Texas Rangers: Joaquin Arias

Cliff Lee's 0-3 mark vs. Rays isn't whole story

October, 4, 2010
10/04/10
5:55
PM CT

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee will take the mound Wednesday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series and attempt to do something he hasn't accomplished since Aug. 22, 2008: Beat the Tampa Bay Rays.

Not since Lee was a member of the Cleveland Indians and on his way to a 22-3 Cy Young season has the lefty topped the Rays. But, in typical Lee fashion, his three-game drought against Tampa, all coming this season and twice within 12 days in May with the Seattle Mariners, has been more about bad luck than bad pitching.

With the Rangers on Aug. 16, Lee pitched into the eighth inning with a 4-2 lead, having outlasted his Game 1 opponent, David Price, who had allowed two runs and struck out eight through six innings. But for Lee, the Rangers' defense failed him in the bottom of the eighth and Joaquin Arias was the goat, unable to snag a blooper into right that went for a double and he then made a poor decision to try for a difficult force at second instead of the sure out at first on a fielder's choice.

The inning stayed alive and Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist sent Lee to the showers with six earned runs on nine hits and 10 strikeouts. Arias was traded to the New York Mets for Jeff Francoeur two weeks later.

"A couple years ago, we beat Roy Halladay several times, too. To beat guys like Cliff Lee and Halladay, you have to pitch well yourself. You’re not going to go out there and just bludgeon them," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "You got to go out there and pitch well and play defense well and play all the other small components of your game well to beat these guys. If you look back, that's pretty much what had happened."

In his second against Tampa with Seattle on May 16, Lee pitched an eight-inning complete game and lost, 2-1, in a duel with Matt Garza, who will start Game 3 in Arlington. On May 5, Tampa tagged Lee for four earned runs on 10 hits in eight innings in an 8-3 loss that also came against Garza, who that day gave up just two runs in eight innings.

In those three starts, Lee has received eight runs of support. Meanwhile, in 23.2 innings pitched against the Rays, Lee has surrendered 12 earned runs on 24 hits with 25 strikeouts and two walks.

"To beat a Cliff Lee, it’s got to be a complete game," Maddon said. "It’s not just about your offense."

Can Joaquin Arias' defense be trusted?

August, 17, 2010
8/17/10
8:04
AM CT
The interesting case of Joaquin Arias continues. For years, he's been seen as a player with incredible potential and ability, despite some shoulder issues. The club has done everything it could to stay patient with Arias. The timing of his injury this season (back muscle) allowed the club to avoid putting him through waivers.

But manager Ron Washington's comments indicate he was clearly frustrated with Arias after Monday's 6-4 loss in which Arias was involved in two key plays. Lee took the high road, but he called Tampa Bay's 4-run eighth inning "weird" and looked disappointed in the dugout late in the game.

Arias is supposed to provide speed on the bases off the bench for this team and someone who can play multiple positions. But can this team trust Arias' defense? After last night, you have to wonder if Washington does.

It's possible we see very little of Arias from here on out. Even with Micheal Young's pinched neck, the club could put Jorge Cantu at third base, Andres Blanco at second base and play Brandon Boggs in the outfield (with Nelson Cruz on the DL) and avoid having Arias in the field. It's just tough for me to see Washington playing Arias late in meaningful games down the stretch.

Is that too harsh? Was Monday just a bad eighth inning -- he misjudged a shallow fly ball as he wandered all over the place trying to get to it and he tried to start an unrealistic double play rather than get the sure out -- and he should get another shot? What would you do with Arias?

Injuries: Ian Kinsler, Matt Treanor, Joaquin Arias

August, 11, 2010
8/11/10
4:37
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler said he'll just continue to do what he can until he's cleared for more strenuous baseball activities with his strained groin.

Kinsler said he can lift weights in his upper and lower body, as long as it isn't high impact. But he's not taking any swings or running at all. He can field ground balls, but only ones that are hit right to him.

Kinsler said that if it came down to it, he may just have to play through some of the groin issues. But at this point, the team wants to take a conservative approach and see if it heals.

"We expect it to get better," Kinsler said. "September 1 is probably a pretty good date, but honestly, I'd like to be back before then. That seems like a long ways away to me. If this is a different situation, we'd probably push this a little more and find ways around it."

Other injury notes:

* C Matt Treanor has been running the bases and looks good following his right knee PCL strain. He's expected to go out for a rehab assignment on Monday to Oklahoma City. Manager Ron Washington said he needs some consecutive days catching, so he probably wouldn't be back until the next homestand, when Minnesota comes to town for four games starting Aug. 23.

* INF Joaquin Arias is scheduled to start a rehab assignment (back muscle strain) tonight. That would make him available around Sept. 1 when rosters expand.

Guzman trade official; Joaquin Arias on DL

July, 31, 2010
7/31/10
3:55
PM CT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Rangers have made the Cristian Guzman trade official and have also placed Joaquin Arias on the disabled list with a strained back muscle to make room for Guzman on the roster.

Guzman will wear No. 12, as we noted last night, and will be in uniform and available tonight.

We updated you on all the particulars of that deal yesterday. But here's part of the team's release:

Guzman, 32, has batted .282 (90-319) with 2 homers, 11 doubles, 4 triples, and 25 RBI in 89 games with Washington this season. He has made 75 total starts, seeing action at second base (54), shortstop (16), right field (3), and designated hitter (2). His 54 starts at second base led the Nationals. He had played exclusively at shortstop in his big league career prior to this season, but has a .980 (6 E/293 TC) fielding percentage at second base this season.

A two-time All-Star (2001 and 2008), Guzman has a career .272 average with Minnesota (1999-04) and Washington (2005-10). He appeared in the postseason with the Twins for three straight years from 2002-04. Over the past 4 seasons since the start of 2007, the switch-hitter has compiled a .300 average, including a .336 mark against left-handed pitchers in that span. He batted a career-high .316 in 2008, 4th in the National League that year.

His 89 triples rank 4th among active players. He is a career .294 (32-109) hitter at Rangers Ballpark with 3 home runs and 14 RBI in 28 games.

Roark has gone 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA (49 ER/105.0 IP) in 22 games/17 starts with Double-A Frisco this season, just his 3rd professional campaign. He was originally selected in the 25th round of the 2008 June draft.

Tatusko has a 9-2 record and 2.97 ERA (33 ER/100.0 IP) in 24 games/13 starts for Frisco in 2010. He was the Rangers’ 18th round selection in the 2007 June draft.

Arias has batted .275 with no homers and 9 RBI in 46 games with Texas this season. He has started the past 2 games at second base. This is his second stint on the disabled list this season, as he was also down from April 30-May 15 with the same injury.

With these moves, along with the earlier trade with Boston, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.

Today's lineup: Arias for Kinsler

July, 29, 2010
7/29/10
4:23
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias will split time at second base until one gets hot, much as they did in April when starter Ian Kinsler went on the DL. The other surprise in Washington's lineup was Mitch Moreland at first base. Moreland was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City Thursday.

The lineup:

SS Elvis Andrus

3B Michael Young

CF Josh Hamilton

DH Vladimir Guerrero

RF Nelson Cruz

LF David Murphy

2B Joaquin Arias

1B Mitch Moreland

C Taylor Teagarden

1B Moreland, 2B Arias to start vs. A's

July, 29, 2010
7/29/10
4:06
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday after Ian Kinsler was placed on the disabled list, will start at first base against the Oakland Athletics. Joaquin Arias will start at second.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said getting Moreland on the field was of high priority for the team.

"I just wanted to get him in there as quickly as I possibly can and let him get an idea of what playing the major league is like," Washington said.

The rookie said he heard about the decision at about 10:45 p.m. and "got down here as quick as he could."

"All I ever dreamed [of] was doing this," Moreland said Thursday. "Like I said, I'm just lucky I got the opportunity and want to make the most of it."

Washington said the opportunity arose with second baseman Ian Kinsler's pulled groin, and Moreland was the best farm-system option.

"He swung the bat well [in Oklahoma City,] played good defense," Washington said. "When we decided what to do when we knew we weren't going to have Kinsler, we went down and just got the best player we had in the infield. It happened to be Moreland."

Moreland was hitting .289 with the RedHawks, with 12 home runs and 65 RBIs. However, he has spent most of his career as an outfielder, and said he just spent the last 11 or 12 games at first base. Though new, Moreland said he is comfortable in the infield.

"Since I've been with the Rangers, I've done a little bit of outfield and a little bit of first, just trying to get comfortable at both places," Moreland said. "I feel great at first. I'm just happy to be between the lines."

From Amory, a small town in Mississippi, Washington tried to keep Moreland's head in the game, not on the distractions around him.

"I walked in today, and I caught [Washington] coming through, and he said I was in there today, and to relax and go get them. It's the same game."

Clubhouse notes: More starters resting

July, 7, 2010
7/07/10
5:35
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington continued to sit key members of the lineup Wednesday after a long month and a longer road ahead.

"The grind that we've been through for almost the past month has a lot to do with [players days off this week,]" Washington said. "We're coming down to the end of the first half; these guys need a chance to catch their breath."

Washington opted to give designated hitter Vlad Guerrero and second baseman Ian Kinsler the day off Wednesday after sitting Michael Young and Elvis Andrus Tuesday.

He was pleased with his reserves' performances Tuesday. Joaquin Arias filled in at shortstop and Andres Blanco played third on Tuesday, and the pair combined to go 5-10, scoring three runs and hitting six combined RBIs.

"[Arias and Blanco] worked their butts off and they rewarded us yesterday," Washington said.

However, Washington said the lineup would be at full strength Thursday and lingering injuries are not an issue.

"I didn't sense [the team] was dragging, they're only human is all," Washington said.

Other notes:

* Right-hander Rich Harden (strained glute) could have a rehab start as early as this weekend. Washington said it would depend on how things go in Harden's final bullpen session (which will not be against hitters) and if pitching coach Mike Maddux thinks Harden is prepared.

* Derek Holland also continues to rehab from knee and shoulder injuries. He threw a half-mound bullpen Wednesday and is scheduled to throw a whole-mound bullpen on Thursday before deciding what the best course of action is. Washington said Holland's arm strength is good and he is throwing all of his pitches.

"Fingers crossed, there's no more setbacks," Washington said.

*Washington said he is still contemplating moving Matt Harrison back into a starting role. He will make his final decision Wednesday afternoon or Thursday.

Give Ron Washington his due

July, 7, 2010
7/07/10
8:17
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- ESPNDallas.com columnist Jim Reeves wrote about Rangers manager Ron Washington and how important he's been to the club so far this season.

He wrote the story before last night, when an unorthodox decision paid off for the manager. It was surprising to see both Michael Young and Elvis Andrus out of the lineup together on Tuesday. I'm in favor of getting both players rest. That's especially true of Young, who had played every game this season before last night.

But the Rangers had lost four of the last six (two straight series) and were in need of a win. And despite playing the Indians, it seemed like Washington was rolling the dice to sit both of them at the same time.

"My gut tells me they need a break," Washington said before the game.

Washington said Young didn't look like his usual self the last four or five games. He made two errors on Sunday and seemed to be a little out of sync. Washington talked to Young on Monday and they decided Tuesday was a good day to take off. Andrus was dealing with some nagging injuries and Washington wanted him to have a night off.

The result was a lineup that looked strange. Julio Borbon was moved to leadoff and both Joaquin Arias (shortstop) and Andres Blanco (third base) were starting.

And both were big factors in the Rangers' 12-run outburst. Arias had four RBIs, tying a career high. Blanco had a two-RBI double to break open a tie game. In the process, two role players feel like they've contributed and have gained some more confidence.

"I just felt it was time to do it," Washington said after the game, saying he didn't feel it was a risk.

So give Washington some credit for another good move. My bet is that Young and Andrus both play well on Wednesday after a day off, too.

Today's lineup: Young, Andrus get days off

July, 6, 2010
7/06/10
4:30
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Manager Ron Washington said he wanted to get Michael Young and Elvis Andrus off their feet, so he chose today to do it. More on that in the clubhouse notes. That makes this lineup look a bit different:

CF Julio Borbon

SS Joaquin Arias

2B Ian Kinsler

DH Vladimir Guerrero

LF Josh Hamilton

RF Nelson Cruz

1B Justin Smoak

C Matt Treanor

3B Andres Blanco

Rangers reax: Hunter gives hitters night off

July, 3, 2010
7/03/10
11:05
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington paid pitcher Tommy Hunter the ultimate compliment after he improved to 5-0 and dropped his ERA to 1.98 on the season with another efficient outing, this time a 3-1 victory Saturday night over the Chicago White Sox.

"He's a pitcher," Washington said.

Hunter, who faced the White Sox for the first time in his career, said he didn't have command of his cutter early on, so he went to his four-seam fastball until his cutter came back later in the ballgame. Whatever he was throwing, he was in command, giving up nine hits, all singles in seven-plus innings, while never really facing any threatening situations. The lone run charged to him scored after he left and was aided by a balk called on Frankie Francisco that moved the runners to second and third.

Then Hunter paid pitching coach Mike Maddux the ultimate compliment.

"Mike puts together a really good game plan. He knows exactly what we can do. We go in there at 6 o'clock and he goes over each and every hitter and he tells you exactly what you can do," said Hunter, who also celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday. "And if you go out there and do exactly what he says, it works."

Hunter said newly acquired catcher, veteran Benjie Molina, asked him if he planned to ever veer from Maddux's game plan.

"I said, 'No, just do exactly that.' He said, 'You're serious?' I said, 'Yeah, it works, I promise you,'" Hunter said. "He [Molina] knew it tonight and he just went out and kept doing it, and kept doing it. He kept doing the same thing over and over, repetitively; just mixed in a few different pitches and the end result, what Mike says to do, nine times out of 10 it's going to work."

Hunter has won five of his six starts and he's won all five games at Rangers Ballpark allowing just seven earned runs in 34 innings. He didn't join the club until June 5 because of a left oblique strain he sustained in spring training. He's not an overpowering pitcher, but he's making batters work and he's not giving them free passes. Hunter walked one and struck out three on Saturday.

"He's pounding the strike zone, not making mistakes in the middle of the plate, executing his pitches," Washington said. "When you do that you get the results he's getting. Right now, he's executing very well, throwing strikes, keeping the ball in play. He's doing everything you like to see a pitcher do."

After allowing the first two batters in the eighth inning to get on base, Washington ended Hunter's night after 94 pitches. The 25,986 in attendance gave Hunter a standing ovation.

"It's fun, hell yeah, it's awesome," Hunter said of the standing-O. "I remember the worst standing ovation I ever got was in Boston when I gave up 11 runs. So, it's a lot better when you're doing well than when you absolutely suck and give up 11 runs to the other team. It's always fun, especially when the fans give you appreaciation. They're good fans, real good fans. I like Texas."

And the Texas hitters like Hunter. The 6-foot-3, pudgy 280-pounder outdueled Chicago lefty John Danks, who shut down the Rangers' meat of the order. Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Vladimir Guerrero and Josh Hamilton combined to go 1-for-12 at the plate. The Rangers eeked out two runs on ground outs and a third on Elvis Andrus' bloop beyond the shortstop.

"He attacks the zone with all his pitches. When he’s doing that he's keeping hitters off-balance," said second baseman Ian Kinsler, who was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. "That's basically what it comes down to. He's not scared and he trusts his stuff."

*Hunter did have one thing not go his way. For the first time in his six starts, Josh Hamilton failed to hit a home run.

*Hunter called Molina a "game-changer" behind the plate: "He's good. He receives well, like really well. He got some strikes called tonight that probably weren't strikes."

*Manager Ron Washington argued the balk called on Francisco in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth: "I wasn't sure if he balked. When he explained it to me, [he told me] exactly what happened. He picked up his feet, put it back down in front of the rubber and then twisted."

*The Rangers were outhit 10-6, they hit into three double plays and their Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 hitters went a combined 1-for-12. Yet, the Rangers still managed to get the victory. Texas got two runs on ground outs, both from the eight-hole hitter. Joaquin Arias, who started at first base, grounded out to shortstop that scored the runner from third, and in the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Justin Smoak grounded one close enough to the third-base line that third baseman Dayan Viciendo couldn't throw home and had to get the double play while surrending the run that might it 2-0.

"It's huge," Washington said of squeezing runs out of the bottom of the order. "It doesn’t matter how you get them as long as you get them."

Today's lineups

July, 3, 2010
7/03/10
4:35
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Struggling left-handed hitter Justin Smoak will take a seat for today's game against Chicago southpaw John Danks. Smoak is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, but manager Ron Washington said he might get Smoak back the lineup Sunday against lefty Mark Buehrle.

Joaquin Arias, batting .270, will take over at first base today and bat eighth.

Chicago White Sox (41-37)
LF Juan Pierre (.255)
SS Alexei Ramirez (.270)
CF Alex Rios (.312)
1B Paul Konerko (.294)
RF Andruw Jones (.199)
DH Mark Kotsay (.220)
C A.J. Pierzynski (.248)
3B Dayan Viciedo (.294)
2B Gordon Beckham (.209)
P John Danks (7-6, 3.62 ERA)

Texas Rangers (47-32)
SS Elvis Andrus (.292)
3B Michael Young (.314)
2B Ian Kinsler (.301)
DH Vladimir Guerrero (.334)
LF Josh Hamilton (.340)
RF Nelson Cruz (.315)
C Bengie Molina (.250)
1B Joaquin Arias (.270)
CF Julio Borbon (.283)
P Tommy Hunter (4-0, 2.15 ERA)







Clubhouse: Arias, Hamilton, Francisco

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
6:16
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas – Joaquin Arias isn’t worried a bit about playing first base for the first time in the big leagues.

So what if he never put on a first baseman’s mitt until earlier this month?

“It’s easy, man. Catch the ball,” said Arias, who will start at first to allow Justin Smoak his first day of rest since being called up last month. “I played shortstop for a long time. If you can play shortstop, you can play any position.”

Manager Ron Washington figures it’s a little more complicated than that, but he’s not too concerned about Arias at first base. Washington said the biggest challenge will be making sure that Arias is properly positioned before each pitch.

Arias has worked with Washington at first base for sessions of about 20 minutes the last 10 days. Arias played first based during his four-game rehab stint with Frisco earlier this month.

“Joaquin’s worked awfully hard,” Washington said. “He’s gotten some games in Frisco and the reports were awfully good. He looks good over there.”

However, Washington said Smoak might not get a full night off. If the Rangers have a lead in a tight game, Smoak will likely be used as a late-inning defensive replacement.

Hamilton heats up: Josh Hamilton didn’t want a day off earlier this week, but he isn’t arguing with the results.

Hamilton is 4-for-8 with three extra-base hits since sitting Monday, which was his second day off of the season. That came on the heels of him going 1-for-13 with nine strikeouts in the winless road trip to Toronto.

Hamilton still doesn’t think that he was physically worn down. However, he acknowledged that the mental refreshment was helpful.

“I just feel like I was thinking a little too much and getting a little too technical with my swing,” Hamilton said. “I just needed to go out and play – practice a few things in the cage, and then when game time comes, just let it happen. Don’t worry about it. Don’t be thinking in the box. Don’t be thinking about what pitch is going to come. Just get in good hitting position and let it happen.

Lesson learned: The most memorable of Hamilton’s extra-base hits over the last couple of days was a double that should have been a homer.

Replays clearly showed that the ball hit a support beam connecting the left-field fence to a wall. That’s a home run, per the ground rules at the ballpark in Arlington, but the umpires were firm about their ruling when Washington jogged out to argue the call with second base umpire Doug Eddings.

Crew chief Dana DeMuth admitted after the game that the umpires blew the call and said he regretted not looking at a replay.

Washington didn’t ask for a review because Eddings was so certain. A day later, Washington said he learned a lesson.

“I should have asked them to review it,” Washington said. “Whether they did or not wouldn’t have mattered. At least I would have asked, but they convinced me. You can say I was wrong because they convinced me.”

Harrison makes progress: LHP Matt Harrison, who went on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder tendinitis May 12, threw a 30-pitch simulated game Thursday afternoon.

“The first two or three I was kind of wild, I guess a little bit of jitters,” Harrison said. “After that, I was pretty much locked in, keeping the ball down, using all my pitches and throwing everything as strikes.”

The plan is for Harrison to throw a bullpen session Saturday and make rehab appearances for Frisco on Monday and Wednesday. The Rangers have not decided what to do with Harrison once he comes off the disabled list.

It’s unlikely that Harrison will immediately return to the Rangers’ rotation, considering Derek Holland’s performance in two starts since taking Harrison’s spot. Harrison could be sent to the Rangers’ bullpen or optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to continue as a starter.

Francisco’s feelin’ it: Failed closer Frank Francisco has been dominant in his last five appearances.

Francisco has dropped his ERA more than two runs by pitching 5.1 scoreless innings during that span, allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out eight. Washington said Francisco’s velocity has creeped up recently, and he’s been doing a better job of locating his pitches.

“I feel like the more I pitch, the stronger I get,” said Francisco, who is 5-3 with a 5.09 ERA. “I feel way better with my command.”

Arias comes off DL, will back up Smoak

May, 16, 2010
5/16/10
11:39
AM CT
The Texas Rangers activated infielder Joaquin Arias from the 15-day disabled list Sunday and optioned right-handed pitcher Pedro Strop to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Arias went on the DL on April 30 with a lower back strain. He was hitting .321 and made 13 starts at second base while Ian Kinsler was on the DL.

Now that Kinsler is healthy, Arias' opportunity to play will be limited. He'll add backup first baseman to his duties, however. Ryan Garko was optioned to Oklahoma City on Friday, leaving Justin Smoak as the only first baseman on the major league roster.

Arias hasn't played first before, but that's where he started during his four-game rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco.

Strop had been recalled from Oklahoma City before Saturday's game as an emergency option for a bullpen that had worked 10 1/3 innings the previous two games. But he wasn't needed, as starter Scott Feldman worked 7 1/3 innings and reliever Darren O'Day got the other two outs in a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Clubhouse notes: Cruz update, Arias 1B

May, 11, 2010
5/11/10
4:59
PM CT
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said outfielder Nelson Cruz (hamstring strain) is scheduled to return to the lineup on Friday in Toronto barring any setbacks during his Triple-A rehab assignment.

Washington said the plan is to allow Cruz to play the outfield for full games Tuesday and Wednesday in Oklahoma City and then give him a day off on Thursday while the Rangers face the A's in an afternoon affair. Cruz would then be activated in time for Friday's game with the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Cruz was hitting .323 (20-for-62) with seven homers and 17 RBIs when he went on the disabled list late last month with a strained right hamstring. He said last week that the hamstring felt better and he was ready to play in some games.

When Cruz returns, it would be the first time this season that he and Ian Kinsler will be in the lineup at the same time.

Other notes:

* Rangers utility infielder Joaquin Arias (lower back strain) is rehabbing in Double-A Frisco and getting work in at the corner infield positions. He was 0-for-4 in Tuesday's game at first base.

Manager Ron Washington said Tuesday that the club wants to see how Arias does at those spots while they've got the chance. Could it signal that they'd like Arias to be a backup first baseman? Maybe. Arias is a right-handed hitter and if he can play first base well enough to give Justin Smoak a break here or there, it could be an option the Rangers consider. Ryan Garko, the club's current backup first baseman (and right-handed hitter) is batting just 2-for-27 (.074) to start the season.

Infield coach Dave Anderson worked with Arias some at first base while the team was in Oakland.

"The biggest thing at that position is taking a throw from a pitcher and knowing where you're supposed to be," Anderson said. "A ground ball is a ground ball, but you don't normally receive a hard throw from a pitcher. It takes some getting used to in terms of figuring out where you are and where you're supposed to be."

Arias has played just three games in Frisco, but he'll get more chances to learn the positions.

* The Rogers Centre in Toronto has been known for having rough turf. Washington has given players with some injury issues days off because of it. But the stadium installed new turf (it's called AstroTurf and is supposed to have the best elements of FieldTurf and the old AstroTurf) this season. Washington said he still may try to get Ian Kinsler (ankle) and Nelson Cruz (hamstring) a day off during that series. He expects Vladimir Guerrero to play only DH in Toronto.

* Washington is looking forward to seeing Derek Holland pitch on Wednesday. "I'd like to see his progress," Washington said. "He has confidence because he's pitched well."

* RHP Tommy Hunter (left oblique strain) threw 55 pitches his last time out. He would have to start at least two more times before he could even be considered healthy enough to return, but Washington indicated that even then the club would want to see that he could handle 100 pitches without a problem.

Rangers place Arias (lower back) on DL

April, 30, 2010
4/30/10
5:49
PM CT
SEATTLE -- The Rangers, who have second baseman Ian Kinsler back for the series in Seattle, have placed infielder Joaquin Arias on the disabled list with a lower back strain.

Arias, 25, has hit .321 (17-for-53) with three RBIs in 17 games this season for the Rangers. He complained of back issues last week and missed a few games. He would be eligible to return on May 15.

The Rangers faced a tough choice on how to create space for Kinsler if everyone was healthy. Arias has hit the ball well, but isn’t considered as good a defender as Andres Blanco. Plus, Blanco can play shortstop, which he did on Thursday as Elvis Andrus took the day off and rested a sore calf muscle. But both Arias and Blanco were out of options and were likely to get claimed off waivers. Ryan Garko was another possibility, but the veteran gives the Rangers a right-handed hitting first baseman to give Justin Smoak a break when needed and as a pinch hitter late in games.

By putting Arias on the disabled list, the Rangers don’t risk losing him at this point.

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