Breaking News: Jack Leiter Texas Rangers pitcher Announced his Departure Due to…


Jack Leiter Texas Rangers pitcher Announced his Departure

April 18: On Thursday morning, Texas formally chose Leiter’s deal. In exchange, the Rangers optioned Grant Anderson to Triple-A. They placed lefty reliever Brock Burke on the 60-day disabled list in order to make room on the 40-man roster. Burke will not be able to perform until at least the middle of June after breaking his non-throwing hand last week.

April 16: The Rangers made the announcement this morning that Jack Leiter, their top pitching prospect, will be picked for the major league roster and will make his debut on Thursday against the Tigers. Texas, who selected the right-hander with the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, will need to make a similar move to create room for him because they have a full 40-man roster.

Leiter is getting an early birthday present, as he turns 24 three days after making his eagerly anticipated debut. The second-generation talent is the nephew of 11-year MLB veteran Mark Leiter, the cousin of current Cubs setup man Mark Leiter Jr., and the son of two-time World Series champion and two-time All-Star Al Leiter.

Despite his strong selection and prospect background, Jack Leiter—the fourth Leiter to make it to the majors—hasn’t had the easiest road to the show. Before getting drafted, he dominated batters in his two seasons as a collegiate player at Vanderbilt, striking out 41% of opponents. However, after being sent to Double-A straight out of the gate for an aggressive assignment, he struggled with command.

In his first two Double-A seasons, Leiter walked over 13% of his opponents and had an ERA above 5.00; but, in his first three Triple-A appearances this season, Leiter has been a monster. He has struck out 25 of his 57 opponents (43.9%) in 14 1/3 innings, walked just three (5.3%), and given up just 11 hits. Unfortunately, four of those have left the yard, leaving Leiter with a 3.77 ERA that is significantly less outstanding than his dominant K-BB profile would normally imply. Despite this, Leiter’s strikeout and walk trends are encouraging. in is especially noteworthy considering that Leiter worked 12 2/3 innings for Texas in spring and recorded a significantly higher walk rate (9.6%) during that brief period of time.

Injury concerns have severely damaged Texas’ rotation.After having Tommy John surgery in June of last year, Jacob deGrom, who signed a five-year deal during the 2022–2023 offseason, began the season on the 60-day injured list.Max Scherzer needed back surgery in the off-season to fix a bulging disc. He acquired at least one year’s trade deadline. With three outings under his belt to start the season, 26-year-old southpaw Cody Bradford was a godsend (1.40 ERA). up until he experienced his own lower back issue and was put on a 15-day IL.

Leiter will take over a starting crew that is subject to change. After signing a one-year contract late in spring training, veteran righty Michael Lorenzen made his Rangers debut yesterday, pitching five shutout frames against his former Tigers teammates (although with four strikeouts and five walks). Although he has a 6.75 ERA and hasn’t lasted five innings in any of his three starts, veteran lefty Andrew Heaney was supposed to start on Thursday. Leiter appears to be going to adopt that position, at least for the foreseeable future.

All of that suggests that, at least initially, Lorenzen, Leiter, Jon Gray, and Wednesday’s starter, Dane Dunning, will be in the rotation. Leiter may be given a longer leash if he fails right away, but it’s likely that the Rangers intend to give him several starts after calling him up to the major leagues. In the coming days, the team’s plans for their young righty will likely be further explained by manager Bruce Bochy and/or general manager Chris Young.

Leiter’s difficulties in 2022–2023 were significant enough to knock him off of the prospect rankings, disqualifying him from the prospect promotion incentives offered by MLB. Due to insufficient time left on the calendar, he will not be able to complete a full year of service time, nor will his Rookie of the Year vote earn the Rangers a draft pick. As things stand, he will remain manageable through the 2030 campaign and is expected to become a Super Two, which will allow him to go through the arbitration process four times instead of the usual three. Winter 2026–2027 would mark the first of those offseasons eligible for arbitration, while more optional assignments might still affect his eligibility for arbitration and free agency status in the future.

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