Friday, July 20, 2012
Buzz: Rangers look to slow Angels on basepaths
By Blair Angulo
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington knows the Los Angeles Angels will want to set their rabbits loose this weekend. But knowing is one thing, stopping is another.
"They're going to run anyway, so we're not concerned about them running," Washington said. "Nobody else has stopped them, I don't know how you figure we're going to stop them. But we'll do the best we can."
The hope is that Friday night starter Derek Holland will be able to slow the Angels down with his deceptive lefty move. Catching instructor Hector Ortiz, who joined the Rangers in Seattle, stayed with the team on its way down the coast to add technical help.
Heading into the series, the Angels ranked second in the American League with 72 stolen bases, 30 of those coming from All-Star rookie Mike Trout. Three Angels stolen bases were pivotal in a 3-2 Rangers loss last month.
"You can run all you want. The key is to cross the dish," Washington said. "They did, but they beat us because we booted a couple of balls. They didn't beat us because they were out there stealing bags. Oh, you think we can't steal? They're not the only ones that are going to be out there running."
Mike Napoli, Holland's battery mate Friday, has thrown out only six of 36 base stealers this season.
"It's always the pitchers giving the catcher an opportunity," Washington said. "Most of the time, [runners] steal on pitchers; they don't steal on catchers. If our pitchers don't hold them, Napoli, [Yorvit] Torrealba and nobody else will have a shot. ... The only guy that might have a shot is Pudge. And I think he might be retired."
* Right-hander Colby Lewis, who was reinstated from the disabled list Wednesday, is on schedule to make his start Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox. Washington said Lewis would likely throw a bullpen session sometime this weekend. "If he doesn't throw a bullpen, we can't put him out there," he said.
* Torrealba, who was placed on the paternity leave list Tuesday, is expected to re-join the team Friday night and be ready to play Saturday. "[Luis] Martinez will have to go out," Washington said.
* Reliever Koji Uehara, on the DL since June 15 with a right lat muscle strain, has been long tossing but has yet to take the mound. There is no timetable for his progress. "Hopefully, we can get him on the mound in the next couple of days," Washington said. "The thing with Koji is that he said it didn't feel right. He said he just didn't feel right. We'll give him some days and see if he can work that out. Whatever time he needs, we're going to give it to him."