Back from DL, Treanor gets start at catcher
Backstop to see plenty of time, but Molina remains No. 1
ARLINGTON -- Matt Treanor came off the disabled list on Monday. He also went right back into the lineup and was the Rangers' starting catcher against the Twins on Monday night.Manager Ron Washington said Treanor will share the position with Bengie Molina. Washington's preferred method is to use Molina for three straight games and Treanor for two straight, but there will be some variations from that routine. The main idea is to keep them both engaged, although Molina remains the Rangers' No. 1 catcher. "Both will be at their best if they are rested," Washington said. "We'll give them their games, but we'll also take care of them." Treanor replaces Taylor Teagarden, who hit .241 with four home runs and six RBIs in 11 games since being recalled from Double-A Frisco. The Rangers liked what they saw from Teagarden, especially on defense, but Washington said there was no doubt about making the move once Treanor was ready. "Teagarden came up when Treanor went down," Washington said. "I agree he came up a totally different guy and showed what everybody said Teagarden could do. We were certainly pleased with what he can do and what he has done. "But Matt Treanor is back. If Matt Treanor doesn't get hurt, you wouldn't have seen Taylor Teagarden. But you can't take away what he did. Teagarden did a great job." Teagarden, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia having been traded to the Red Sox, was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City rather than Frisco.
Kinsler eager for MRI, start of rehab
ARLINGTON -- Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler said he is 100 percent. He is hoping that an MRI exam on Tuesday will confirm that, and he can immediately begin a medical rehabilitation assignment."I feel 100 percent, I just want to be cleared," Kinsler said. "Hopefully I can get the MRI and leave tomorrow. There is no point in sticking around." Kinsler has been sidelined since July 29 with a strained left groin muscle, and the Rangers are hoping he'll be ready by the beginning of September, if not earlier. Cristian Guzman, who was acquired from the Nationals right before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, is also close to going out on a rehab assignment this week. Guzman was the Rangers' starting second baseman in Kinsler's absence, but has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14 with a strained right quad muscle. Guzman is 3-for-34 since being acquired from the Nationals. Andres Blanco was back at second base for the Rangers on Monday.
Bone bruise sends Feldman to DL
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman went on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his right knee on Monday. Feldman was placed on the DL so that Rich Harden could be activated and start against the Twins on Monday.Feldman received a cortisone shot on Monday, and that will keep him down for 72 hours. Then he is expected to begin a throwing program and should be back at some point in September. Feldman said he is not sure how he suffered the injury. But it came to the surface on Saturday when he warmed up to come into the game against the Orioles, but had to be pulled because the knee was too painful. "It just got worse and worse," Feldman said. "Finally, the last game, I couldn't throw the ball without feeling the leg would give out." With Feldman gone, Texas' bullpen has Darren O'Day, Alexi Ogando and Frank Francisco from the right side, and Darren Oliver, Matt Harrison and Michael Kirkman from the left side. Neftali Feliz remains the closer. Dustin Nippert, who was the Rangers' long man for much of the season, remains on the DL. He has been out since July 20 after getting hit in the head with a line drive in Detroit, but he is on a throwing program in Arizona, and he could go on a rehab assignment at some point later this week. The Rangers expect him to be activated in September.
Washington not worried about home field
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington said he's not too caught up yet in a race between the Rangers and the Twins for the second seed in the American League playoffs.Currently, the Yankees and the Twins have a better record than the Rangers, which would give them the home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Rangers, going into Monday's game against the Twins, were 7 1/2 games behind the Yankees and 2 1/2 games behind the Twins. "That's something to worry about later," Washington said. "It's just important that we've got four games against the Twins and we play our best baseball. The worst is going 2-2, but I'd like to win three of four." As far as the home-field advantage for the playoffs, Washington remembers being with the A's when they had it in 2002 against the Twins, and 2003 against the Red Sox. Both were AL Division Series, and the A's were eliminated in five games both times despite having the home field. "It didn't help us," Washington said. "You'd certainly like to start off at home, but I don't think it's a big deal."
Ownership group showing commitment to fans
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continue to put on the full-court public relations press with their fans, publishing a letter on Sunday in newspapers all across North Texas and Oklahoma.In the letter, new CEO Chuck Greenberg and club president Nolan Ryan welcomed fans to a "new beginning," and asked for suggestions and advice on how "the Rangers can better serve you." "Nolan and I and our entire ownership group truly believe that this franchise belongs to the fans," Greenberg said. "Towards that end, we plan to be more aggressive in our efforts to market the team and touch our fans, not only in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, but also in our extended community within hundreds of miles of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. We will be reaching out to our great fans throughout Rangers Country." Among the plans for the 2011 season include increased advertising, an expansion of the team's winter caravan and other appearances, and sales initiatives to include community nights. "As we indicated in the letter, we want our fans to feel connected to this team," Greenberg said. "We plan to listen and respond, and we thank everyone for their support."
The Twins are the last American League Central team to visit Arlington this season. ... Elvis Andrus took a 12-game hitting streak into Monday's game. ... Tommy Hunter pitched eight innings on Sunday without a walk or a strikeout. The only other Rangers pitcher to do that was Jon Matlack on May 11, 1979, in a nine-inning outing against Toronto. Only two other Major League pitchers have done that since 2000. Justin Verlander and Joel Pineiro both did it in 2006.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.