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Extra Bases: GM frustrated, not giving up

6/11/2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It seems that Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is briefing the media on injury news an average of twice a week these days. And it's not something he particularly enjoys.

"When was the last time my update was good?" Daniels asked, before announcing yet another round of injuries Wednesday.

The disabled list tally reached 20 as Tanner Scheppers was put on the 15-day DL for the second time this season. Jim Adduci also refractured his left pinkie finger and is out three to four weeks.

The list of players on the DL is stunning: Prince Fielder, Martin Perez, Derek Holland, Mitch Moreland, Matt Harrison, Jurickson Profar, Geovany Soto and even Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was playing like an All-Star when he got hurt. That's a handful of regulars, and it's not even close to the entire list of injured for this team in 2014.

"At this point I don’t really know what the word is to describe it," Daniels said. "Obviously we take every precaution we can and we’ve had a very good medical track record over the years. I’m not frustrated with anybody in particular, but I’m certainly frustrated with our inability to keep our players on the field. I think this league and division is challenging enough when you put your best team in the field out there and you feel like you have a chance to contend on Opening Day."

Daniels has vowed -- and continued to do so Tuesday -- that he and his staff are looking into why this is happening all at once to the club. But some of the injuries are freak ones that could happen to anyone (let's not forget that a dog tripped Holland, causing the knee injury, and that a motorcycle ran over Joe Ortiz's foot this offseason).

"I think we need to look at everything," Daniels said. "Some of the others we'll look at a little more closely. You can always get better. But this is the same medical staff, same processes, same programs that were in place in 2008 and 2009, beyond. Unfortunately, with 20 times we've used the DL, we're not in position to just say, 'Hey, it is what it is.' We owe it to ourselves and ownership and everyone to look into it. But it's going to take some time."

Daniels isn't giving up on the season and praised his manager for stressing a positive attitude and trying to limit excuses.

"Wash has done a tremendous job of being himself, keeping his spirits up and continuing to work with these guys and keep the expectations and belief system in that clubhouse where it is," Daniels said. "We're all human and know what the injuries mean. We have to keep working.

"We've been dealt a tough hand from the injury standpoint, but you do make your own luck. The injuries aren't the only reason we're in the spot we're in. We can play better. I can make better calls. It's all of the above. It's going to be a harder road, but some things change quick in the game and different guys step up. I'm realistic. But the team's not giving up and I'm not giving up."

Feliz not quite ready: The Rangers decided to bring up Ben Rowen, not Neftali Feliz, to replace Scheppers. Daniels said Feliz, who pitched two innings Tuesday, has remained inconsistent. His velocity and command are there in one outing and maybe not where they need to be in another. So right now, Feliz remains at Triple-A trying to find that consistency so he can return to the big leagues.

Message to baseball gods: Manager Ron Washington was asked, as he is most days, about the injuries. His answer? "At some point, we've got to get blessed by the baseball gods. But we've got to make that happen. They're not just going to come down and say, 'You all have been through enough.'"