Extra Bases: Backup first baseman on way?

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
8:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was a busy Tuesday for Jim Adduci. The outfielder spent the afternoon working out at first base with manager Ron Washington.

The skipper was going over footwork and positioning with Adduci, giving him a crash course before Adduci's first exam in Double-A Frisco on Tuesday night.

The 29-year-old, who is working his way back from a fractured little finger on his left hand, will likely see a number of rehab games at first base in the hopes that when he returns to the big league club he can back up Mitch Moreland.

Since the injury and subsequent surgery for Prince Fielder that most likely ended his season, the Rangers haven't had a true backup at the position. Washington has used Donnie Murphy, who had to borrow a first base glove from catcher Chris Gimenez, to play on Sunday to give Moreland a break. But Adduci offers the possibility of a big target at first -- he's listed at 6-foot-2 -- and a left-handed bat.

Adduci is itching to return.

"I feel like a kid who was in timeout," Adduci said. "It's going to be a little sore, but who isn't sore at this point?"

Adduci is glad to get the opportunity to play first, which he believes will make him more versatile.

RISP struggles: The bullpen was in the spotlight on Tuesday after turning a 2-2 game into an 8-3 defeat in the eighth inning. But it's worth noting that the pitchers didn't get much help from the bats. Texas is now 10-for-59 with runners in scoring position the last seven game. They were 0-for-7 in those situations on Tuesday.

Musical bullpen chairs: The Rangers may be getting some reinforcements in the bullpen soon. Tanner Scheppers had a six-pitch rehab outing in Double-A Frisco and Neftali Feliz has pitched well in Triple-A. That means the club will have some decisions to make when they return. Shawn Tolleson has options, but has been solid lately. Robbie Ross has struggled, but optioning him means the club would be down one lefty in the bullpen. Alexi Ogando has been inconsistent as well.

Darvish pitches Friday: The Rangers have decided to keep Yu Darvish on his normal schedule even with Monday's off day. So he'll start Friday against the Cleveland Indians.

"If we get another day off, he may get an extra day," Washington said. "He didn’t throw that many pitches on Sunday, so that’s good."

Darvish threw 102 pitches in eight shutout innings in a win Sunday over Washington. It was his fourth start of at least seven shutout innings on the season, tied for the second-most in the majors behind St. Louis' Adam Wainwright.

Choo, Moreland feeling better: Washington rested both Shin-Soo Choo and Moreland on Sunday to give their ankles a break. Both have been playing through soreness and the manager wanted to take advantage of Monday's off day, essentially giving both two full days off.

"It feels a lot better," Choo said of his ankle. "It's the best it's felt since I hurt it."

Moreland said he used the day to take it easy, noting that with a lot of day games on the 11-game road trip, he felt his body would be better served by taking a break rather than work in the cages.

Choo was the DH on Tuesday as Washington gave him another half-day off.

Martinez grinding: Nick Martinez talks a lot about what he's learning in his first extended period in the big leagues. He'll be back on the mound tonight for the second game of this three-game set with the Orioles and is hoping to bounce back from last week, when he allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Minnesota Twins.

"You have days like that and you have to do what you can to battle," Martinez said. "You won't always have your best stuff. You have to grind it out and keep the team in it."

Martinez is 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 games (five starts). He goes up against right-handed pitcher Bud Norris at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.322 14 53 52
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
WY. Darvish 9
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159