Friday, September 14, 2012
Buzz: Alexi Ogando closes if needed today
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After pitching three consecutive days for the first time since late June, closer Joe Nathan is not available tonight in the series opener against Seattle. The same goes for Mike Adams, who has a tight muscle in the back of his shoulder.
Manager Ron Washington said Alexi Ogando is ready to go and will close if needed tonight. Ogando threw eight pitches on Thursday to help the club get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.
The skipper did sound optimistic on Adams, adding that it's possible if the pitcher feels better today that he could be an option out of the bullpen on Saturday.
* RHP Roy Oswalt said he felt some discomfort during his bullpen session on Thursday, but it isn't stopping him from trying to throw again today. At this point, unless it gets more uncomfortable, Oswalt's plan is to throw a few more times and then possibly have a full bullpen session early next week (he thinks maybe Tuesday) to see how it feels.
* Washington said he plans on playing Jurickson Profar on Saturday against LHP Jason Vargas with the idea that he'd like to see him bat right-handed. Profar does not have any right-handed at-bats in the majors yet. Washington isn't sure how he'll get Profar in -- he could put Elvis Andrus at DH and play Profar at shortstop or put Ian Kinsler at DH and play Profar at second.
* Adrian Beltre should be available to play third base on Saturday. He is the DH in Friday's game.
* The Rangers didn't want to pitch Michael Kirkman against left-handed Shin-Soo Choo because he had been warmed up a lot the last few nights. So even though Kirkman didn't get in a game, the club knows that can take a toll. That's why Martin Perez came into the eighth inning on Thursday.
"He's back tonight, but we decided to stay away last night," Washington said.
* Washington said the dugout was yelling at Tanner Scheppers to glove the bunt down the first-base line in the eighth inning, but Scheppers didn't hear them. The ball took a strange bounce and rolled back into fair territory, turning into a sacrifice bunt. Washington said he wants his pitchers to glove that ball while it's in foul territory and make the batter execute the bunt.
* The skipper was pleased with Koji Uehara, who pitched the last three games as well. Washington said if he absolutely needs Uehara, he'll pitch him tonight.
"He's got to see hitters," Washington said. "He's done a good job. We've been waiting for this. He came in yesterday and got those lefties with a runner at third and got out of it."
* Assuming rain doesn't ruin things in Frisco tonight, Mike Napoli should get three or four at-bats and would then join the team on Saturday. Washington said he plans on catching Napoli on Saturday if he's ready.