Acquired from the Reds in the Buddy Bell
deal, Russell pitched almost exclusively
in relief for the Rangers in 1986-87, but made the starting rotation in May 1988
and after an 8-2, 3.16 first half was the only Ranger selected to the AL All-Star
team. He pitched one scoreless inning in the All-Star Game
, but slumped in the second
half of the season and finished 10-9. Russell debuted in the ML as a starter for
the Reds (his hometown club), and in 1985 led the NL with 18 losses.