Texas Rangers Notes: A good start, two signings and another bullpen rumor emerges

Could the New York Mets' Francisco Rodriguez, left, dance his way to the Texas Rangers? (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Colby Lewis finally gets it right

Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis couldn’t have picked a better time to finally have a good outing.

After giving up 15 earned runs in his last two combined starts (4.2 IP), Lewis had a solid outing against the Atlanta Braves, giving up just two runs and striking out 10 through 6.2 innings in a 6-2 Rangers win. It was a desperately needed win after dropping seven of their last nine going into Friday night’s game.

This is the kind of start Lewis needs to carry a little bit of momentum and confidence into his next outing, which will likely come at home against the Houston Astros next week.

Rangers sign both first round picks

On Friday afternoon, the Texas Rangers announced they reached agreements with their two first-round draft picks, right-hander Kevin Matthews and outfielder Zach Cone.

Matthews, from Richmond Hill High School in Georgia, was thought to be a solid commit to the University of Virginia, but word quickly spread that Matthews had every intention of signing with the team. He made good on those rumors, signing for $936,000 and will report to the Arizona Rookie League.

The other first-round pick signed on Friday was former Georgia Bulldog outfielder Cone. You might remember Cone was involved in a collision with teammate Johnathan Taylor on March 6 that left Taylor partially paralyzed with a broken neck.

Not only did the Rangers draft Cone, but they also surprised Taylor by drafting him, as well. Cone signed for $873,000 and will report to single-A Spokane.

Francisco Rodriguez a possible target

It’s well known the Rangers will be one of those teams looking to add pitching depth at or before the trade deadline at the end of July. With that date quickly approaching, the list of names this team could be interested in has grown by the day.

We have heard the likes of San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, Washington Nationals relievers Todd Coffey and Tyler Clippard, and Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria, to name a few.

But one other name mentioned recently is former Los Angeles Angels and current New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez. You might know Rodriguez as the young star with the Angels who came into a game against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series and made them look like Little Leaguers at the plate.

Rodriguez is currently 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 19 saves on the season, but has given up almost as many runs this season (12) as he gave up all of last season (14).

Tanner Scheppers re-activated

Though the Rangers will look for bullpen help, as well as another starter at the trade deadline, they may not have to look any further than their own minor league system for a pitcher who can make an immediate impact.

Tanner Scheppers is one of the top pitching prospects in the Rangers system and had been just one move away from the big leagues at Triple-A Round Rock.

Unfortunately, Scheppers struggled before going on the disabled list with a back injury.

On Friday, the young right-hander was re-activated by the team and sent to double-A Frisco to join the RoughRidgers’ bullpen. According to general manager Jon Daniels, it might be awhile before Scheppers makes his way up the ladder again. “Coming off the injury, we want Tanner to get his routine down before we challenge him at a higher level,” he told Jeff Wilson of the Star Telegram.

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