In this Associated Press photo, Yang Hyeon-jong of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the top of the sixth inning of a major league spring training game at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday. (AP-Yonhap)
Texas Rangers' South Korean pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong may have blown his chance at making the big league roster at the start of the new season, following a wild outing in his final spring training game.
Yang issued three walks and gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning in relief against the Milwaukee Brewers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday (local time).
Yang, who signed a minor league deal after 14 years in South Korea and received an invitation to spring training, has been trying to break camp with the Rangers. He had pitched to a 3.86 ERA over his four previous appearances, putting himself at least on the bubble to make the team as potentially a swingman.
But Yang's last spring outing began inauspiciously, with a five-pitch walk to Christian Yelich in the top of the sixth inning.
Yang retired the next two batters on flyouts but gave up a free pass to Lorenzo Cain. Another walk to Omar Narvaez loaded the bases, prompting a mound visit.
That didn't stop the bleeding, as Yang served up a two-run double to Orlando Arcia. That spelled the end of Yang's day. His ERA ballooned to 5.40.
While Yang may not be with the Rangers at the start of the season on Thursday, it's still possible that he will be called up at some point. Pitchers across the majors will face unprecedented increases in their workloads, with the schedule back to the usual 162 games after a pandemic-interrupted season of 60 games in 2020.
Yang, a proven workhorse, has tossed at least 170 innings in each of the last seven years for the Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO). (Yonhap)