ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rangers made some changes to their starting rotation for the weekend series at Cleveland.
Tepesch left his last start on Saturday after going six innings because of a slight knee problem. Tepesch has some swelling in the knee and the Rangers told him not to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
“It feels a lot better than it did the other day,” said Tepesch, 3-7 with a 4.84 ERA. “I’d say [the knee] is close [to 100 percent]. I won’t say it’s 100 percent.”
Manager Ron Washington said the goal is for Tepesch eventually to throw a bullpen (although the date hasn’t been decided) and pitch next Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Williams’ scheduled start comes after he was a spot starter last week and earned a victory against the Oakland Athletics. Williams held the A’s, who lead the majors in runs scored, to just one run over six innings in a 4-1 victory.
Washington said moving Tepesch was mainly a precaution and nothing more.
“Just skip him a turn, give him this one turn and he should be ready to go when we get to Chicago,” Washington said. “He took himself out of a game and we don’t want to rush him back; he’s missing just one turn through the rotation. Give him a chance to catch up.”
Darvish getting more rest: With Tepesch skipping a turn, it meant the Rangers' staff ace, Darvish, will pitch on five days' rest instead of his customary four.
After Sunday’s scheduled start against Cleveland, Darvish is slated to pitch Aug. 8 or Aug. 9 at Houston, where he could pitch either on four or five days' rest for one of those games.
“But we got these off-days coming and we want to try and give everybody a break if we can, including Darvish,” Washington said. “After this next off day in Houston [Aug. 7] he’ll get back on five [days' rest] and run it out through August.”
Martin's struggles continue: The numbers are pretty bad. Leonys Martin is 0-for-13 during this six-game homestand and is 0-for-16 in the past five games to drop his batting average to .273.
“Marty has to start using the whole field,” Washington said. “He just uses one part of the field. He’s much more successful when he uses the whole field. I think if you go look up the numbers you will see most of his hits are from [up the middle]. He’s got to do something different.”
Martin has 44 hits up the middle, but he’s got 18 RBIs when he pulls the ball to the left side with a slash line of .356/.356/.622.
“I haven’t been doing well, but you gotta keep fighting,” Martin said. “Mentally, I’m there and think about every pitch and keep fighting that’s all I can do right now. The last couple of games, I hit a couple of good balls. I can only control what I can do and keep fighting to do more."