ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington said he wasn't trying to send a message, but it's clear that next week's three-game series between the Rangers and the Angels is important.
Washington will move up right-hander Scott Feldman in the rotation to pitch the first game of that three-game series.
"The only message we gave to those guys, instead of being on six [days rest], we're putting you on five [days rest]," Washington said. "That's what they normally do anyway and that’s the way we left it, they’re gamers, they’re warriors, there were no questions asked."
Feldman, who earned a no decision Thursday against the Pirates, is 5-6 with a 5.32 ERA. He's pitched at least six innings his last three starts and in seven of his last eight outings.
But while the Rangers want to downplay the Angels series by focusing on this weekend's set with the Astros, it's apparent a three-game showdown vs. the AL West's second-place team is important too.
"We talked about it and we felt like we move him up a day," Washington said. "We don't need the fifth starter until Saturday. We discussed it and felt it was the best way to go."
The fifth starter, who at the moment is Dustin Nippert, will go only twice between now and the All-Star Break. Derek Holland (left rotator cuff inflammation) and Rich Harden (left gluteal muscle strain), two starters, won't come back from the DL until after the All Star game.
Feldman's start will allow him to go on his normal four days of rest.
"I look forward to pitching against those guys all the time," he said. "They're a good team and you got to bring your 'A' game when you’re going against those guys. We’re playing good right now and we got to keep that going."