Notes: Rangers place McCarthy on DL
Blister problem shelves righty; Loe to pitch Thursday
PITTSBURGH -- Brandon McCarthy's terrific five-inning performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday proved to be an illusion.His blister problem is still just that. McCarthy broke it open during a throwing session on Tuesday and will be placed on the disabled list before Thursday's game with the Pittsburgh Pirates. "Rather than have him miss a start, then start and have it flare up again, the best thing is to shut him down and get him right," manager Ron Washington said. "He just needs time. They've got all this stuff they have been using to harden it up but it's got to get well. He hasn't given it enough time to let it heal over and get it back to normal." The Rangers are planning to call up Kameron Loe from Triple-A Oklahoma to start against the Pirates on Thursday. Loe was sent down on Saturday with a record of 1-6 with a 7.40 ERA, including 0-2 with a 15.75 ERA in his last two starts. "We did not anticipate Brandon's callous opening up again," general manager Jon Daniels said. "When it did and we starting looking for guys to call up, [Loe was] the one we had the highest comfort level with. In an ideal world, we would like to give him more time to work on the things he needs to work on, but we're not living in an ideal world." Instead, McCarthy is the third starter that the Rangers have had to put on the disabled list so far this season. Kevin Millwood has been on the disabled list twice and Jamey Wright has missed two months. "Hopefully the time off will allow it to heal," McCarthy said. "It's definitely disappointing. I'm not happy at all about having to miss time again. I want to be out there every five days." In addition, Robinson Tejeda and Vicente Padilla have both skipped starts because of physical ailments. Padilla is still dealing with discomfort and irritation behind the right elbow. Rangers starters went into Wednesday's game with a record of 15-33 and a 6.92 ERA. Wood down: In addition to their problems at the Major League level, the Rangers have had to shut down Mike Wood at Oklahoma because of a sore shoulder. That kept Wood from being an option when the Rangers went looking for a pitcher to replace McCarthy. Wood is 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA in eight games for Oklahoma and 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA for the Rangers.
"He just had a little sore shoulder," Daniels said. "He should be OK but we're going to give him a little down time and have him skip a start. We're not putting him on the disabled list."Byrd bats cleanup: Marlon Byrd, riding a 10-game hitting streak, had a surprise waiting for him when the lineup was posted at PNC Park on Wednesday. He was the Rangers cleanup hitter, batting in the No. 4 spot behind Kenny Lofton, Frank Catalanotto and Michael Young. "Sweet," Byrd said. "I guess with all the numbers I've shown, they have added confidence in me. I like it." Byrd has never started at cleanup hitter at the Major League level, although he did at Triple-A last year. In his career, he has started at the leadoff spot and the No. 8 spot more than any other place in the lineup. But he took a 10-game hitting streak into Wednesday's game and was hitting .403 since being recalled from Oklahoma. "After I put down Kenny, Cat and Mike, I put the others aside, looked at them and decided Marlon was the one to put there," Washington said. "I don't want him to be a power hitter, I just want him to keep doing what he's doing." Washington said Victor Diaz will be his cleanup hitter on Thursday. No Botts at first: The Rangers have decided that Jason Botts is not going to be an option at first base while Mark Teixeira is sidelined with a strained quadriceps muscle. Botts, who is at Oklahoma, has played first base in the past but the Rangers feel his best defensive position is in the outfield and they are committed to letting him stay there. "He's starting to get more comfortable out there," Daniels said. "We want to let him continue to play and develop out there." Botts is hitting .320 with six home runs and 49 RBI at Oklahoma. He said it: "I don't think about myself. I'm interested in the players continuing to play hard and bust their tails. It's harder for them than me because of all the changes. To be honest, I don't think about myself." -- Washington, on the Rangers struggles. Tuesday's Minor Stars: Gold: Double-A Frisco catcher Saloman Manriquez hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Roughriders a 13-11 victory over Midland. Manriquez was 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs. Silver: Class A Clinton pitcher Omar Poveda raised his record to 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA with a 3-1 victory over Kane County. He allowed one run on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Bronze: Brandon Boggs was 3-for-5 with a home run for Frisco. Briefly: The Cubs are scheduled to pitch left-hander Sean Marshall, right-hander Jason Marquis and left-hander Ted Lilly during their three-game series with the Rangers that starts Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. ...Opponents are hitting .367 with runners in scoring position against Millwood, fifth-highest in the American League. Up next: Loe pitches for the Rangers at 6:05 p.m. CT on Thursday in the finale of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will start for the Pirates.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.