Korean star pitcher Yang joins Rangers, ready for MLB debut

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Former Korean standout pitcher Hyeon-Jong Yang joined the Texas Rangers on Monday, and was looking to make his MLB debut.

The Rangers selected the contract of the 33-year-old left-hander from their alternate training site before the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

Texas optioned struggling rookie center fielder Leody Taveras to the alternate training site. To make room on the 40-man roster for Yang, the Rangers transferred first baseman/outfielder Ronald Guzmán from the 10-day to 60-day injured list.

Yang had been on the team’s taxi squad for each of the first three road trips this season. He initially signed with the Rangers at the start of spring training after a 14-year career with the Kia Tigers. He was the MVP in the Korean Baseball Organization in 2017, and also the Korean Series MVP that season when the Tigers won the league championship. He won the ERA title in the KBO in 2015 and 2019.

Taveras was hitting .087 (4 for 46) with one RBIs in his 15 games. He started 14 games in center.

Guzmán was placed on the injured list April 13 with a right knee meniscus cartilage tear suffered while playing left field the previous day in Tampa Bay. He is scheduled to have season-ending surgery Wednesday.

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