ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have unexpectedly optioned reliever Keona Kela to Triple-A Round Rock. General manager Jon Daniels says the move wasn’t based on performance.
Without being specific Friday about why Kela was being sent down, Daniels and manager Jeff Banister both spoke about clubhouse culture multiple times when being questioned about the decision. Both said Kela had an excellent spring and indicated that the move wouldn’t be permanent.
“The family is our organization,” Daniels said. “Sometimes, when things happen in families, you need a little time to address them. That’s what happened here. This does not change how we feel about him short, medium and long term.”
When asked if Kela broke a team rule, Banister wouldn’t say.
Banister said the move with Kela wasn’t about sending a message, but rather keeping character and integrity while making sure the team is moving in the same direction.
As a rookie in 2015, Kela went 7-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 68 appearances. While dealing with right elbow issues last season, he was limited to 35 games last season while dealing with right elbow issues, and finished 5-1 with a 6.09 ERA.