MILWAUKEE – Rangers GM Jon Daniels addressed the media prior to Tuesday’s game and broached a number of topics, including Mike Olt, who is sidelined at Triple-A Round Rock because of vision troubles.
“He’s seen a couple of different eye doctors that specialize in a couple of things,” Daniels said. “They have not found anything conclusive at this point. We’ve scheduled him to see another specialist in about 10 days to two weeks. In the meantime, we’ll put him on the DL based on his symptoms. We don’t want to put the guy at the plate when he’s having vision issues. Hopefully we’ll know more after he sees that specialist.”
The Rangers have yet to officially make a move with Olt, but it’s expected that he’ll be placed on the 7-day DL in the near future. Olt hasn’t appeared in a game since April 25, but he has been taking batting practice and grounders.
Olt sustained a concussion while playing in the Dominican Winter League in November. Daniels said that the possibility of that being the root of his vision problems has been discussed, but nothing has been determined.
“He said it’s been bothering him (for a while),” Daniels said. “He thought he could push through it and it would get better as he saw more live pitching. It didn’t get better and it got to a point where he reached out for some help.”
Olt has posted a .135/.235/.236 line with 32 strikeouts in 72 at bats in Triple-A Round Rock this season.
Buckel struggling: Daniels also discussed 2010 second-round draft pick Cody Buckel being sent to extended spring training.
“Obviously he’s scuffling,” Daniels said. “We tried the bullpen. Actually I saw him (in Frisco). If it was the first time you’d seen him and didn’t know he was scuffling, you just would have thought it was a bad outing. It’s not as though he’s missing wildly, but he’s missing consistently. We feel like just give him a break and send him out to extended (spring training). Obviously it’s not working for him right now. We’ll get him with (rehab pitching coordinator) Keith Comstock down there and get him back on a program to where we know he should be. There’s no set timetable on it. He and Keith will let us know when he’s ready to get back out.”
Buckel had a 20.25 ERA in 9 1/3 innings at Double-A Frisco, walking an astounding 28 men while striking out only nine.
“He’s frustrated,” Daniels said. “This guy’s always been a premium strike thrower and now that’s the part of his game that’s scuffling. So there’s a level of frustration. But these things happen. He’s 20 years old, he’s got time on his side and we’ll get him to where he needs to be.”
Daniels was asked if Buckel was seeing or had seen a psychologist to help fix a problem that doesn’t appear to be physical.
“I wouldn’t comment on that,” Daniels said. “Not just in this case, but I would never really talk about those sorts of things. We’re going to use all our resources, certainly. I do think it’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. I don’t know what the definition of (the yips) is, but based on what we’ve heard, I don’t think that’s the case here. Obviously he’s struggling to throw strikes, and we need to get that addressed.”
Buckel earned the Rangers' Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year honor for the 2012 season when he posted a 2.49 ERA in 144 2/3 innings, while striking out 159 and walking only 48 across two levels.