The Rangers announced a series of roster moves this afternoon, most notably the news that Ezequiel Duran has been placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to May 24) due to mild discomfort in his right oblique. Outfielder Travis Jankowski was activated from his own 10-day IL stint and will take Jankowski’s place on the active roster. Left-hander Cody Bradford was also called up from Triple-A to take the spot of Dane Dunning, as Dunning is going on the paternity list.
One of many contributors to the red-hot Texas lineup this season, Duran has made the most of some extended playing time when Corey Seager went on the 10-day IL. Duran became the Rangers’ top choice as the fill-in shortstop, and since Seager returned last week, Duran had been getting some DH time in order to keep his bat in the lineup. After a modest .643 OPS over 220 plate appearances in his 2022 rookie season, Duran has broken out with seven homers and a .301/.340/.515 slash line over 144 PA this year. While Duran’s 2.8% walk rate is near the bottom of the league and he has benefited from a .358 BABIP, he has still been making a lot of hard contact, and his plus speed has contributed to that good fortune with balls in play.
Duran missed the last few games with what was initially described as rib soreness, and while the new designation of an oblique problem isn’t exactly good news, the injury does seem to be relatively mild. If all goes well, he might just miss only a minimal amount of time, plus he already has a few days banked via the retroactive IL placement.
Jankowski returns after missing just shy of three weeks due to a right hamstring strain. Signed to a minor league contract during the offseason, the veteran has hit well (.309/.382/.412) over 77 PA while seeing time in mostly in left and center field. Left field has been a relative weak link in the Texas lineup, with the Rangers juggling Jankowski, Robbie Grossman, Bubba Thompson, Josh H. Smith and even Duran in and out of the position. This could be a regular spot for Duran when he returns from the IL, or the Rangers might look for a bigger left field upgrade at the trade deadline.