Sunday, March 24, 2013
Rangers pitchers progressing in rehab
By Ron Matejko
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Four injured Texas Rangers pitchers were examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, who said all are progressing in their recoveries.
RHP Kyle McClellan is nearly two weeks into a projected 3-4 week period of not throwing due to a strained right lat muscle. Once cleared, he will begin a long-toss and flat-ground throwing program.
LHP Martin Perez has been cleared to begin a throwing program once he is pain-free. Perez said this morning that the fractured ulna bone in his left forearm is feeling better. He is no longer wearing any protective gear on the arm. Perez is anticipated to begin throwing next week.
RHP Joakim Soria continues recovery from his second Tommy John surgery. Barring any setback, he will begin throwing live batting practices the week of April 8.
RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) is on the same time frame as Soria for beginning to throw live BP, again barring any setback.
Other team notes:
- The Rangers also announced on Sunday that the club has received left-handed pitcher Brad Mills on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels.
Mills, 28, will join the Rangers later today or tomorrow and has been added to the major league roster. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz was placed on the 60-day disabled list.
The left-hander was 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA (6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) in three games and one start for the Angels this spring. He pitched six innings in a minor league game in his last outing on Thursday.
Mills spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Salt Lake, posting a 5-10 record with a 5.86 ERA in 19 starts and 21 overall appearances. He made one spot start for Los Angeles, throwing five shutout innings on July 8 vs. Baltimore to earn his first major league victory since Aug. 5, 2011.
In 15 career appearances with the Blue Jays and Angels, including 10 starts, Mills is 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA.
Feliz, 24, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19 with right elbow inflammation and did not pitch again in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Aug. 1. He is continuing to rehab from the surgery.
- Alexi Ogando will start Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Reds ahead of presumed No. 3 starter Derek Holland, who will take the mound on Monday. Holland is getting back on his normal throwing schedule after playing with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. The Rangers have not made an official announcement on their No. 3 and 4 starters, only committing to Matt Harrison, as the No. 1 and Yu Darvish as the No. 2. Today's other scheduled pitchers are LHP Nate Robertson, RHP Joe Nathan and RHP Cory Burns.
- Michael Kirkman will continue to be stretched out in case the Rangers decide to use him as the fifth starter when camp breaks, although he is not being called an official candidate for the role. The Rangers won't need their fifth starter until April 9 due to two early off days. Derek Lowe also continues to be stretched out with rookie Nick Tepesch as the only official in-house candidate for the job.
- When asked who has been the biggest surprise in camp this season, manager Ron Washington said outfielder Craig Gentry.
"He figured out how to get through a baseball and figured out how good he can be and is just letting it go," Washington said. "He is showing me a total game. He is daring on the base paths now. Him having a successful year like he had last year, and another year of baseball under his belt, is understanding what his game is, and he's not afraid of showing that."
- Washington was also asked the best person he was ever around in the clubhouse.
"1977 Dodgers -- Reggie Smith, Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey, Rick Monday, Ron Cey," Washington said. "Those are the best guys I've been around. Those are the guys that taught me how to be a major league player.
"Dutsy Baker was the one single guy when I got to the big leagues that took care of me. He just gravitated to me and made sure what I needed was there."
- Texas is one game above .500 for the fourth time this spring and is yet to reach two games above in spring training.
- The Rangers released nine players from minor league camp: RHP Andrew Benes, 2B/SS Santiago Chrino, 1B Andrew Clark, RHP Joucer Martinez, RHP Steve McKinnon, LHP Scott Olsen, RHP Chance Sossaman, LHP Pedro Tirado and RHP Brett Weibley.
- Today's game marks the second and final game between the Rangers and Reds this spring. They played for the first time on Saturday, with Texas winning 6-2 at Goodyear Ballpark.
- Jeff Baker remains out of the Rangers lineup with a sinus infection. He was removed from Saturday's game in the third inning due to the condition.
- After Sunday's contest, Texas has only three spring games remaining in Arizona. The Rangers will also play the Arizona Diamondbacks in Surprise on March 28, but Texas will only use minor leaguers in that matchup. The team has a second game scheduled for March 28 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the Mexico City Red Devils. Texas then plays a pair of contests on March 29 and 30 at the Alamodome in San Antonio before opening the regular season on March 31 in Houston.