With the South Atlantic League playoffs just around the corner, Hans Crouse has landed on the shelf.
The third-ranked Rangers prospect, who's expected to undergo elbow surgery after the season, was placed on the seven-day injured list Friday by Class A Hickory.
Pitching in his first full season with the Crawdads Crouse made eight starts before a setback at the end of May when he was shut down for nearly a month with bone spurs in his right elbow.
"The plan is to get them removed when the season is over," Crouse told MiLB.com in June.
Even with the bone spurs, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said there was no issue with Crouse continuing to pitch this season.
"We've discussed it with multiple doctors and they have assured us there is no extra risk," Daniels told The Dallas Morning News on June 30. "He wanted to get some innings in this year. We all wanted to not lose the season if it could be avoided. We will get it cleaned up after the season and he will be ready to go for spring training. It's not that dissimilar from things that a lot of guys pitch through."
MLB.com's No. 80 overall prospect got back on the mound on June 23 and slowly increased his pitch total and innings per start as the second half progressed. After a tough July that saw him compile an ERA over 7.00, things improved in August with a 4.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 22 2/3 innings.
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Crouse had logged at least five innings in his each of last four starts, two of which lasted six innings. Known for his fastball-slider combination, the 2017 second-round pick has recorded 76 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings this season. This year also has seen the California native work on an improved changeup, thanks to some help from Rangers pitching coordinator Danny Clark.
Overall, the 20-year-old has a 3.27 ERA with 168 strikeouts in 162 1/3 innings since turning pro.
Hickory is in second place in South Atlantic North Division second-half standings and is in position to clinch a playoff berth as a Wild Card.