MIAMI -- The Rangers have decided to use their fifth starter on Thursday. The club, because of Monday's off-day, could have pushed that back to Saturday but wants to give Scott Feldman and Colby Lewis an extra day of rest.Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers will stay in order the rest of the way until the All-Star break and not use any of the two remaining off-days to alter their rotation. "We're trying to give these guys as much rest as we possibly can," Washington said. "Hopefully the benefit is that when we near the end of July and go into August, these guys have something left in them." Texas is expected to pitch Matt Harrison on Thursday. Dustin Nippert is also a possibility. Both were still in the bullpen for Tuesday's game with the Marlins, and the Rangers are waiting to see if they are needed in the first two games of the series with the Marlins before deciding on a starter for Thursday. "If we can get strong outings from rotation, [Thursday's starter] will probably come out of the bullpen," Washington said. "If not, we'll go get somebody." The two candidates from the Minors are right-handers Guillermo Moscoso and Doug Mathis.
Rangers try to recruit high school Draft pick
MIAMI -- The Rangers had high school pitcher Luke Jackson on the field before Tuesday's game at Sun Life Stadium, part of the recruiting process in trying to get him signed to a professional contract.Jackson was the 46th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft, taken by the Rangers in the supplemental first round out of Calvary Christian Academy in nearby Fort Lauderdale. He also has a scholarship waiting for him at the University of Miami. "We're trying to do everything we can to recruit him," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We know Miami is doing everything they can to recruit him. We want to show this kid that we want to sign him and how sincere we are in that." Jackson was 8-1 with an 0.90 ERA in pitching his high school team to the Florida Class 2A Regional Quarterfinals. The club lost to American Heritage, 1-0, in its last game, as Jackson went out and pitched a complete game with a bad case of strep throat. The Rangers have already signed their first two picks of the Draft -- outfielder Jake Skole and catcher Kellin Deglan -- but Jackson could be a tough sign. He is from South Florida and was Miami's biggest recruiting prize this spring. "Both are great opportunities," Jackson said. "It's a win-win situation. If everything works out, I'll have the best opportunity to play."
Cruz's hamstring feels much better
MIAMI -- Outfielder Nelson Cruz, sidelined with a torn left hamstring muscle, is getting closer to returning from the disabled list, but the Rangers still want to see more.Cruz went through a heavy workout on Tuesday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium, running the bases, taking batting practice and shagging fly balls. Afterward, he said the workout went really well and there was no pain in his leg. "It was like it never happened," Cruz said. "I didn't feel it. When I went to get treatment, I couldn't remember which leg was hurt." Cruz could go to Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment this weekend and be activated next Tuesday against the Pirates. But the Rangers want him to go through another heavy workout Wednesday just to make sure everything is good. "If that goes well, we'll make a decision," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If we need to give him extra days, we will. We want to be 100 percent sure on this one.
Texas not rushing Holland, Harden
MIAMI -- Derek Holland probably won't be ready until the All-Star break. It could be that long for fellow Rangers starter Rich Harden, as well. Both are on the disabled list and both are still in the beginning stages of the recovery process.Holland, sidelined with inflammation in his left rotator cuff, is at the Rangers' training facility in Surprise, Ariz., and he threw a light bullpen session on Tuesday. Holland threw just 20 pitches and they were all fastballs. The session went well, according to assistant general manager Thad Levine. The plan is for Holland to throw another light bullpen session on Thursday and a longer one on Saturday. After that, he could begin throwing batting-practice sessions. The next step would be at least a couple of medical rehabilitation starts, and that could take the Rangers up to the All-Star break. "We're being very cautious in building him back up," Levine said. Harden, who went on the disabled list on Saturday with a strained gluteus muscle, has been shut down from throwing for five days. He will resume on Thursday by long-tossing, but the Rangers won't rush him back either. The Rangers not only want Harden healthy, but they also want him to work with pitching coach Mike Maddux and address some pitching issues. "He'll probably have a couple of rehab starts," manager Ron Washington said.
The Astros are listing lefty Wandy Rodriguez, righty Brian Moehler and righty Felipe Paulino for this weekend's series in Houston. ... The Pirates' rotation has them pitching lefty Zach Duke, righty Ross Ohlendorf and lefty Paul Maholm against the Rangers next week in Arlington. .. Opponents are hitting .197 off Colby Lewis. That's the lowest in the American League. The only pitcher with a lower OBA is Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies. They are hitting .180 off him. ... Lewis and Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo both had 10 strikeouts on Sunday. That's only the second Major League game this year where both starters had at least 10 strikeouts. Cole Hamels of the Phillies and Tim Lincecum of the Giants did it on April 28. ... The Rangers have signed four more players from this year's First-Year Player Draft. They signed outfielder Jordan Akins (third round) from Union Grove (Ca.) High, shortstop Drew Robinson (fourth) from Silverado (Nev.) High, pitcher Ryan Rodebaugh (15th) from Kennesaw (Ga.) State and pitcher Joe Van Meter (21st) from Virginia Commonwealth. With these signings, the club has now signed 25 of its 53 Draft selections, including four of its top seven.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.