Texas Rangers: Adam Rosales

SAN ANTONIO -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted that it was difficult to tell Kevin Kouzmanoff that he wasn't on the club's Opening Day roster. But the club decided to keep Jim Adduci instead, opting for his speed and left-handed bat off the bench. It doesn't hurt that he has options and the club can make future moves without losing him.

"I have no reason why Kouzmanoff didn't make this team, he did everything he could," Washington said. "But when you look at the roster, we had to try to give ourselves some flexibility."

Kouzmanoff hit .385 in 52 Cactus League at-bats with six extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. It wasn't enough, though, with Josh Wilson and Donnie Murphy already on the roster as well. Kouzmanoff is on a minor-league deal with no opt-outs, so he'll start the season in Triple-A Round Rock. But, as Washington made clear, this will be a very fluid roster early this season.

Other roster moves:

•  The other big question going into the day was who would make the final bullpen spots. That goes to Shawn Tolleson and Seth Rosin, a Rule-5 pickup from the Phillies who must appear on the roster this season or be offered back to Philadelphia for $25,000. Tolleson gave up one earned run in four Cactus League innings and impressed coaches in various other appearances this spring.

Washington said he's only had a chance to see a little bit of Rosin and is curious to see what else he has.

"He continues to get outs," Washington said. "He showed a good slider today. I just hope he continues to get outs the way he has."

(Read full post)

Now is not time to promote Rougned Odor

March, 24, 2014
Mar 24
11:49
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It didn't take long, after the Texas Rangers announced that Jurickson Profar would miss 10 to 12 weeks with a torn muscle in his shoulder for the tweets to come in asking about promoting Rougned Odor to the big leagues.

Odor has had a solid spring. He's hitting .294 (5-for-17) and has played well at second base. He's another one of the club's prospects that scouts really like and believe has a bright future.

Rougned Odor
AP Photo/Darron CummingsRougned Odor has had a solid spring, but he needs more time to develop.
But is that future now?

No. Not yet, anyway. And it's a feeling the Rangers share as general manager Jon Daniels told reporters in Arizona today that Odor will stay in the minors.

I know it's tempting to put the 20-year-old in the lineup while Profar is out and see what he can do, especially with some internal options that aren't overwhelming. But this would clearly be a case of rushing things.

Odor has a total of 30 games played in Double-A Frisco. He hit .306 in those games, but it was a small sample against better pitching. Odor must prove he can handle it for a little while longer before he moves up to Triple-A or makes the Rangers think about promoting him to the big leagues. The 20-year-old has just a total of 296 minor league games in rookie ball, Class A and Double-A. He needs a little more seasoning.

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The alternatives, right now, aren't great. There's no doubt the club is looking at every external option, but this late in camp, that's going to be a reserve infielder from another team that wasn't quite able to make their roster. That's just the way it goes.

Internally, Josh Wilson, Kensuke Tanaka and Adam Rosales will get looks. Wilson is a right-handed hitter whom Washington likes for his defense. Wilson is 12-for-46 (.261) in 21 Cactus League games. Tanaka, a left-handed hitter, was sent to minor league camp recently, but is back on the big league side and starting at second base today. He's 32 years old and with limited big league experience. At this point, two of the three internal candidates could make the roster if the Rangers don't find someone externally.

The easy, knee-jerk would be to promote Odor with a lack of solid options available. But it's too soon to do that. We'll see Odor in Arlington in the near future -- just not on Opening Day.

Ron Washington deserved that extension

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
4:46
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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There was something fitting about Ron Washington getting his contract extension on a day when he showed, once again, what makes him so special and unique.

Washington started his day on a back field at the Rangers’ complex, teaching Prince Fielder the intricacies of picking balls out of the dirt at first base. He cajoled. He cheered -- “Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.” He took command. And after just 20 minutes, Fielder felt better. It was Fielder asking questions, begging the manager to throw him one more bucket of balls.

Adrian Beltre
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesThere's no arguing that Rangers manager Ron Washington gets the most out of his players.
"I loved it," Fielder said. "That's what made it a lot of fun, the enthusiasm really, yeah, that made it worthwhile. It really did."

As Adam Rosales said a few days ago: “I’ve learned so much in two days. He makes you feel like a Gold Glover.”

And his players respond to it.

You may not like the number of times Washington sac bunts. You may not always agree with his lineup card. Perhaps you disagree with when he decides to go to the bullpen or how he deploys his bench.

But there’s no arguing that Washington gets the most out of his players. They work hard for him. They fight no matter the score. And he has set the tone and culture for one of the best clubhouses in the majors.

“There’s no pretense,” said Jon Daniels, Rangers president of baseball operations. “There’s no B.S. It’s baseball 24-7. It’s about getting better. It’s about hard work. There are no shortcuts. Those are all things that we believe in as an organization.”

Washington deserved this extension. No one has won more games in franchise history than his 611. No other manager has won a playoff series, let alone taken the club to two consecutive World Series, which Washington did in 2010 and 2011.

He’s had three different bench coaches and a slew of various players and personalities and has found a way to deal with all of it. No, he hasn’t won the ultimate prize. At least not yet.

I know some of you will look at the one-year extension and say that this is merely a way to avoid lame-duck status and questions after any five- or six-game losing streak. And perhaps that’s partially fair. But understand that Washington has worked under two-year contracts his entire tenure in Texas. It’s how it was done after the World Series, too. Even his first contract was two years with two club options.

Washington doesn’t worry about any of that. His job is to manage. He knows the team didn’t reach its goal last season and he’s determined to help get the Rangers there.

If that means working with anyone and everyone -- including a big league veteran like Fielder in the early morning out in the desert -- that’s what he’ll do.

The Rangers have a passionate, determined and respected manager. He may not subscribe to the same theories of strategy as others do, but when it comes to motivation, I’m not sure there’s a better skipper in the game.

“At the end of the day, the players take on the personality of the manager, and Wash shows up to work the same guy every day, with a genuine, positive attitude, optimism,” Daniels said. “He believes that we're going to get it done, whether it's doing a drill the right way or winning the World Series. He believes we're going to get it done and our players take the field with that belief, in large part because of him.”

That’s why he got the extension.

Adam Rosales: 'Every day I'm learning'

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
7:30
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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- This is infielder Adam Rosales' first spring training with the Texas Rangers. That means it's also his first time heading to the back fields for early-morning sessions with manager Ron Washington and special assistant coach Tony Fernandez, who won four consecutive Gold Gloves in the late 1980s.

"They are awesome," said Rosales, a utility infielder who bounced between the Rangers and A's a few times last season. "They get the blood flowing and set the tone for the rest of the day. There's so much information that he [Washington] has and Tony has about the small, intricacies of fielding, especially the middle infield. Every day I'm learning."

Those "intricacies" that Rosales is talking about include tricks to being sure you're in the right position to make a play. Fernandez stresses balance, and works on showing players the right footwork to achieve it. All of it is designed to turn double plays quicker and get to ground balls faster.

"The game is all about inches and any way you can get that edge is what they're stressing," Rosales said.

But it's how Washington presents that information and teaches players that separates him from other instructors.

"He has so much enthusiasm and passion," Rosales said. "His knowledge, his wisdom and how he conveys it are amazing. He makes you feel like a Gold Glover out there. He gives you confidence. He's a great teacher."
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- On Wednesday morning, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was as fired up as I can remember prior to a spring training scrum with the media.

He had just finished working out infielders Jurickson Profar, Brent Lillibridge, Luis Sardinas, Rougned Odor and Adam Rosales and was thrilled by what he saw as he put them through the paces on ground ball drills.

"They put on a show," Washington said. "I must have hit about a thousand balls this morning and not one ball hit the ground. Everything I hit was in a glove. Everything. Everything."

Washington said he can't ever remember that happening in all of his years coaching infielders.

"And I've been doing this for a long time," Washington said. "Some guys had to make some adjustments from the day before and they showed me they did. They were thinking about it. It wasn't like they walked off the field yesterday and that was the end of it. It was something they took pride in and came back the next day. I was impressed."

Washington does this with several group of infielders each day, though he said Thursday might be a day off with the first full squad workout scheduled that day.

Profar can't throw and isn't swinging a bat either, as he deals with shoulder tendinitis. But he was taking grounders and working on his footwork. Washington was happy with the results so far.

Other notes:

* RHP Colby Lewis threw his second live batting practice session of the spring and felt good. Washington watched carefully, curious how fluid Lewis might look two days after he threw his first session. The manager was pleased. Lewis did a better job of commanding the arm side of the plate, something he struggled with Monday.

* Every position player was accounted for Wednesday, even though the first workout isn't until Thursday. Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder were both in the clubhouse and working out, as they were the last to arrive.

Notes: Wash will watch Profar's footwork

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
11:55
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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't worried about Jurickson Profar's shoulder despite the fact that the youngster arrived in camp a bit behind on throwing because of tendinitis.

"If he gets the footwork, everything else will come," Washington said.

The official report date for position players isn't until Thursday, but the manager was busy with his coaching staff the past few days getting all the schedules planned. One of Washington's routines during spring training is to work with the infielders on an individual basis early in the mornings. You can bet that he'll be watching and working with Profar.

By footwork, Washington means he wants Profar taking the right angles and consistently getting into better position around the bag. That helps make a double-play combination even more successful.

"That's something we'll get done," Washington said.

Profar is now the starting second baseman and has known that most of the offseason, since the trade of Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Prince Fielder was finalized before Thanksgiving. So he comes to spring focused on making sure he's comfortable at second.

Washington said if Elvis Andrus needed to miss a few days for any reason, it would be Profar who shifts to shortstop. He could play third, but Washington wants to keep him in the middle of the infield.

Other notes:

• Washington said the plan is for Rougned Odor to work out at second base and Luis Sardinas to stay at short, at which they've played most of their minor league careers.

• The backup middle-infield spots come down to Adam Rosales, Brent Lillibridge and Josh Wilson. Washington said Rosales can play some third, and he thinks Lillibridge could, too. "We'll let it all play out," Washington said.

• Washington is very unlikely to play both J.P. Arencibia and Geovany Soto at the same time, meaning he won't rotate the DH spot to include catcher. The plan is for that spot to be rotated at first base (when Fielder needs a break) and the outfield.

Spring training preview: Bench

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
8:00
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Note: Spring training will arrive before you know it. To get you ready, we'll take a look at every position between now and February, when pitchers and catchers report to Surprise, Ariz.

J.P. ArencibiaAP Photo/Andrew A. NellesBackup catcher J.P. Arencibia could provide some pop off the bench for the Rangers.

Today's position: Bench



Perhaps Rangers fans understand more than most just how important a bench is to a contending team. It's easy for some to dismiss the bench as an afterthought. But the Rangers saw firsthand in 2010 and 2011 that a bench can make the difference in winning a championship.

Obviously, manager Ron Washington's bench includes a backup catcher. That's J.P. Arencibia, who gives Washington someone with power that he can use in the right situation. Arencibia is working on getting his average up, but if there's a time late in a game where Washington needs some punch, Arencibia could be an option.

Adam Rosales is the club's current utility man and somebody who can play a bunch of different positions. Last year with Oakland and Texas, Rosales played first base, second base, third base, shortstop and left field. He gives Washington the ability to make a late move and know that he's got somebody who can play a variety of different spots. That's extremely valuable.

Mitch Moreland also deserves a mention in this category. He could end up being the primary DH, but he's also the backup first baseman. It will be interesting to see how Washington handles Moreland, especially in games where he doesn't DH. He's such a good defender who could come in late to help the Rangers protect leads. He also has power, and that could come in handy if he's not in the lineup as a starter.

The final few outfield spots will be something to keep an eye on this spring. Michael Choice comes in as a highly-touted prospect, but he could benefit more from playing every day in the minors. Engel Beltre is an odds-on favorite to claim one of the outfield spots because the organization believes he has a bright future and he's out of options. Don't count out Jim Adduci, either. And we'll see some other candidates attempt to crack the bench as well.

OUTLOOK: Washington has some flexibility on the bench and some power. Beltre gives the skipper some speed, too. If it lacks anything, it's someone who is a known and confident pinch-hitter with a track record. But perhaps that person is still out there and someone the club looks to acquire before Opening Day. Or maybe some of the internal candidates really show that they're made of in spring and make the decision for the coaching staff.

Adam Rosales gives Texas infield insurance

November, 14, 2013
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No, it's not a high-profile signing of the offseason by the Texas Rangers (give it time, folks, we haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet), but keeping Adam Rosales as a utility infielder at $750,000 (and avoiding arbitration) gives the club someone who can play all the infield positions.

We know Jurickson Profar isn't going to be in some kind of super-utility role in 2014. One way or the other -- through a trade of a middle infielder or someone (I still think Ian Kinsler) moving positions -- Profar is getting everyday time next season. So this team needs a utility infielder and Rosales fits the bill. He's played all four positions and is capable of filling in when needed to allow the regulars to get some rest.

He has made at least 18 starts at all four infield positions in his career and has done a solid job defensively. Again, this won't send Rangers fans cheering in the streets, but Rosales is the kind of piece you've got to have on your team in a 162-game season.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 11, White Sox 5

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
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The Texas Rangers finally broke out the long ball -- with authority -- in an 11-5 shellacking of the Chicago White Sox on Friday night in the Windy City.

AL West lead expands: The Rangers have a 3½-game lead on Oakland after ending Chicago's six-game winning streak, while Oakland lost 9-7 at Baltimore. The last time the Rangers had this large of an advantage in the division was when they led the A's by four games after losing the first game of a doubleheader to Arizona on May 27.

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Roll continues: The Rangers are 19-4 since July 29. They have a nine-game road winning streak. Their 75-53 record is the second best in franchise history through 128 games. The 1999 and 2012 Rangers were 76-52 with 34 games remaining in the regular season.

Home run barrage: The Rangers had four home runs in their past 10 games entering Friday's game against White Sox starter Chris Sale, who had the ninth-best ERA in the American League. So the Rangers hammered a season-best five long balls against the White Sox, including four against the ChiSox's ace. The Rangers have 145 homers for the season.

Baker homers: Jeff Baker finally hit his first home run since coming back last month from a thumb injury, a two-run shot in the top of the second for a 2-0 lead. It was Baker's first home run since June 10 off Cleveland's Scott Kazmir. It was Baker's ninth homer against a lefty this season, which ranks him in the top 10 in the AL. Baker has 10 home runs this season.

Rosales knows Sale: Utility man Adam Rosales was 4-for-7 with a home run off Sale going into Friday's game. Rosales made it two home runs off Sale, clubbing a two-run shot to follow Baker's in the second inning. Rangers manager Ron Washington said before the game that he was giving Rosales his first start in a Texas uniform because of his strong career numbers against Sale.

[+] EnlargeA.J. Pierzynski
David Banks/Getty Images A.J. Pierzynski returned to the South Side of Chicago Friday night for the first time since leaving as a free agent after the 2012 season.
Inside the park: In one of the strangest plays of the season, Ian Kinsler had an inside-the-park home run for a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Kinsler scorched a line drive down the left-field line, and as the ball rolled into the corner, it went underneath the padding where the stands come out. The ground rules at U.S. Cellular Field are that the ball is still in play in that situation, and as White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo struggled to get the ball out, Kinsler raced around the bases for his first homer since Aug. 3.

Beltre again: Adrian Beltre continued his tear, belting his 27th home run in the top of the fifth to give the Rangers a 7-4 lead. Beltre, the American League player of the month in July, went into Friday's game with a league-best .406 batting average. Since July 1, Beltre is batting .387 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.

And Moreland, too: Mitch Moreland made a pinch-hit appearance in the top of the eighth against Sox right-handed reliever Dylan Axelrod and hammered a two-run shot for his 18th homer of the season.

South Side homecoming: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI in his first game back in Chicago after eight seasons with the White Sox. Right fielder Alex Rios was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, returning to U.S. Cellular Field two weeks after being traded to the Rangers by the White Sox.

Perez on August roll: Martin Perez ran his record to 4-0 in August, allowing four runs in six innings as he took advantage of his offense's run support. Perez retired the last nine White Sox he faced. He has won four straight games for the first time in his career.

Up next: The Rangers play the middle game of a three-game series against the White Sox. Right-hander Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.62 ERA) faces left-hander Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27) at 6:10 p.m. Saturday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

Buzz: DH Berkman still in limbo

August, 17, 2013
8/17/13
6:01
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Designated hitter Lance Berkman's status remained up in the air on Saturday.

The 37-year-old veteran didn't take batting practice for a third straight day as it appears the Rangers will wait until Sept. 1 to bring him back, not wanting to mess with the current roster.

The Rangers have two utility infielders on the 25-man roster. Adam Rosales, claimed on Monday from Oakland, has not yet played in a game.

Jurickson Profar was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Friday and has three hits in his last 22 at-bats with regular playing time at DH and three infield positions.

Washington said he's not ready to discuss Berkman's status yet. The option of sending Berkman out to play more rehab games is still an option.

"He's still in limbo right now," Washington said. "He's having good days and bad days."

Berkman was in uniform on Saturday during batting practice. He played in four rehab games as he comes back from knee and hip issues, but he last played on Wednesday for Double-A Frisco.

Tepesch throws bullpen: Right-hander Nick Tepesch threw a 25-pitch bullpen and will be back on a mound Monday as the Rangers ramp up his rehab work.

Tepesch, out since July 7 with right elbow inflammation, said Saturday that he had no problems throwing all fastballs during his first bullpen.

Short hops: Right-hander Neftali Feliz will resume his rehab assigment with Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. He's scheduled to throw one inning ... Washington said he'll get Rosales in a game when he can. He's yet to be on the field for his six games as a Ranger.

Buzz: Lance Berkman not activated yet

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
6:12
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman wasn't activated for Friday's series opener against Seattle and his return could be delayed until Sept. 1 when rosters expand.

Berkman and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels were set to meet Friday to discuss his progress and his role with the team going forward.

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Berkman had Thursday off after playing in two rehab games for Double-A Frisco. In all, Berkman, who has been dealing with knee and hip issues, played in four rehab games and was 4-for-11 with a home run.

He ran well, Daniels said Friday. That has been a concern of Berkman's as he has tried to work his way back since going on the 15-day disabled list July 7 with left hip inflammation.

Berkman has played at a high enough level during his rehab assignment that he could help out the Rangers in the final seven weeks of the season, Daniels said.

"The question becomes what role," Daniels said. "Will his legs allow him to play every day at a high level? Is it a different role? How does he feel about that? Those are the things we're working through."

The Rangers could delay the decision until Sept. 1, so they don't have to make any changes to the current roster. Utility man Adam Rosales, who was claimed for a second time in two weeks Monday, is needed more this time after Leury Garcia, the Rangers' utility infielder option in the minor leagues, was traded to the Chicago White Sox in the Alex Rios deal.

"It's something we've talked about," Daniels said of delaying the decision on Berkman until Sept. 1. "But we're not ready to announce anything definite at this point."

Berkman, who has a $11 million contract for this season, has continued to say his biggest concern has been being able to play at a competitive level. This is a player who has 366 career home runs and six seasons with at least 100 RBIs.

"It's about competing at the highest level," Berkman said. "If I can't do that, I don't think I'll be the piece the team needs moving forward."

Berkman said Friday he is open to playing more games on a rehab assignment. But it also sounds as though he feels like four games were enough.

"Had they needed me in the lineup today, I probably could have gone out there," Berkman said.

Replay reaction: The Rangers had a positive reaction to the new proposal for instant replay for the 2014 season, which will include three video challenges for managers.

A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval of the new system and the players' association and umpires have to agree to any changes to the current system.

"All they're trying to do is help the game be played right," manager Ron Washington said. "I just hope I don't waste [the challenges]."

If the changes are approved, Washington said he will have to make sure his first- and third-base coaches are on top of plays in front of them.

"I'm going to go on their reaction," Washington said. "There are going to be some things I can see to let me know if I should go out there."

Daniels also said that he hasn't completely studied the changes, but overall it's a positive.

"Big picture, it's a big step forward for the industry," Daniels said. "Bottom line is just trying to get the calls right."

Feliz improving: Neftali Feliz made it through a bullpen session in good shape Thursday and the plan is for the right-hander to pitch in a game again soon, Daniels said.

Feliz is day-to-day with right triceps inflammation. He last pitched two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Round Rock on Aug. 8.

Blackley pitches for Round Rock: Left-hander Travis Blackley made his first appearance for the Rangers' organization on Thursday and pitched three shutout innings for Triple-A Round Rock.

Blackley threw 40 pitches and allowed one hit. He could be an option to take the mound for the Rangers on Monday or Tuesday if Alexi Ogando can't make his next start.

Buzz: Cruz headed to the Dominican to train

August, 13, 2013
8/13/13
6:00
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz will spend the next 12 days in the Dominican Republic training at his home gym, the first step to possibly returning to the team when his 50-game Biogenesis suspension is completed.

That would coincide with the Rangers making the postseason. And as far as that goes, the Rangers haven't made a decision yet about whether he'd play. They have to get there first.

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"Our goal right now, as it always is, is to keep our options open," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We want to do what we can to keep him [in] as good as shape as possible, as good as baseball shape as possible.

"First of all, we have to get there. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to get there first to have the conversation."

Daniels repeated what he said last week when Cruz was suspended for the rest of the regular season. The All-Star outfielder's conditioning, how the team is playing, how the club is jelling, all of that will factor into the Rangers' decision.

At that point, the Rangers would probably let Cruz play in games in the fall instruction league.

Daniels said Cruz will also work out a few times at the Rangers' complex in Boca Chica while he is home.

"He’s been in touch with our conditioning staff and has his program," Daniels said. "Once he gets back, we’ll have a next step at that point."

Washington on Harrison: The Rangers announced Tuesday that left-handed starter Matt Harrison will not pitch again this season because of issues with his surgically repaired back.

Harrison will rest and get ready for the offseason and spring training. There is no structural damage to his back, so Harrison should return ready to go in 2014.

"It's disappointing for Harrison's sake," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He worked so hard to get back. It just didn't work out. It's just another adverse happening in our 2013 year as the Texas Rangers. We'll figure out a way to move forward and wish Harrison good health."

Rosales hopes to settle in: Utility man Adam Rosales started his second stint with the Rangers on Tuesday after being reclaimed by Texas on Monday.

Since Aug. 2, he has been on the Oakland A's roster twice and now the Rangers twice as the teams have swapped claiming him off waivers. He made a smart move by leaving his car in Dallas. Rosales realizes that until Sept. 1, when rosters expand, he's on standby.

"I didn't have any options yet so teams have to designate me," Rosales said. "That's why we're playing pingpong."

The Rangers have a bigger need for Rosales this time around after Triple-A Round Rock infielder Leury Garcia went to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday to complete the Alex Rios trade.

"With us giving up Leury, we certainly didn't have anything to back up our infield," Washington said. "We wanted him when we claimed him the first time. We were just hoping no one would claim him when we put him back out there."

Berkman's running still issue: Designated hitter Lance Berkman was set to play Tuesday and Wednesday for Double-A Frisco, provided the weather cooperated.

He was 3-for-7 with a home run in two games with Triple-A Round Rock. But running on his ailing left hip and right knee has still been difficult.

"He swung the bat well," Washington said. "He's still having issues with the running. We'll see if it's getting better with two games in Frisco."

Short hops: Right-hander Neftali Feliz is still day-to-day with Triple-A Round Rock due to triceps tendinitis. He's scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... Round Rock catcher Eli Whiteside, a possible call-up when rosters expand in September, was 3-for-4 with his fifth home run Monday. ... Joe Nathan earned his 35th save in Houston on Monday, giving him eight seasons with 35-plus saves. The only other two closers to do that in major league history are Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, who have each done it 12 times.

A's claim Adam Rosales from Rangers

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
4:58
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The Oakland Athletics received infielder Adam Rosales on a waiver claim from the Texas Rangers, the clubs announced Thursday. Rosales had been designated for assignment Monday by the Rangers.

Rosales spent only three days in the Rangers organization and was on the active 25-man roster last Friday through Sunday but did not appear in a game. He had been received on a waiver claim from the A's on Friday. Rosales has hit .193 with five doubles, four home runs and eight RBIs in 50 games for the A's this season.

The Rangers have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

Rangers open-minded to Cruz's return for playoffs

August, 5, 2013
8/05/13
4:51
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The Texas Rangers now will try to make the playoffs without slugger Nelson Cruz.

If that happens, then we'll find out whether Cruz is on the playoff roster.

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Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday on a conference call following the announcement of Cruz's 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis case that the club is open-minded to the slugger being on the postseason roster.

That is, if it's acceptable to the 24 players Cruz let down by getting suspended for what he said was an "error in judgment" for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

"We really want to see how this plays out, most importantly with his teammates," Daniels said. "Not giving specifics, but there have been other scenarios where because of how it was handled, the player was not welcomed back first and foremost with the clubhouse. That’s something we want to see.

"Assuming that there’s not any other information that we’re not yet aware of and if his teammates welcome him back and Nellie handles this well, which I expect he probably will, then we’re open to it."

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A report by USA Today on Monday said the Rangers were "blindsided by the news" that Cruz had decided not to appeal his suspension, which likely would have enabled him to play the rest of the season while his case went through the arbitration process.

Daniels disputed that Monday. He said he was contacted by Cruz's new agent, Adam Katz, on Sunday night, who informed him his client was accepting the suspension. The Rangers did believe it was a possibility Cruz would appeal his suspension out of loyalty to the ballclub and his teammates, team CEO Nolan Ryan said Monday.

"We knew this was out there," Daniels said. "There’s not a lot we could do about it. I’m not sure had he made up his mind any sooner, it would’ve impacted much anyhow."

The Rangers' plan is to replace Cruz from within the organization. They will call up outfielders Joey Butler and Engel Beltre to give them a right-handed and left-handed bat in a platoon situation. Recently acquired Adam Rosales was designated for assignment.

The club will explore the post-trade deadline market, Daniels said, as it does every season. Deals are more difficult to make due to the pool of players shrinking because of no-trade clauses and the complication of getting players to pass through waivers.

The Rangers did pick up outfielder Jeff Francoeur in a trade in August 2010.

"Obviously, not every club is looking to talk about every player so you're dealing with a much smaller pool of players who are even potentially available so it's more challenging," Daniels said.

Ryan, who also was on the conference call, expressed disappointment in Cruz's involvement with the Biogenesis clinic.

"I pretty much have the same feeling that Jon has that we’re disappointed that he violated the drug policy and that he’s now having to deal with that," Ryan said.

Cruz said in a statement that his error in judgment was a result of losing 40 pounds because of a gastrointestinal infection before the 2012 season. He was treated in the Dominican Republic while playing winter ball, then went to Miami for more treatment.

It was at that point that he became involved in the Biogenesis clinic.

"I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse," Cruz said.

"What he said about the weight loss he had and the intestinal virus, or whatever it was he was dealing with, it was my understanding that it actually happened," Ryan said. "He had substantial weight loss, and it was an ongoing issue for him that offseason. To my knowledge, that is a correct statement."

The Rangers have not decided whether Cruz will work out at the team facility during his suspension. If he does, he can be at Rangers Ballpark only until the gates open for that day's game.

"Nelson will just fly back here to Dallas, and we’ll revisit that here in a couple days once the dust settles," Daniels said.

As for bringing him back for the playoffs or bringing him back next year -- Cruz is a free agent after the season -- that remains to be seen, Daniels said.

Cruz made it clear in his statement that he wants to return and looks forward to it. He is a well-liked player in the Rangers' clubhouse, so maybe this isn't it for Cruz and the Rangers.

"I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs," Cruz said.

Buzz: Rosales ready for new chapter

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
9:58
PM CT
OAKLAND, Calif. -- When he was designated for assignment Wednesday by the Oakland Athletics for the second time in July, infielder Adam Rosales expected to clear waivers and wind up back at Triple-A Sacramento.

Then he got a call Friday from A's assistant general manager David Forst with what Rosales called some shocking but great news. He had been claimed by the Texas Rangers and would be on their roster Friday night for the opener of a three-game series against his former team.

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Eric Nadel joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' series with Oakland.

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"I was really shocked but excited at the same time," Rosales said before Friday night's game. "Obviously, bittersweet. I was with the A's for four years. Feel like I grew up a lot with them. But it's great. I'm ready for this new chapter in my baseball life.

"I think it's great. I think it's a wonderful opportunity. It's great to be on this ball club who's contending for a playoff spot, that has a great track record, that has a competitive team, a successful team. That's what I'm looking for in my career right now, to be a part of that."

Rosales' best position is shortstop, but he has also played second base, third base, first base and in the outfield during his career.

"Just gives us some versatility," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Now I might be able to pinch run for some guys that I wouldn't do normally because I didn't have the backup I needed. He gives me some backup because he can play anywhere on the field, all the infield and play some outfield."

Texas assistant general manager Thad Levine said the Rangers have "always admired the way" Rosales plays.

"He plays with a ton of energy and enthusiasm," Levine said. "We feel like he's a Texas Rangers type of player who happened to have been playing for the Oakland Athletics. We think he's found his rightful home now."

By claiming Rosales, the Rangers prevented him from returning to the A's roster down the stretch in what is shaping up as a tight race in the American League West between the two teams.

"I think the fact that we play them so frequently gives us a better insight into the player," Levine said. "We feel like we know him very well. Specifically, is there a value of stealing [him] from the A's? I don't know that that really factored in, but certainly anytime you can add a quality player and subtract one from them, that's an added benefit."

Rosales was in the visiting clubhouse Friday at the O.co Coliseum for the first time in his career, wearing a Rangers uniform.

"It's very strange, very surreal," Rosales said. "But it's a good feeling. I look forward to everything this opportunity is going to bring. Excited to be a Texas Ranger now."

Roster move: The Rangers sent outfielder Engel Beltre to Triple-A Round Rock, opening a spot for Rosales on their 25-man roster. Beltre hit .300 (9-for-30) with a double, two RBIs and five runs scored in his first major-league stint. He appeared in 13 games.

"I feel I had a good time here, good experience with the guys, a good team," Beltre said. "For me it was an unbelievable time that I've been waiting for a lot. I've been waiting for this time to be here in the major leagues. I really had a good time here.

"I'm just going to go and do my job there and try to do the same things I'm doing, trying to get a chance and a call-up back."

Washington said Beltre made the most of his first trip to the major leagues.

"Improved. Professional. He really took his opportunity up here very, very seriously," Washington said. "There wasn't a day he was here that he didn't do something to get better. It's just that we got the outfield covered and we felt like he needed to continue to get at-bats. He proved he could play up here, and he handled himself well under the conditions that he had to, but he needed to go play."

No news on Cruz: The Rangers have to yet learn whether right fielder Nelson Cruz will be suspended in the wake of Major League Baseball's investigation into Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that allegedly distributed performance enhancing drugs to a number of players before being shut down.

If the Rangers lose Cruz to a suspension, they'll have a big hole to fill. Who would take Cruz's playing time?

"It would be [Craig] Gentry and whoever else we decide we want to put out there throughout the system," Washington said.

The rookie Beltre would "conceivably" be one option, but Washington said he wouldn't consider giving Jurickson Profar a heavy dose of playing time in the outfield because he's not ready for that defensively.

"It's not catching the ball. He can go catch the ball," Washington said. "The tentative part comes when it's in-between him and another outfielder. He just doesn't have the [experience] yet to know if he can get on something or if he can't. And the only way that's going to happen is for him to play out there, and right now I can't afford to play him out there to get that."

Washington said he expects to continue using Profar primarily in the infield and as a designated hitter. He was in the lineup Friday night at DH, batting ninth.

Injury update: Cruz was in the lineup in right field, batting sixth. Washington pinch hit for Cruz in the seventh inning Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels because he had a sore quad. He was struck by a thrown ball Tuesday in the third inning while running to first when the Angels tried to turn a double play.

"It was still bothering him, and when we got late in the game I just wanted to give him a couple innings off so he didn't have to be out there because I felt like we had the game in hand," Washington said. "That's all that was.

"Today he's probably going to be better. He's got a big old ball mark there. Got the seams in his hip area."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .322
HRA. Beltre 14
RBIA. Beltre 53
RA. Beltre 52
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159