Texas Rangers: Kevin Kouzmanoff

Arencibia, Kouzmanoff elect free agency

October, 8, 2014
10/08/14
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Texas Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff have elected to take free agency instead of going to the minor leagues.

Arencibia was signed to become the backup catcher, but injuries and ineffective play limited him to just 63 games. He hit five home runs and 16 RBIs in July but batted just .177 for the season.

Kouzmanoff played in 13 games before back surgery ended his season.

The Rangers also announced which players are participating in winter ball.

RANGERS' WINTER BALL COMMITMENTS
Pitcher Team Pos. player Team
Lisalverto Bonilla Surprise Saguaros Trever Adams Caguas (PR)
Cody Buckel Melbourne (AUS) Patrick Cantwell Surprise Saguaros
Edwar Cabrera La Romana (DR) Janluis Castro Caguas (PR)
Felix Carvallo Aragua (VZ) Michael De Leon Surprise Saguaros
Alexander Claudio Mayaguez (PR) Odubel Herrera La Guaira (VZ)
Kellin Deglan Melbourne (AUS) Teodoro Martinez Tigres de Aragua (VZ)
Gianny Fracchiola Tigres de Aragua (VZ) Nomar Mazara Licey (DR)
Martire Garcia La Romana (DR) Rougned Odor Magallanes (VZ)
Anyelo Leclerc Escogido (DR) Eduard Pinto Magallanes (VZ)
Will Lamb Lara (VZ) Guilder Rodriguez Lara (VZ)
Jose Leclerc San Francisco de Macoris (DR) Luis Sardinas La Guaira (VZ)
Cody Kendall Surprise Saguaros Jake Smolinski Obregon (Mex)
Emerson Martinez Caribes de Anzoatequi (VZ) Tomas Telis Magallanes (VZ)
Josh McElwee Surprise Saguaros Kevin Torres Puerto Rico (Team TBD)
Roman Mendez La Romana (DR) Nick Williams Surprise Saguaros
Ricardo Rodriguez Caracas (VZ)
Sergio Suarez Aguilas de Zulia (VZ)
Jose Valdespina Licey (DR)
Sam Wolff Surprise Saguaros
Hanser Alberto San Francisco de Macoris (DR)





Rangers make roster moves

October, 6, 2014
10/06/14
4:15
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The Texas Rangers announced several roster moves on Monday:

Outfielder Engel Beltre, left-handed pitcher Pedro Figueroa and 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock.

Also, 1B J.P. Arencibia, right-hander Wilmer Font and utility infielder Guilder Rodriguez were assigned outright to Round Rock.

Lefty pitcher Joseph Ortiz was assigned to the Chicago Cubs on a waiver claim.

The Rangers currently have 37 players on the club's 40-man roster. Kouzmanoff, who played in 13 games before back surgery ended his season, and Arencibia, who hit just .177 in 63 games, can become free agents.

Report card: Grading the 2014 Rangers

October, 6, 2014
10/06/14
9:00
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The Texas Rangers went 67-95 in 2014, but they did at least finish on a high note by winning 13 of their last 16 games. With the season over, it's time to hand out report cards for each player. Feel free to visit the comments section and give your favorite Rangers a grade.

Without further ado:

Robinson Chirinos, C: He found a spot on the roster because of Geovany Soto's injury woes and started 88 games. Now, he's the projected Opening Day starter for 2015. GRADE: C

Prince Fielder, 1B: The Rangers' big offseason acquisition lasted just 42 games and 150 at-bats before he had neck surgery that sidelined him for the rest of the year. He had been a very durable player up until now, but is this beginning the of a decline? His RBI, home run and slugging numbers have dipped in each of the past five seasons. GRADE: INC

[+] EnlargeRougned Odor
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezRougned Odor may have earned himself a permanent spot at second base in 2015.
Rougned Odor, 2B: Took over the second-base job and finished with a slash line of .259/.297/.402 in 114 games played. He showed some pop with nine homers in 386 at-bats, and, despite some growing pains on defense, he got better as the season progressed. GRADE: B

Elvis Andrus, SS: His overall numbers took a hit across the board. He scored 19 fewer runs than in the previous season and had five fewer hits, 26 fewer RBIs and 15 fewer stolen bases while hitting just .263 with two home runs. He hit into 21 double plays, tied for eighth most in the baseball. He did increase his doubles from 17 to 35. GRADE: C

Adrian Beltre, 3B: The team MVP led the Rangers in hits (178), batting average (.324), home runs (19) and runs batted in (77). He was forced to the carry the load on offense, but he could get some relief next season if Fielder can return to form. GRADE: A

Shin-Soo Choo, OF: He battled ankle and elbow injuries all season and said he probably should have taken more time off to heal the ankle. He hit .255 as the leadoff man and most will likely move down in the order in 2015. Choo could also shift from left field to right. GRADE: C

Leonys Martin, OF: Improved defensively in center field as the season moved along and is likely to be the leadoff man next season after logging 151 at-bats in the spot this year. His 31 stolen bases tied for ninth in MLB. GRADE: B

[+] EnlargeRios
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsThe Rangers don't seem likely to pick up Alex Rios' option for next season.
Alex Rios, OF: Hit .224 in his last 66 games and battled ankle and thumb issues in the second half. The Rangers have a $13 million club option they are not likely to pick up. GRADE: D

Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH: He lasted only 52 games before left ankle surgery ended his season. In 2013, he had 23 home runs and 202 total bases. The Rangers need more of that in 2015 if Moreland can return healthy. GRADE: INC

Michael Choice, OF: A strong spring training didn't carry over into the regular season for Choice, who was demoted to Triple-A. He returned to the majors but didn't show much improvement. GRADE: D

J.P. Arencibia, C/1B: He was supposed to be the No. 2 catcher, but he hit just .177 and battled health issues and inconsistency. He had a hot stretch in the second half, during which he led the majors in homers and RBIs over a short period, but he is unlikely to be back. GRADE: D

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It didn't come as a surprise, but Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Thursday that second baseman Jurickson Profar's season is over. Profar hasn't played this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn teres major muscle in his right shoulder.

Daniels said Profar will undergo a MRI on August 12. If all goes well, Profar will start a throwing program in anticipation of getting ready to play in the instructional league in October.

"Our goal is to get him ready to play this winter," Daniels said in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Losing Profar pushed another young player, Rougned Odor, to the majors. Odor made his debut May 8 and, at 20 years old and 94 days, was the youngest player to appear in a game this season. Odor has played 60 games at second base this season, more than anybody else on the team. The Rangers have used five second basemen in 2014.

Notes: Daniels also said that third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff had a setback in his recovery from back surgery and had to undergo anorther procedure. He is also done for the year. ... Pitchers Alexi Ogando (elbow) and Tanner Scheppers (elbow) are not expected to return this season. Neither is expected to have surgery. ... Prince Fielder (neck) and Mitch Moreland (left ankle) are also out for the season. "If we had been in the pennant race we could have pushed it [with Fielder]," Daniels said. "It just doesn't make sense based on where we are now."

No DH impacts Rangers rotation, bench

May, 6, 2014
5/06/14
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Robbie Ross JrRodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty ImagesRobbie Ross will be called upon to pitch and also hit against the Rockies on Tuesday night.
This is the time every year that if you follow an American League team and you play in a National League park, the debate over whether the DH is a good or bad thing flares up again.

But no matter how you feel about that issue -- and I guess I'm a born-again DH convert after growing up in an NL city and not liking it for so many years -- the fact that the pitcher bats in an NL ballpark forces AL teams to make some important decisions.

The Rangers set up their rotation with this two-game series in Colorado in mind because they did not want to risk Colby Lewis (hip) or Matt Harrison (back) doing anything to cause a setback or hiccup in their recent recoveries from surgery. That put Martin Perez and Robbie Ross on the mound against the Rockies, which includes hitting.

Of course, manager Ron Washington doesn't want those guys taking too many chances, either. That's why any time there's an opportunity to just ask those guys to bunt, he's going to do it. And you can't blame him. He was in the visiting dugout in San Francisco in 2012 when Alexi Ogando tried to beat out a hit and injured himself.

Sure, you can talk about the Colorado altitude in regards to Perez last night, but the reality is that game is just as much on the Texas offense as it is a young starter who gave up some deep balls on good pitches. If the Rockies benefit from the thin air, so should the opponent. The Rangers' bats didn't follow suit, unable to carry over the 14-run outburst from the previous day.

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Pedro Figueroa goes on DL; OF added

April, 23, 2014
4/23/14
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Another day, another pair of roster moves for the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers placed left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation Wednesday, giving them 11 players on the DL.

The Rangers also acquired minor-league outfielder Dan Robertson, 28, from the San Diego Padres in exchange for cash considerations, promoted him to the major leagues for the first time in his career and added him to the 40-man roster.

Figueroa left Tuesday night's game against Oakland after throwing only one pitch in the eighth inning -- he drilled right fielder Josh Reddick in the hip. He'll return to Arlington and have an MRI.

"I don't know what to think," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "When he walked off the mound it looked bad. The young kid is scared."

The Rangers claimed Figueroa off waivers from Tampa Bay in the offseason. He's 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

Robertson has spent his entire career in the Padres system. He was selected in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft out of Oregon State. For his minor-league career, he's batting .304 with 131 steals in 723 games. This season he's hitting .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs, two doubles and five RBI in five games with Triple-A El Paso.

"He's got speed, can play all outfield positions," Washington said. "I can use him to pinch run. He has speed. A good base-runner, can steal bags."

Robertson said he heard he had been traded and was going to the major leagues late Tuesday night after El Paso's 21-9 loss at Las Vegas. After spending six years in the minor leagues, he was shocked by the news.

"I think it's every kid's dream," Robertson said. "I don't know if it's sunk in yet. I'm sure it will sink in when my cleats hit the dirt."

On the mend: Hot-hitting third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was out of the lineup Wednesday to rest his stiff back. Kouzmanoff left Tuesday night's game after the top of the fourth inning because of tightness. The Rangers have a day off Thursday.

"Just back stiffness," Washington said. "Don't need to go out there and make it worse."

Feliz watch: RHP Neftali Feliz has been shut down briefly at Triple-A Round Rock to deal with a tired arm and "general soreness," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. Feliz has been working with team trainers at Arlington. "We envision getting him back on the mound soon," Levine said.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Athletics 4

April, 23, 2014
4/23/14
12:31
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers rallied to score two runs in the top of the ninth inning and defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Tuesday night at the O.co Coliseum.

The Rangers beat the A's for the second straight time and will go for a series sweep Wednesday afternoon.

With the Rangers trailing 4-3 entering the top of the ninth, pinch hitter Mitch Moreland rocketed a leadoff double off Luke Gregerson to right center, then moved to third on Robinson Chirinos' sacrifice bunt.

Moreland tried to score after Leonys Martin bunted, despite no sign being given for a safety squeeze of any kind. Gregerson easily threw Moreland out at home. But Martin stole second, then scored on Josh Wilson's double off the left-field fence.

Outfielder Michael Choice singled sharply to center, driving in Wilson with the go-ahead run.

Joakim Soria came on to pitch a perfect ninth for his fifth save in five chances.

Kouzmanoff's early exit: Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, the reigning American League Player of the Week, left the game after the top of the fourth inning because of tightness in his back. Rookie Luis Sardinas entered the game at second base, and Wilson moved from second to third.

Figueroa injured: Rangers left-hander Pedro Figueroa left the game with an undisclosed injury after throwing only one pitch in the eighth. With a runner on first, Figueroa hit Josh Reddick in the side with a 90 mph fastball. Rangers trainers came out to examine Figueroa, and he left the field for the clubhouse.

Costly error: Wilson made a fielding error in the fourth on the first chance he had, leading to two unearned runs. After A's catcher John Jaso singled with one out, Reddick hit a routine double-play ground ball that got past Wilson. Jaso went to third, and Reddick hustled into second base. Eric Sogard hit a sacrifice fly, bringing Jaso home, and Coco Crisp followed with an RBI double.

Stressful night: Rookie Nick Martinez, who was called up from Double-A Frisco, gave up four runs, just two of them earned, and six hits over five innings. Martinez (0-1) walked three and struck out only one. He threw 92 pitches, only 50 for strikes. Martinez had only one stress-free inning, a one-two-three third. He had runners on base in every other inning. He gave up two doubles and a single in the first inning and was fortunate to allow only two runs.

Leading off: Choice started in left field in place of the injured Shin-Soo Choo (sprained left ankle) and took Choo's spot atop the order. Choice hit leadoff for the first time since his freshman season at the University of Texas-Arlington, but he looked like a natural. In the first inning, he worked a 3-2 count off Tommy Milone, then walked. He walked again with one out in the second inning, working another full count.

Early offense: For the second straight game against Oakland, the Rangers grabbed the first lead. On Monday night, Choo led off the game with a home run. This time the Rangers struck for two runs in the first inning, using two singles and three walks.

Up next: Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (3-0, 1.86 ERA) will face A's right-hander Sonny Gray (3-0, 1.80) in a battle between undefeated pitchers Wednesday afternoon in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. CT on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

Choice in for Choo, batting leadoff

April, 22, 2014
4/22/14
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The last time Texas Rangers outfielder Michael Choice hit leadoff in a game he was a freshman at the University of Texas-Arlington.

Choice's "streak" will end Tuesday night when the Rangers play the Oakland Athletics. He'll hit leadoff and start in left field, taking over both roles for at least one night while left fielder Shin-Soo Choo recovers from a sprained left ankle.

"The way I look at it, once the lineup turns over after that first time, you kind of really don't think about it any more," Choice said. "I'm not going to change too much in my approach, just go out there and try to get on."

With Choo sidelined by an injury he suffered Monday night trying to beat out an infield single, Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to plug Choice into the leadoff spot and let the rest of his hitters stay in their regular places in the order.

"I wanted to keep everything else the same so I put Michael up there," Washington said. "He sees pitches. He could get lucky with one swing of the bat and give us a run. I want the guys where they are to be able to maneuver when the game dictates."

Choice replaced Choo in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Rangers' 4-3 victory over the A's and faced his former team for the first time since being traded to Texas in December. He hit a leadoff single and stole second base in the ninth.

When he learned that he would bat leadoff Tuesday in his first start against the A's, Choice was "a little bit surprised" but not stunned.

"It's not a drastic deal," Choice said. "I think it would be a little more drastic if I was throw in the three or four hole. That would be more of a shocker."

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Rangers answer bell in opener vs. A's

April, 22, 2014
4/22/14
2:51
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington wanted to see how his team measured up Monday against the two-time defending American League West champion Oakland Athletics in their first meeting of the season.

The Rangers stood tall, overcoming an early 3-1 hole to beat the A's 4-3, but their victory might have come with a cost -- left fielder Shin-Soo Choo did not return to the field in the bottom of the seventh after suffering an ankle injury trying to beat out an infield single in the top of the inning.

[+] EnlargeShin-Soo Choo
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesShin-Soo Choo led off the game with a home run for Texas but later left with an injury.
Other than Choo's ailment -- which could force him to miss at least one game for a Texas team already beset by injury -- Washington liked most of what he saw from the Rangers against the A's, particularly the way they battled back to win the opener after falling behind by two runs in the second inning.

"You want to try to win the first one," Washington said. "I think we battle these guys pretty tough, but they've always found a way to pull it out on us. Tonight is just one ballgame. We got to come back tomorrow and we got to play just as well tomorrow as we did today. They're the division champs. It goes through them."

A pair of former A's -- third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and second baseman Donnie Murphy -- teamed up to produce the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, snapping a 3-3 tie.

Kouzmanoff, the reigning American League Player of the Week, led off with a double off the right-center wall against A's left-hander Sean Doolittle. First baseman Mitch Moreland moved Kouzmanoff to third with a sacrifice bunt, getting it down with two strikes. Then Murphy singled sharply to center off the hard-throwing Doolittle, bringing Kouzmanoff home.

"Every time you play Oakland you always know it's going to be a good series," Murphy said. "They're the top dog in the division right now, even though it's early. It's always nice to come in here and get that first win of the series. And to come from behind and take it from them, it was a good feeling."

Right-hander Yu Darvish wasn't at his best, but after giving up three runs in the second inning, he blanked the A's for the next four frames, escaping serious trouble twice. Darvish entered the game with a 1-6 career record against Oakland but got a no-decision. He said he has learned not to let his emotions derail him against the A's.

"I don't really have good numbers in this stadium, but compared to last year I think I've matured mentally to battle these situations," Darvish said. "I decided I would not get frustrated and irritated and I would focus on the hitter."

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, A's 3

April, 22, 2014
4/22/14
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers overcame an early 3-1 deficit to defeat the Oakland A's 4-3 Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the two-time defending American League West champions.

Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a leadoff double in the eighth against his former team, moved to third on Mitch Moreland's sacrifice bunt and scored on Donnie Murphy's sharp single to center, giving Texas a 4-3 lead.

Another no-decision: Right-hander Yu Darvish gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings and received his third straight no-decision. Considering his past luck against Oakland, Darvish can't complain. Darvish entered the game 1-6 with a 4.30 ERA in seven career starts against the A's. He was 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in two career starts at the O.co Coliseum.

One bad inning: Darvish gave up three runs in the third inning, allowing a leadoff homer to Brandon Moss, a double to Eric Sogard and a two-run single to Coco Crisp. He had 48 pitches through two innings. Darvish stranded two baserunners in the third and escaped a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth, striking out A's third baseman Josh Donaldson.

What a relief: Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts, Alexi Ogando and Joakim Soria combined to blank the A's over the final three innings. Soria got the save and Cotts the victory. With one out in the ninth, A's shortstop Jed Lowrie reached second on shortstop Elvis Andrus' two-base throwing error, but Soria retired Donaldson on a fly ball to center and Yoenis Cespedes on a fly ball to left.

Deep thoughts: Rangers left-fielder Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a home run. It was Choo's 12th career leadoff home run and his first of the season. Choo, acquired as a free agent in December, drilled right-hander Dan Straily's 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his second homer of the season.

In support of Darvish: In his first three starts, Darvish allowed just two runs over 22.0 innings but went 1-0 with two no-decisions and never threw a pitch with a Rangers run on the scoreboard. His only two runs of support came in the top half of an inning before he left the game for a reliever. Choo ended that streak with his leadoff homer, and the Rangers added a run in the fourth and one in the fifth. That marked a season-high three runs of support for Darvish.

More signs of life: First baseman Prince Fielder went 2-for-4 with a double, drove in a run and scored a run as he continued fighting his way out of a slump. In the fifth inning with two out and runners at first and third, Fielder lined an RBI single to right, snapping an 0-for-9 skid with runners in scoring position.

No answer for Moss: Moss sent Darvish's first pitch in the second inning -- a belt-high fastball -- high and deep over the right-field wall for a home run. Moss homering off Darvish came as no surprise. He entered the game 5-for-15 with three home runs and five RBIs against Darvish. Now he has four career home runs off Darvish, tying the Angels' Mike Trout for the most by any opposing hitter.

After further review: In the top of the seventh, Choo beat out a ground ball for a single off left-hander Fernando Abad, but the call was overturned after a video review. To make matters worse, Choo hurt his left ankle when he landed hard on the bag. During the review, he went to the dugout and had his ankle taped, but he was replaced in the bottom of the seventh by former A's outfielder Michael Choice, who singled and stole second in the ninth.

Andrus' tough luck: Andrus singled and scored in the fifth inning and has now hit safely in 18 of 20 games to start the season. He also lined out to left field in the third and was robbed of extra bases in the seventh when A's center fielder Crisp made a leaping catch of Andrus' drive to left center. If the ball had eluded Crisp, Andrus might have had an inside-the-park home run.

Up next: Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Martinez (0-0, 4.50 ERA) will make his second career start Tuesday night in Game 2 of the three-game series. He'll face A's left-hander Tommy Milone (0-1, 4.09). First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

'Godsend' Kouzmanoff gets his due

April, 21, 2014
4/21/14
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Kevin Kouzmanoff Tom Pennington/Getty Images"I don't know where we'd be without him," Ron Washington said of Kevin Kouzmanoff.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When the Texas Rangers called up third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff from Triple-A Round Rock, they hoped he'd be a solid fill-in for the injured Adrian Beltre.

No one saw this coming.

Kouzmanoff was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday after putting up some stunning numbers over a seven-game span.

Kouzmanoff batted .345 (10-for-29) with two home runs, four doubles and eight RBIs last week. Only two Rangers received the award last season: Beltre (July 7) and outfielder Alex Rios (Sept. 29).

"He's been a godsend to take over for Beltre and do what he's done in his absence," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Kouzmanoff before Monday night's game against the Oakland Athletics. "I don't know where we'd be without him."

Kouzmanoff is a .257 career hitter with 87 home runs in 683 games. He's on his fifth major league team and hadn't played in the big leagues since 2011 with the Colorado Rockies before being called up by Texas. In 11 games with the Rangers, Kouzmanoff is batting .366 with five doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs.

"It feels good to come back and have an impact," Kouzmanoff said. "I feel like we've been on a good stretch, but it's not only me. It's my teammates around me. I think we've been putting it together lately as a team, we've been stringing hits together, we've been pitching well, we've been playing defense, all those things. When we do them well we win ballgames."

Kouzmanoff hit a career-high 23 home runs with 84 RBIs in 2008 with the San Diego Padres. He had 18 homers and a career-high 88 RBIs the next year with San Diego. In 2010, he had 16 home runs and 71 RBIs with the A's, who traded him during the 2011 season to Colorado.

Kouzmanoff said he "thought it was pretty cool" when heard he had won the AL Player of the Week award.

"I've been getting good pitches to hit and I've been hitting them hard. Sometimes you don't hit those and other times you do," Kouzmanoff said. "It's just been a good week. It feels good and it feels good to be recognized for it."

Oakland homecoming: Rangers outfielder Michael Choice will be in the lineup Tuesday night against Oakland and start against his former team for the first time since being traded to Texas in December, Washington said. Choice has been getting consistent playing time against left-handers, and A's lefty Tommy Milone is scheduled to start.

"There's always going to be that first memory of where I broke into the big leagues," Choice said. "It will be interesting to be on the other side."

Choice is batting .200 (5-for-25) with one home run and three RBIs in 14 games. He's had to adjust to being a part-time player after playing every day in the minor leagues and his entire amateur career.

"I feel OK," Choice said. "I feel like I'm starting to get adjusted to the role better and better each day. Obviously the natural instinct for anybody is to want to be out there, but I just have to prepare every day to make sure I'm ready whenever I go in."

Washington said he didn't know whether Choice would start at designated hitter or in the outfield -- he has started at all three spots there.

The A's drafted Choice with the 10th overall pick in 2010 out of the University of Texas-Arlington. He made his major league debut last season with Oakland, hitting .278 with one double in nine games.

The A's traded Choice and infielder Chris Bostick to Texas for outfielder Craig Gentry and right-hander Josh Lindblom on Dec. 3.

Choice said he has no hard feelings over being traded. The A's, after all, sent him to his hometown team.

"I look at it as a good thing for me," Choice said. "Being able to play for the team I grew up watching is definitely more enjoyable."

Harrison watch: Left-hander Matt Harrison said he feels ready to come off the disabled list and rejoin the rotation, but the Rangers want to wait at least one more day to make that decision, according to Washington.

Harrison, who underwent surgery in April 2013 to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, allowed just three hits over eight innings with one walk and five strikeouts in a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Saturday. He's with the Rangers for their road trip so that pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins can see first-hand how he recovers from his latest start.

Harrison was scheduled to throw short bullpen sessions Monday and Tuesday. After that, the Rangers will likely decide whether to slot him into the rotation or have him make another rehab start, Washington said.

"They're happy that I was able to turn things around and go out and pitch like I was supposed to," Harrison said. "They said see how you recover and be here with the guys and be in front of Mike and Hawk. ... See how I recover in front of their eyes and go from there."

Harrison hasn't started a game since April 6, 2013, against the Angels, but he said he feels ready to make his return.

"I feel like I'm there," Harrison said.

Return to sender: Infielder Andy Parrino, who was designated for assignment Friday, was claimed off waivers by Oakland on Monday and sent to Triple-A Sacramento. The Rangers claimed Parrino off waivers from the A's on March 3, then optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock. He hit .189 with three doubles and five RBIs in 13 games with Round Rock before being designated for assignment April 18.

Kouzmanoff named AL Player of the Week

April, 21, 2014
4/21/14
3:18
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Kevin KouzmanoffKevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports
Texas Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has been named American League Player of the Week for the week ending April 20.

In seven games last week, Kouzmanoff led the AL with eight RBIs and 20 total bases, while tying for the league lead in runs scored (six) and doubles (four). The 32-year-old ranked among league leaders with two home runs (T-2nd), 10 hits (T-3rd) and a .690 slugging percentage (4th) while hitting .345 (10-for-29) for the week.

Kouzmanoff hit safely in his first 10 games with the Rangers before being held hitless in Sunday’s 16-2 loss to the visiting Chicago White Sox. His streak of hitting safely in 10 consecutive games to start his Rangers career fell one shy of Fred Manrique’s club record of 11 (1989).

Saturday, Kouzmanoff provided the Rangers bullpen with some insurance, hitting a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning as the Rangers won 6-3.

On Thursday, he ignited the Rangers' offense with an RBI-double in the bottom of the first inning following an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. The early offensive outburst helped the Rangers earn an 8-6 victory and take three of four against the Mariners in Arlington.

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W2W4: Rangers' first trip to Oakland

April, 21, 2014
4/21/14
1:00
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RangersTom Pennington/Getty ImagesWill Kevin Kouzmanoff and Prince Fielder's bats stay hot as the Rangers head to Oakland?
The Texas Rangers and Oakland A's face each other for the first three games of 19 between the two this season. The A's are the two-time defending AL West champions and once again find themselves at the top of the division. The Rangers, thanks to a solid homestand, are right with the A's, making this series particularly interesting this early in the season. A few things to watch:

* Bullpens. Oakland has had one of the best bullpens in the big leagues for years, but it's gone through some flux this year. Still, the A's relief ERA is second to the Red Sox in the AL. Jim Johnson lost his closer job after a rough start, but the A's have cobbled together enough arms to get the job done. The Rangers' bullpen had a slow start, but has come on of late as players have figured out their roles. Alexi Ogando has improved and has provided some late-inning relief to get the game to closer Joakim Soria. If these games are close -- and they should be -- watch those bullpens.

* Yu Darvish. The Rangers' ace goes Monday to lead off the series in a place where he hasn't had much success. In two starts in Oakland (one in each of the last two years), Darvish is 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA. Walks have been the biggest reason as he's had 12 in those two starts (10 1/3 innings) and three homers allowed. He has just eight strikeouts in those outings.

* Run support. Darvish has allowed just two runs in 22 innings this season and has just two runs of support. Can the offense give him a little more to work with in Oakland? Two of the hitters that bother Darvish the most are Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Moss, who are both hitting over .300 in their careers off Darvish.

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Rapid Reaction: White Sox 16, Rangers 2

April, 20, 2014
4/20/14
5:35
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers, potent in the first two games of the series, could muster only two hits, both singles, in a 16-2 spanking by the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

The defeat snapped a five-game winning streak.

The White Sox bashed out 18 hits and had three home runs, the biggest a three-run blast by Jose Abreu in the fifth inning that snapped a 2-2 tie.

The only Rangers hit though seven innings was a Leonys Martin single off the glove of first baseman Abreu in the second inning.

Texas closes the homestand with a 7-3 record and an overall mark of 11-8.

Batting 1.000: Luis Sardinas, a 20-year-old rookie called up Saturday, had his first major league hit in the eighth inning, a ground ball that Sox second baseman Marcus Semien stopped with a dive, but had no play.

Skewed line: Rangers starter Robbie Ross pitched better than his numbers would indicate. Home runs by Jordan Danks and Jose Abreu were the downfall of the 24-year-old. A costly error and the bullpen didn’t help him either. Both of his inherited runners scored on a bases-clearing triple by Semien.

Damaging mistake: The Rangers infield’s stretch of five consecutive errorless games, paralleling the team‘s five-game winning streak, ended on third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff’s throwing error in the fifth inning. It turned into a costly mistake. The White Sox went on to score three unearned runs for a 5-2 lead.

Running Elvis: Elvis Andrus on Friday passed Ian Kinsler for the club record in steals and he added another Sunday, giving him nine this season and 174 for his career.

Tempting fate: Chicago starter Erik Johnson, who allowed only one hit before leaving after five innings, walked the Rangers' leadoff batter in each of the first four innings. He worked around the first two, with the help of a caught stealing and a double play, but Texas cashed in on the next two for runs.

Game of chance: The brick wall behind home plate at Globe Life Park adds an element of chance for a runner at third when a pitch gets away. Martin unsuccessfully tried to score on just such a play in the third inning. Sox catcher Tyler Flowers grabbed the long ricochet and flipped to Johnson to catch Martin on a close play. An inning later, a Johnson wild hit the wall and skidded crazily toward the White Sox dugout, giving Andrus plenty of time to score from third.

Up next: The Rangers begin a six-game West Coast road trip in Oakland on Monday with Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.82 ERA) going against Dan Straily (1-1, 5.40 ERA) at 9:05 p.m. on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

A winner again, Colby Lewis touched by standing ovation

April, 19, 2014
4/19/14
11:36
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The ovation from the 44,811 at Globe Life Field framed Colby Lewis’ night perfectly.

Many in the crowd were standing before Rangers manager Ron Washington reached the mound to take the ball from Lewis after a solid second start in what could develop into quite a comeback story.

[+] EnlargeColby Lewis
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsColby Lewis earned his first win in two years after elbow and hip surgeries sidelined him for half of 2012 and the entirety of the 2013 season.
"I’d take 30 more [starts] just like that when you get that kind of love and support from the fans," the 34-year-old said. "The reaction was awesome."

The Rangers defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-3 Saturday, and Lewis was rewarded with the win. Asked if he could remember his previous victory, Lewis thought for a moment and said no.

It is the kind of story that appeals to a Rangers fan -- successful starter instrumental in playoff success comes back from elbow and hip surgeries that sidelined him for half of 2012 and all of the 2013 major league season.

"That ovation was pretty nice," Washington said. "Colby deserved it. He showed improvement tonight, and that’s what we were looking for. He did a great job."

In 5⅓ innings, Lewis held the White Sox to six hits and one run, having thrown 85 pitches. In his first return start against the Seattle Mariners on Monday, he allowed eight hits and four runs in 5⅓ innings.

"I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t go a little deeper," Lewis said. "I felt more relaxed. I got the jitters out of the way on Monday. I’m definitely excited."

Lewis rated 60 of his 88 pitches in his first outing as high quality. This time, he felt like he was throwing downhill on all 85.

The second inning for Lewis was telling. He escaped, allowing only one run after Chicago loaded the bases with no outs.

"It was damage control at that point," Lewis said. "I threw a slider off the plate [to Alexei Ramirez] and he chased it."

The result was a double-play ball to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. A run scored, but Lewis struck out Tyler Flowers to end the threat.

Before the game, Washington talked about Lewis’ influence on younger players.

"Younger guys know they can bounce it off Colby," the manager said. "He gives them a yellow brick road they can follow."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182