Notes: Rangers ready to try out new bat
Club hopes Nevin provides much needed right-handed pop
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to start left-hander Gustavo Chacin against the Rangers on Sunday. That's a perfect opportunity for Rangers manager Buck Showalter to get his newest right-handed hitter into the lineup.
The one definite niche that Phil Nevin brings to the Rangers is his ability to serve as a designated hitter against lefty pitching. That has been a puzzle spot all year for a Texas club that has gone 7-14 against left-handed pitching.
Texas signed Greg Colbrunn during the offseason with hopes that he would thrive in that role. But Colbrunn never got untracked because of injuries. Chad Allen held his own as a righty-hitting DH for awhile, but then fell by the wayside.
Nevin has the track record to not only produce big offensive numbers, but also take some pressure off other hitters in the Texas lineup. With Richard Hidalgo struggling for most of the year, Texas has been in need of a potent right-handed bat.
Besides serving as a DH against lefties, Nevin could help in a variety of roles for Texas.
"He's a guy who can DH, play first and third, go to the outfield or catch," Showalter said. "It gives you some options."
Showalter has spoken with San Diego manager Bruce Bochy in the aftermath of the Nevin-Chan Ho Park trade.
"He said, 'You'll like him,'" Showalter said. "A good move for him, a change of scenery."
On the mend: Center fielder Laynce Nix (shoulder) and right-hander Nick Regilio (flexor tendon) are each in a rehab mode after season-ending surgery, with the overriding goal of being 100 percent ready for the start of Spring Training.
Nix had his labrum repaired by Dr. Keith Meister.
"Laynce is doing very well, but you can't get too aggressive with it too early," Rangers trainer Jamie Reed said. Regilio, who had flashes of success at the Major League level early this season, will try to work his way back into the team's pitching plans when the Rangers head for Surprise, Ariz., in February.
Around the horn: Right-hander R.A. Dickey, who is trying to work his way back to the Majors with a knuckleball in his repertoire, picked up a win for Triple-A Oklahoma on Saturday night. Dickey worked six innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs. ... The Rangers have reached an agreement in principle with third-round draft pick Taylor Teagarden, a catcher from the University of Texas. ... Right-hander Thomas Diamond improved to 4-2 with a victory for Double-A Frisco on Saturday night.
Coming up: The Rangers are expected to activate left-hander C.J. Wilson so he can make a start in place of the suspended Kenny Rogers on Sunday. Wilson was 0-2 with an 8.78 ERA in two earlier starts for Texas. The Blue Jays will counter with a worthy opponent in Chacin, who pitched eight shutout innings in his last start against the Angels.
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.