Rangers' Ragans needs Tommy John surgery

Lefty exited game with elbow discomfort; Cody to miss a couple months

Possessing a 95 mph fastball with an exceptionally high spin rate, Cole Ragans has 96 strikeouts over 65 innings as a pro. (Spokane Indians)

By MiLB.com Staff | March 18, 2018 12:37 PM

Cole Ragans' first full season will have to wait.

The fourth-ranked Rangers prospect exited Friday's intrasquad game with discomfort in his left elbow and will need Tommy John surgery. Also, Kyle Cody (No. 8) and Ricardo Rodriguez (No. 28) are battling elbow inflammation and will start the season on the diasbled list.

"They are two of our better ones," farm director Jayce Tingler told MLB.com of Ragans and Cody. "It's never easy. First, we feel for the young players. We know the work they put in and try to understand where they are emotionally. Secondly, for the organization's development, that's a pretty big body blow."

Offseason MiLB include

A left-hander who turned 20 in December, Ragans features a three-pitch mix, with a fastball and changeup that MLB Pipeline grades at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He went 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 13 starts with Class A Short Season Spokane last summer, striking out 87 over 57 1/3 innings.

The Rangers drafted Ragans 30th overall in 2016 out of North Florida Christian School in Tallahassee. He pitched briefly after the Draft, compiling a 4.70 ERA in four games, including two starts, in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

"Obviously it's a big blow for him and the organization," Tingler told the site. "That one hurts."

Cody, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft out of the University of Kentucky, had been sidelined for the past three weeks with the elbow inflammation and will be re-examined in about a month. When cleared, Cody will still need a month before he is ready for game action.

"Is there no concern?" Tingler told MLB.com. "That wouldn't be accurate."

While his pro debut did not go so well - 5.13 ERA in 47 1/3 innings - the 23-year-old broke out in his first full season. Cody went 9-6 with a farm system-leading 2.64 ERA, as well as 136 strikeouts and 43 walks in 23 starts over 126 innings for Class A Hickory and Class A Advanced Down East.

Tweet from @Sullivan_Ranger: Rangers also expect RHP Ricky Rodriguez to start season on the DL because of elbow inflammation

Rodriguez proved to be one of the Rangers' best relief pitchers in the Minors last year when he posted a 1.34 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 10 walks in 35 appearances over 47 innings as he converted 17 saves in 17 opportunities between Down East and Double-A Frisco. The 25-year-old got his first taste of the Majors in August, but posted a 6.23 ERA in 13 frames as he secured one save in three chances.

At big league camp, Rodriguez went 1-1, allowing five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in three frames. All three earned runs came in his fourth and final outing on March 6.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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