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Nathan Eovaldi (groin) becomes fifth Rangers starting pitcher to hit the injured list this season

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The Texas Rangers have lost another starting pitcher to injury. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right groin strain, the team announced Friday. Righty reliever Yerry De Los Santos was called up in a corresponding move.

Eovaldi, 34, exited Thursday’s start after experiencing tightness in his groin in the sixth inning. He went for tests Friday.

“We were being cautious,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said following Thursday’s game (via the Dallas Morning News). “It did tighten up a little. There was no point in pushing it. I’ll have better answers [Friday]. I think, with what we’re talking about here, yeah, he may need some rest. That’s what we’re going to find out. We’re going to take care of him and do what’s right.”

Eovaldi has a long injury history — he has visited the injured list at least once every season since 2016 with the exception of 2021 — though the good news is his arm is healthy. This is a groin injury. That said, it will cost him at least 15 days. Eovaldi is the fifth Texas starting pitcher on the injured list. Here is the club’s rotation depth chart at the moment:

  1. RHP Jacob deGrom (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery)
  2. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (out with groin strain)
  3. RHP Max Scherzer (rehabbing from back surgery)
  4. RHP Jon Gray
  5. RHP Tyler Mahle (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery)
  6. LHP Cody Bradford (out with back strain and rib fracture)
  7. RHP Michael Lorenzen
  8. RHP Dane Dunning
  9. LHP Andrew Heaney

Scherzer started a minor-league rehab assignment last week, though he was scratched from his second rehab outing Tuesday with soreness in his thumb. It’s unclear when he’ll make his next rehab start. deGrom and Mahle will not return until the second half, and Bradford’s injury is expected to sideline him for at least another few weeks.

The Rangers do not have an off-day until next Thursday and will need someone to make Eovaldi’s next start on Tuesday, and also someone else to start one game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Top prospect Jack Leiter, who had a rough MLB debut last month, would seem to be a candidate to make one of those starts.

Despite all the injuries, Rangers starters enter play Friday with a 3.65 ERA. The offense has been a much bigger issue lately. The Rangers are averaging 4.53 runs per game, 16th in baseball, and they’re averaging 3.44 runs in their last nine games.

Texas entered Friday’s series opener with the Kansas City Royals with a 17-15 record. They are a half-game behind the Seattle Mariners in the AL West.

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