With the injured Ross Detwiler's spot in the Rangers' starting rotation due up for the second of a three-game set in Boston on Wednesday night, Texas had a decision to make in replacing him.
There are a couple of viable options. There is Anthony Ranaudo, a former Red Sox prospect who was dealt to Texas for Robbie Ross and had one start this year for the Rangers that ended with him not even making it out of the second inning. Then, there is top pitching prospect Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is starting to pitch better at Triple-A after a rough start to the year, but still isn't ready to hit the big leagues.
That leaves the Rangers with Phil Klein, and the former reliever will get his shot as a starter on Wednesday in Boston after just two starts since being swapped out of the bullpen for prospect Luke Jackson.
Klein has been good this year with Round Rock, and though he hasn't worked deep into either of his two starts, he's been very effective, allowing just three hits and one run over more than eight innings, spread over the two outings.
“He throws strikes and has some experience pitching at the major league level,” manager Jeff Banister told the Dallas Morning News. “The evaluation from everybody involved was that Phil was the best fit right now.”
Klein said the biggest obstacle in front of him is trying to work through the opponent's order more than one time, which is often the biggest issue for relievers trying to start — just ask Ross Detwiler.
“The biggest challenge is just getting through the lineup more than once,” Klein said. “I’m trying not to show them everything the first time through, mostly fastballs and sliders and then letting the changeup work its way in. I’m excited about it. It’s a new adventure.”