Although J.P. Arencibia is off to a rough start, don't read anything into Ron Washington dropping him down to ninth in the batting order for Friday's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays. Donnie Murphy, who went 1-for-4 in his only start this year in Tuesday's 3-2 win at Philadelphia, will bat seventh, where Arencibia has gone hitless in his last five at-bats.
"No, no reason," Washington said before the first of three games at Tropicana Field. "Just wanted to get Murphy some more at-bats, a different look."
Despite Arencibia having just one hit in seven at-bats over two games, Washington is not concerned about his catcher. Washington just wants to see if Murphy will respond to being moved up in the order.
"He's got a good idea of the strike zone," Washington said about Murphy.
Washington chose to put the right-handed swinging Arencibia in the nine hole to keep Leonys Martin in the eighth spot.
"We have to choose who we put in the ninth hole, and Arencibia is the guy," Washington said.
Notes: Matt Harrison will make another rehab start next Tuesday for Frisco, the Rangers' Double-A affiliate. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said the left-hander felt good today after tossing 42 pitches, 26 for strikes, against Northwest Arkansas on Thursday in a rain-shortened contest. ... Chris Gimenez cleared waivers on Thursday and has 72 hours to accept or take free agency after being offered an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock.