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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Pregame notes: Kinsler return still unclear

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler is growing tired of having to answer questions every day about his high ankle sprain. Who can blame him?

The second baseman lifted weights and took some swings on Wednesday, but was not planning on doing any agility drills. When asked whether Kinsler would return in time for the end of this homestand, manager Ron Washington said it would take a "miracle."

"I can't say when he'll be back," Washington said.

Kinsler doesn't know, either. But the bottom line is making sure the right ankle is fully healed before doing too much. The Rangers and Kinsler want to guard against a major setback. But at this rate, you'd have to think his status of playing on the road trip is up the air too. We'll see.

Other notes:

* Washington isn't sure who will play at second base or catcher in Thursday's afternoon affair. He'll decide after tonight's game.

* He said Neftali Feliz remains the primary eighth-inning setup man despite his struggles on Monday. Washington said Feliz must learn the danger of walks, especially the four-pitch variety. "That's what got him in trouble," Washington said.

* SS Elvis Andrus said his left wrist (inflammation) was about at 80 percent on Opening Day, but felt 100 percent before batting practice on Wednesday. He said he has always taped his left wrist, even when it wasn't feeling a little stiff as it did as spring training ended. "I've got little wrists and I have to protect them," Andrus joked. He said he's feeling comfortable at the plate and was pleased with how he worked counts. "I'll keep building from the opener," Andrus said.

* C Taylor Teagarden said his main mission tonight is taking care of Rich Harden. "I want to be sure I do what I can to help him pitch the best game possible," Teagarden said. It's Teagarden's debut for 2010. Washington won't do a true platoon, but said that the type of pitcher the Rangers face will influence who catches. In other words, he likes Teagarden against lefties and thinks Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a switch hitter, is better hitting from the left side.

* The Rangers won't skip starters, opting instead to get some extra rest for the rotation. Washington said that's especially important for Rich Harden in an effort to get as many innings out of him as possible this season. "We also want Harrison to get the ball," Washington said.