Washington not worried about Vlad's slump
Rangers DH enters series finale 1-for-11 on homestand
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't concerned about his designated hitter's recent slump.Vladimir Guerrero is just 1-for-11 (.090) with a double and a run scored so far during this homestand and he's hitless in his last eight at-bats. "It happens. It happens to every ballplayer going across a full season," Washington said. "Vlad is a great player, but he's only human. He'll work his way out of this. Vlad is so mentally strong he'll figure out a way to come out of it." But Washington doesn't think it's anything that surprises Guerrero. "Pitches he had been hitting, he's missing them now, not squaring them up," Washington said. "When guys like him starting doing that, you know he's a little fatigued. He'll play through it. He's been through it before and it's not a surprise to him." According to Washington, Guerrero's been slow on most of the pitches he's seen, but understands that he's just one swing away from breaking out of his recent funk. "When you're slumping, you're slow on everything," Washington said. "You don't react to the offspeed, your contact point isn't where you'd like it on fastballs. Everything is out of whack. "But all it takes is one pitch and good contact and all of that is forgotten," he continued. "As soon as he squares one ball up he'll be rolling."
Molina to get most of Texas' catching time
ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Bengie Molina will continue to take the majority of the workload until the new rotation can be set.Manager Ron Washington had been using Molina every three games and then Matt Treanor for two. But once Treanor went on the disabled list Saturday with a strained right PCL, the Rangers had to call up Taylor Teagarden from Double-A Frisco. "Molina is going to be getting most of the time. Teagarden is the backup. Bottom line," Washington said. "Because of what happened, Matt Treanor was supposed to get Friday and yesterday. Molina is pushed into action without having a day off." Treanor was supposed to catch Friday and Saturday against the Angels, but could only catch the first seven innings on Friday until his injury. Molina replaced him and finished that game before catching all of Saturday's 6-2 loss. But with the Rangers having an off-day before the Athletics come to town, Washington wanted to stick with Molina for the finale against the Angels. "I don't want to give him too many days off, so that's why I'm catching him today and the next day until we get back in sequence so I can go 3-2 or 4-2," Washington said. Teagarden will start in the finale against the Athletics on Thursday and also catch the finale of the Rangers' series in Anaheim on Aug. 1. But Washington also knows that as the postseason nears in the coming months, Molina might become the everyday catcher without the service of a backup.
"No doubt," Washington said. "At some point, it might end up being Bengie Molina as we move down the stretch."
Rangers won't deal just to 'shuffle the deck'
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Sunday that if a player can improve the club at the Trade Deadline, the Rangers may pursue it."We're going to continue to survey the market," Daniels said. "If there is something that helps us, we'll look to move on it. But that's the same today as it was yesterday." The Rangers have expressed interest in Marlins infielder Jorge Cantu and Orioles infielder Ty Wigginton. A right-handed-hitting corner infielder is the biggest need for the club, which would like a backup to first baseman Chris Davis. "We're open to improving the club. Let's just leave it at that," Daniels said. "It's going to have to be a clear improvement. We're not just looking to shuffle the deck. We like our club." With a week left before the Deadline, the Rangers led the Angels by six games in the American League West entering Sunday and own the third-best record in the AL. "The whole week is going to be a lot of conversations. I'm not going to handicap anything," Daniels said. "We like our team now and I like the group we've got. We've got some guys coming back [off the disabled list] that maybe will help us."
Catcher Treanor predicts speedy recovery
ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Matt Treanor, who went on the disabled list Saturday with a strained right PCL, doesn't think he'll be sidelined very long despite how the injury may look.Treanor was walking around with a heavy brace on Sunday. But he still doesn't think he'll be sidelined much longer than 15 days. "There's no doubt in my mind that I will be back playing," Treanor said. "I think it will be right at two weeks or shortly thereafter. This brace looks worse than it really is. Yesterday I was on crutches and I got rid of them. Next day or two I'll be out of the brace and I can start doing other stuff and gear up for baseball activities." Treanor was injured after tripping over the foot of Angels first baseman Kevin Frandsen in the seventh inning of Friday's 1-0 Rangers win. After slipping, Treanor tried to catch himself as he fell before his knee gave out. The Rangers called up Double-A catcher Taylor Teagarden the next morning.
Murphy replaces Borbon for finale
ARLINGTON -- Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon was once again absent from the lineup in Sunday's finale against the Angels.Borbon was replaced by fourth outfielder David Murphy, who also took his place on Saturday. Manager Ron Washington had normally been starting Murphy against left-handed pitching, but right-hander Trevor Bell took the mound for the Angels on Sunday. Borbon's struggled in his last 21 games, hitting only .205 (15-for-73) during that span to drop his season average from .298 to .272. But Washington reiterated what he said Saturday in that the move was to "keep Murphy engaged." "The more that I get a chance to get on the field, the more I'm going to get comfortable out there," Murphy said. "The more repetitions I get [makes it] easier to find a rhythm. Whether I'm in there or not, I'm going to have my routine and be ready to play."
Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush attended Sunday night's game and received a sustained standing ovation when introduced in the middle of the second inning. ... With his 32nd double of the season Saturday against the Angels, Josh Hamilton is just three shy of his career-high 35, which he set in 2008. ... Monday's off-day is just the Rangers' first day off at home without having to travel since May 10 and is just the third such event this season. ... Reliever Darren Oliver has a 9.82 ERA against the Angels this season but a 1.15 ERA against everyone else.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.