Notes: Young rests sore back
Shortstop available, but held out of Sunday lineup vs. Seattle
ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Michael Young was available on Sunday, but not in the lineup as he took the day off to rest a sore back.Young left Tuesday's game against the Orioles with a stiff back in the sixth inning, but he has played in the Rangers' last five games, including a doubleheader on Wednesday in Baltimore. "I pushed it in Baltimore pretty good, then came back here and played three straight and it got a little cranky last night," Young said. "My body has always healed quickly, so with two days off, I'm pretty sure this will be a memory [after Monday's off-day]." Young said the muscle, in his lower left back, aggravated him when he was throwing and hitting. "I don't want to make too much of a big deal about it, because every player, at this point, has something wrong," he said. "It's August and these things start to add up." If the Rangers did not have Monday off, Young said he would have stayed in the lineup. Manager Ron Washington said Young, who is hitting .318 this month, could be used in a pinch-hit situation on Sunday against Seattle. Young is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday, when the Rangers open a three-game home series against the White Sox. Better behind the plate: Jarrod Saltalamacchia started at catcher on Sunday, a position where his offensive numbers are significantly better than at first base. In eight games at catcher, Saltalamacchia is hitting .375 with four home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs scored. When he's playing first base, Saltalamacchia is hitting .118 with one home run and four RBIs. "I don't know why," Saltalamacchia said. "It could be concentration, it could be seeing pitches behind the plate so you're used to seeing pitches. I've always been that way, though. Every time I caught, I hit pretty well." The Rangers are splitting the catching duties evenly between Saltalamacchia and Gerald Laird for the rest of the season. Saltalamacchia has been working on first base drills on days he's not catching, but he reiterated Sunday his desire to catch. "I'd love to be a full-time catcher," Saltalamacchia said. "I've worked so hard the past six years and through the Minor League system, I'd hate to throw all that away." Pitching updates: The Rangers have not announced a starter for Saturday's game against the Angels. Texas is expected to call up a Minor League pitcher for the start, most likely Edinson Volquez. Volquez, who started for Triple-A Oklahoma on Sunday, was 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts at Triple-A. Jamey Wright will return to the bullpen as a long reliever. Washington did say the Rangers will go with a six-man rotation for the last month of the season. Left-hander John Rheinecker will be used primarily out of the bullpen to face lefties the rest of the season. Rheinecker has not been used in that role this season, but the Rangers need a left-handed reliever after Ron Mahay was traded to Atlanta and C.J. Wilson became the closer. Washington said he would not hesitate to use Rheinecker on Sunday against Ichiro Suzuki, who is 0-for-7 in his career against the lefty. Blalock update: Third baseman Hank Blalock, recovering from shoulder surgery, threw from third to first on Saturday and continued his normal workout routine on Sunday. He will take Monday off before returning to his normal routine. Depending on how his arm feels, Blalock could go on a rehab assignment late next week. He said it: "I think we have a great future. We have great pitching and great hitting. Once we get Hank back and fill holes here and there, I think we'll have a great team next year and years to come." -- Saltalamacchia Saturday's Minor League stars: Gold: Right-hander Armando Galarraga pitched a complete-game shutout to lead Triple-A Oklahoma over Nashville, 6-0, in the first-game of a doubleheader. He allowed two hits with four strikeouts over seven innings. Silver: Right-hander Michael Main led Class A Spokane past Tri-City, 6-4, allowing no runs on one hit with four strikeouts over five innings. With the victory, Spokane now leads its division. Bronze: Right-hander Omar Poveda allowed one run on eight hits with three walks and six strikeouts over six innings as Class A Bakersfield lost to Visalia, 2-1. Briefly: Saltalamacchia was the latest Ranger to be sick, following Laird and Blalock. However, Saltalamacchia stayed in the lineup on Sunday. ... Washington said he planned to make a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit the Rangers' facility during the offseason. ... Double-A Frisco pitcher Jorge Vasquez was activated off the disabled list. Up next: After having Monday off, the Rangers open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Left-hander Kason Gabbard (6-1, 3.65 ERA) pitches for Texas against right-hander Gavin Floyd (1-2, 7.36) of Chicago.
Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.