Buzz: Rangers beef up bullpen
"We needed to keep a long guy down there, which is (Michael) Kirkman," Washington said. "We're going through this stretch with the Tigers and Yankees, both good hitting teams, and we've got to make sure we've got enough pitching."
The move also means that Michael Young becomes the club's primary backup infielder at second base, third base and shortstop. Young said he'll just continue to take grounders and be sure he's ready to go at any position if needed.
"This is not going to be a permanent situation," Washington said. "I never like going with just three bench players. Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. I don't have a whole lot of hair to pull out, so I'm not going to pull any out."
* Closer Joe Nathan said he feels better and was pleased with how he performed in back-to-back games in Boston. He received an anti-inflammatory injection in his shoulder during the road trip after throwing a bunch of pitches (62) in a two-day period against the Los Angeles Angels.
"They are more cautious to give these when you are younger," Nathan said. "But now that I'm older, I can get them. It doesn't mean anything other than the fact that I feel a lot better two days after I get them. I think it's obvious just by watching what it does for me as far as loosening me up and making everything feel better. I think I just threw too many pitches the one time and got a little cranky and I wasn't able to finish pitches because I didn't feel where I'd like to. So we've got the inflammation down and got it to where I feel better."
Washington said the club will watch Nathan and probably won't pitch him in non-save situations unless he needs to throw.
* Mike Napoli is back in the lineup and said he'll just continue to get treatment and deal with the sore quad. He got three days off to rest it as Geovany Soto caught the final two games in Boston before Thursday's off day. Napoli said he feels fine and that it doesn't impact him at the plate.
* Washington said that he'll monitor the club as best he can down the stretch with just three off days the rest of the season. Washington will look to get players rest when he can, but he also knows his players just have to grind through it.
"The fact is we're in the dog days right now," Washington said. "We'll find out who's dogs and who's puppies."
Washington said his players don't want to be taking days off right now, but he hopes as the stretch drive progresses that he can get some guys rest when they need it.
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