Rangers reliever Leclerc has elbow surgery, out 12-14 months

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Rangers reliever José Leclerc had ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow Wednesday.

The Rangers said the surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Leclerc will be sidelined up to 14 months.

Leclerc began the 2019 season as the Texas closer before he was demoted after a rough opening month. He made only two appearances last year before getting sidelined for the rest of the 60-game season by a shoulder injury. The elbow started bothering him during spring training in Arizona.

The 27-year-old right-hander is 6-10 with 29 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 190 games for the Rangers over the past five seasons.

Texas also goes into its season opener Thursday in Kansas City without hard-throwing reliever Jonathan Hernandez, who like Leclerc was placed on the 60-day injured list.

Hernandez was shut down during spring training because of a ligament sprain in his right elbow. An MRI revealed a low-grade ulnar collateral ligament sprain after the right-hander felt something when throwing his last batting practice session.

Hernandez had a breakout season last year, when he was 5-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 27 appearances. He had 31 strikeouts and eight walks in 31 innings, relying heavily on a sinker that averaged nearly 98 mph.

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