Matt West has sprained ligament in elbow

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher Matt West has sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and will be shut down for six weeks.

Assistant general manager Thad Levine said West had an MRI on Friday night and it revealed the strain was in a part of the ligament that doctors feel could be rehabbed rather than require surgery. So they'll give West six weeks and see how the ligament responds before determining if the pitcher needs surgery. Rangers physician Keith Meister has seen the MRI results and will do a more thorough exam Tuesday.

West, 23, was converted from third base to pitcher in the final week of spring training last year. He talked earlier this spring about how excited he was about his progress as a pitcher and how the position better fit his personality.

He was 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 23 games (26 innings) as a reliever for Class A Spokane. He pitched one inning at Myrtle Beach before the end of the 2011 season.

Here's a Camp Chat we did with West earlier this week.