Rangers recall Rocker, place I-Rod on DL

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ John Rocker was recalled Tuesday by the Texas Rangers, even though the struggling reliever never reported to his minor league assignment.

Rocker was brought back after the Rangers placed 10-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his back.

Because Rocker is replacing an injured player on the roster, the Rangers weren't bound by the rule requiring an optioned player to spend at least 10 days with his minor league team.

Rocker was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma on April 16 after blowing a save opportunity by giving up two runs in the 10th inning of a 6-5 loss to Anaheim.

In six games with the Rangers, Rocker was 0-1 with one save in three chances and a 9.53 ERA. He had nine strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings, but the left-hander allowed 11 hits and seven runs _ six earned _ with four walks. Opponents were batting . 407 against him.

Rocker initially was supposed to report to the minors last Friday, but Rangers general manager John Hart decided to give Rocker more time to consider his options.

The move for Rodriguez is retroactive to April 15, the day he was scratched from the lineup because of back spasms. An MRI exam last week revealed the herniated disc, and he's expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

The Rangers also purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Randy Flores from Oklahoma, and optioned right-hander Francisco Cordero and outfielder Jason Romano to the Triple RedHawks of the Pacific Coast League.

Right-handed pitchers Jay Powell (tendon injury in right middle finger) and Jeff Zimmerman (tendinitis right elbow) were transferred from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list and won't be eligible to return before June 1.