Eight Express Join Rangers Over Weekend
ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Round Rock Express sent eight players to the Texas Rangers over the past weekend as the major league rosters expanded to 40 players on September 1.
The following Express members will continue their seasons as a part of the Texas Rangers:
- OF Jim Adduci (contract purchased September 1)
- OF Engel Beltre (recalled September 2)
- RHP Cory Burns (recalled September 1)
- OF Joey Butler (recalled September 2)
- C Robinson Chirinos (recalled September 1)
- RHP Neftali Feliz (reinstated from ML rehab September 1)
- LHP Michael Kirkman (reinstated from ML rehab September 1)
- RHP Ross Wolf (recalled September 2)
Adduci, 28, will be in his first major league action after having his contract purchased on September 1. The left-handed hitting outfielder has spent time in the outfield and at first base for the Express in 2013, playing 127 games at the Triple-A level. Adduci led the Express in average (.298), runs (75), home runs (16), stolen bases (32) and was second in RBI (65). He finished the season with Round Rock by hitting safely in 13 of his last 14 games, including going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in his final game in an E-Train uniform (August 30 at Omaha).
Beltre, 23, hit .278 (10-for-36) with a double, two RBI and seven runs scored in 17 games with the Rangers this season. He played 94 games with the Express over the course of the 2013 campaign, hitting .292 (115-for-394) with seven homers, 34 RBI, 58 runs scored and 15 stolen bases at the top of the E-Train order. He finished off his Triple-A season by hitting in five straight games to end the year and had not hit below the .290 mark with Round Rock since June 18.
Burns, 25, pitched in 38 games with the Express throughout 2013, saving a team-best 20 games which ranked him among the leaders of the PCL. The right-hander posted a 0-2 record and 2.15 ERA (37.2ip/9er) at the back end of the Round Rock bullpen. He racked up 48 strikeouts and finished 35 games for the E-Train. Burns also pitched in nine games for the Rangers, posting a 1-0 record and 1.64 ERA (11.0ip/2er) in two stints with the club. His last appearance with Texas came on July 21 against Baltimore.
Butler, 27, will be in his second stint with the Rangers after making his major league debut with the club on August 7. In two games with Texas, Butler went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, making his first major league start on August 9 at Houston. Butler played 119 games with the Express, garnering the Rangers’ Minor League Player of the Month award in April. The 2012 Express MVP batted .291 (124-for-426) with 12 homers, 51 RBI, drew a team-leading 69 walks and led the team in on-base percentage (.395).
Chirinos, 29, has played in 10 games with the Rangers over the course of the 2013 season, batting .154 (4-for-26) with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. With the Express, the backstop batted .257 (68-265) with eight home runs, 40 RBI and 35 runs scored. He hit .279 (19-for-68) against left handers at the Triple-A level, but clubbed five homers off right-handed pitchers. After hitting .305 (18-for-59) in June, Chirinos combined to hit .204 (21-for-103) over the final two months of the season with the E-Train.
Feliz, 24, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list after completing his rehab assignment with the Express. Feliz underwent “Tommy John” surgery on August 1, 2012 and spent his 2013 campaign rehabbing with Round Rock. In six games with the Express, the right-hander did not allow a run, posting 8.2 scoreless innings. In his final outing with the E-Train, Feliz struck out a season-high four over a season-best 3.0 frames, facing 11 batters and throwing 41 pitches (28 strikes).
Kirkman, 26, opened the season with the Rangers and pitched in 25 games at the major league level before being placed on the DL retroactive to June 7 with a recurrence of a cutaneous lymphoma located in the area of his right triceps. The southpaw began his rehab assignment with the Express on August 2, making six appearances (five starts) with the E-Train. He went 2-3 with a 6.98 ERA (29.2ip/23er) at the Triple-A level but had allowed just seven earned runs over his last three outings (16.1ip). In his lone relief appearance, he tossed 5.0 scoreless innings and earned the win at Nashville (August 20).
Wolf, 30, made six starts with the Express from April 10-May 17 before joining the Rangers in his first stint. The right-hander made 21 appearances (three starts) for Texas over the course of the 2013 season, posting a 1-3 record and a 4.14 ERA (45.2ip/21er). He was optioned back to the Express on August 31 and pitched in one game (September 1 at Omaha) before being recalled on September 2. Over his brief time at the Triple-A level (seven appearances, six starts), Wolf went 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA (35.2ip/7er).