs.
Kela, who had not pitched since April because of a surgical procedure to remove bone spurs in his elbow, struck out the side Saturday afternoon in his only inning of work. The 23-year old right-hander was one of the Rangers’ top relievers as a rookie in 2015, with an ERA of 2.39 and 68 strikeouts in 60.1 innings pitched.
With Texas having lost nine of its last eleven games, the re-addition of Kela should at least help ease the struggles of the Rangers’ bullpen. Texas relief pitching ranks second-worst in all of Major League Baseball with a 5.06 ERA this season. To put that in perspective, the Astros – the team chasing the Rangers in the American League West standings – rank fifth in baseball with a 3.16 bullpen ERA.