Kinsler to start rehab assignment Monday
Second baseman could rejoin Rangers on Friday
ARLINGTON -- Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler has had two productive days in extended spring camp in Arizona and is scheduled to start a medical rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Frisco on Monday.
Kinsler, who has been sidelined since March 12 with a high right ankle sprain, went 2-for-4 and played seven innings at second base in his second extended spring camp game on Saturday. He will work out and take live batting practice on Sunday in Arizona and then fly back to Texas to begin his rehab assignment.
Rangers manager Ron Washington would like Kinsler to play three, nine-inning games before rejoining the team. The organization is unsure whether Kinsler will play three consecutive games, however.
"He's been recovering well," Washington said.
When asked if Kinsler would be ready for the team's road trip to Seattle next Friday, Washington said: "That's a possibility. I can't say for sure, but that would be right on schedule."
No thought of Holland for Harden swap
ARLINGTON -- Rich Harden hasn't pitched more than five innings in three of his first four starts this season, leaving after 4 1/3 in his last outing against Detroit on Friday. Derek Holland, meanwhile, allowed his first run of the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday night, after throwing 21 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.
So, has there been any talk of bringing the 23-year-old left-hander up?
"It's not a conversation," Washington said. "We've just got to figure out a way to get Rich to be more conservative with his pitches, so he can have an opportunity to get deep in a ballgame. Rich is capable of winning at the Major League level.
"[The Tigers] didn't hit Rich around the ballpark last night. He's competing and he's going to be fine. Again, he's won at the Major League level. He's not afraid out there, it's just not happening."
Borbon surging since being dropped in order
ARLINGTON -- Texas Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon started the season in the leadoff role and, for whatever reason, struggled, beginning 3-for-37.
The past four games, though, Borbon has been dropped to ninth in the order and has found his groove. He is 5-for-15 since the switch, has stolen three bases and even recorded his first Major League triple on Wednesday.
"It was tough because it was the first time I had to go through something like that," Borbon said. "I've learned and grown through it and kept a positive mindset. When you think about it, it was only 30 at-bats, which is about one-twelfth of the season. I've just been staying within myself."
Said manager Ron Washington: "I think he's been more relaxed [batting ninth]. Once he gets going, Julio is going to catch fire."
No timetable for Saltalamacchia's return
ARLINGTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, rehabbing an upper back strain at Triple-A Oklahoma City, caught all nine innings and went 1-for-4 for the RedHawks on Friday night. In four rehab games going into Saturday, Saltalamacchia has hit .231 with a home run, two walks and three strikeouts. Still, there is no timetable on when he might return to the big leagues.
"Salty is real rusty offensively," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Each day he goes behind the plate, he's getting better, though. He's just got to keep working."
Because of that, Taylor Teagarden will continue to get opportunities to catch. Teagarden, who is off to an 0-for-22 start with 15 strikeouts, was back in the lineup on Saturday.
"He's here and we're going to give him an opportunity," Washington said. "I was a player and I know there isn't a whole lot of fun in this game when you're not getting some knocks. But you have to believe today is the day. And every time I put him in the lineup, I believe today is the day."
Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle left before Saturday's game to attend the memorial service for Rockies president Keli McGregor, who passed away on Tuesday. Hurdle, who spent more than 15 years in the Rockies' organization, including seven-plus years as the manager, is expected to be back for Monday's game. Rangers Minor League hitting coordinator Mike Boulanger will serve as the team's temporary hitting coach. ... With his two-run homer on Friday, Vladimir Guerrero is now tied with Jason Giambi for 43rd all-time with 409 blasts. ... With two outs, the Rangers are hitting .172, the third lowest in the Major Leagues. With two strikes, the team is hitting .137, the second-lowest in the Majors.
Drew Davison is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.