Andrus may stake claim on leadoff spot
Borbon to occupy nine-hole in attempt to shake off struggles
NEW YORK -- Elvis Andrus was the Rangers leadoff hitter on Sunday against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte, and he will likely stay in that spot for the foreseeable future.Julio Borbon, who is 3-for-36 with no walks to start the season, had the day off Sunday. He'll be back in the lineup on Tuesday against Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, but will be batting ninth. Manager Ron Washington wants to give Borbon some time off out of the leadoff spot to take some pressure off him. "He's going to play," Washington said. "We've got to get him going again. I want to give him the opportunity to not feel like he has to go up there and put us on his shoulders. Whatever we have to try to get him going, we have to try because this guy can be a big threat." Rangers leadoff hitters, going into Sunday's game, were hitting .095 (4-for-42) with four runs scored and a .114 on-base percentage. Andrus was in the leadoff spot on Thursday against the Indians and was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a sacrifice bunt. For the season, he went into Sunday's game with a .410 on-base percentage and his five walks were second on the team. "No matter where I hit, I feel comfortable," Andrus said. "I don't think I'll change anything, just get on base and let the other guys bring me home. Even against right-handers, my main goal is to get on base. That's what I do."
No rotation shakeup after all for Texas
NEW YORK -- The Rangers, after much deliberation, have decided to leave their rotation the way it is. That means Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and C.J. Wilson will pitch in the three-game series with the Red Sox. Scott Feldman will start on Friday against the Tigers in Arlington."We just decided to keep everybody in order," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. The Rangers considered moving Feldman up one day to pitch against the Red Sox on Thursday and move Wilson back to Friday against the Tigers.
Treanor gets start behind the plate
NEW YORK -- Matt Treanor started at catcher on Sunday. That part was scheduled. The question now is whether he is going to get more playing time while Taylor Teagarden deals with a deepening slump. Treanor could be back in the lineup on Tuesday."I haven't gone there yet," manager Ron Washington said. "This is his one day to play, so he's playing. We'll see. There's nothing definite yet." Teagarden was 0-for-4 with a walk and four strikeouts in the first two games in New York. He is 0-for-18 with 13 strikeouts on the season. Treanor was 4-for-12 going into Sunday's game. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is scheduled to start a medical rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Oklahoma City early this week but he could still be 7-10 days away from returning. With all the physical setbacks he's had in the shoulder area, the Rangers want to make sure that he's 100 percent and can stay healthy before they activate him off the disabled list. When Saltalamacchia returns, Treanor could end up staying while the Rangers send Teagarden to Triple-A Oklahoma City to work out his problems. Right now, Treanor could see more playing time at catcher. "It's been awhile since I played every day, but in Cleveland I played a night game and then a day game, and I felt fine," Treanor said. "I'm day-to-day. I come in here every day ready to play -- and if I'm not in the lineup, I do my workout."
Murphy relishes chance against lefties
NEW YORK -- There were times in the past when David Murphy, a left-handed hitter, would sit against a left-handed pitcher. Now that's when he's getting his starts, because the Rangers want to give Julio Borbon his days off when there is a left-hander on the mound.Three of Murphy's four starts have been against left-handed pitchers. He went into Sunday's game 1-for-6 against lefties, and in his career, he's batting .259 against them as opposed to .282 against right-handers. But he was also 4-for-8 with a home run off of Yankees starter Andy Pettitte before Sunday. "The biggest thing is plate discipline," Murphy said. "Lately I've been swinging at pitches in the dirt and out of the strike zone. It's tough to get good pitches if you're going to do that, especially if it gets around you're swinging at pitches outside the zone. "I want to be an everyday player. I don't want to be a bench player or a platoon player. Given chance to face left-handed pitchers ... why not prove it?"
Worth noting ...
The Rangers played eight of their first 12 games in the day. The next five -- and eight of nine -- will be on the road. ... The Rangers are off on Monday before opening a three-game series with the Red Sox on Tuesday in Boston. After Monday, the Rangers will play 20 straight games without a day off. ... Saturday's 7-3 loss marked the first time this season the Rangers did not hold a lead at some point during the game. ... Ian Kinsler, on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle, is hoping to do some hard running on Tuesday in Boston. If he can get through a couple of days of that without problems, the Rangers could consider sending him to the Minors on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.