Rangers thinking about pursuing Manny
Club officials tempted by veteran outfielder's big bat
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are mulling the possibility of talking to the Dodgers about outfielder Manny Ramirez although club officials downplayed the chances of a deal getting done.Club officials said they are considering all possibilities to improve the team and the idea of adding Ramirez's big bat is tempting. The Rangers' lineup is dominated by left-handed hitters and the club has been seeking right-handed balance all season. One club official said it's unlikely the Rangers will land him and predicted Ramirez, who was reportedly placed on waivers this week, would remain with the Dodgers. The White Sox are also reportedly interested and could claim Ramirez off waivers before the Rangers get a chance at him. The Rangers are simply considering all possibilities before the Sept. 1 deadline. To be eligible for the postseason roster, a player has to be acquired before that date and the Rangers are seeing if there are any other moves that can be made. "We really like our team, but you never rule out trying to improve," general manager Jon Daniels said. Ramirez, who did not play on Thursday, is one of several Dodgers to reportedly be placed on waivers as the team decides whether or not it's a contender. Ramirez has made three trips to the disabled list this season, all of them because of injuries to his right leg. Twice his calf was strained and that's what kept him out for more than a month until Aug. 21. He's 2-for-9 with a pair of doubles and an RBI since returning. Adding Ramirez would mean an outfield of him, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. It would leave David Murphy and Julio Borbon on the bench. It could give the Rangers a powerful lineup -- especially when Cruz and Ian Kinsler come off the disabled list. But it would weaken them defensively and outfield defense has been a huge strength for the Rangers this season. The Rangers are not interested in Brad Hawpe, who was let go by the Colorado Rockies last week and is a free agent. Hawpe is a left-handed hitter and the Rangers' lineup is already loaded with left-handed hitters. A club official said the Rangers like the player, but don't see him as a fit for their current needs.
Young gets extra practice in the field
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Michael Young was on the field getting some extra work on his defense about four hours before Thursday's game with the Twins. Young was taking ground balls from infield coach Dave Anderson."I'm going to do it a lot more over the last month and make sure I get better at it," Young said. "I definitely want to be better defensively without a doubt and make sure I play my style of defense over the last month. It's something I want to focus on." Most infielders get their defensive work done during regular batting practice, which starts 2 1/2 hours before the game. But Young wants to get out early with Anderson and avoid the distractions. "It's hard to focus in batting practice when the music is blaring and balls are whizzing all over the place," Young said. "I want to make sure defense gets the time it deserves." Young, a Gold Glove shortstop who is in his second year of playing third base, went into Thursday's game ranked 10th in the league in fielding at his position. He had also committed the most errors by any American League third baseman. "This year has been weird," Young said. "This has been the streakiest I've been offensively and defensively, but the beauty of this game is there is still a lot of time left."
Nippert, Kinsler continue to progress
ARLINGTON -- Dustin Nippert is scheduled to pitch one inning for Double-A Frisco on Friday night. Nippert has been on the disabled list with a head injury since July 20 after getting hit by a line drive in Detroit.He is scheduled to pitch one inning on Friday and two more on Sunday. The next step would be a 50-pitch outing at Triple-A Oklahoma City next week before joining the Rangers the following weekend in Minnesota. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who has been on the disabled list since July 29 with a strained left groin, had another strenuous workout on Thursday, taking a number of ground balls from infield coach Dave Anderson. Kinsler is getting closer to going out on a rehab assignment, but the Rangers still want to put him through further tests. The biggest is running the bases and all that entails. That includes cutting, rounding the bases, and stopping and starting. "We're going to work him through this week and then we'll make a decision by the weekend," manager Ron Washington said.
Rangers mulling September callups
ARLINGTON -- Rosters expand up to as many as 40 players on Sept. 1 and the Rangers have had some preliminary meetings to discuss who might be called up in September. There are three areas to look at: Pitching -- The Rangers will get two more arms in the bullpen when right-handers Dustin Nippert and Scott Feldman return from the disabled list. Another possibility is right-hander Pedro Strop, who was up with the Rangers earlier this season. Right-handers Omar Beltre and Doug Mathis are also on the 40-man roster. But a priority could be another left-handed reliever to go with Darren Oliver, Matt Harrison and Michael Kirkman. Derek Holland would be the obvious choice, but Zach Phillips has had an excellent season in short relief at both Frisco and Oklahoma City. Catcher -- Additional catching is always a September priority. The Rangers will recall Taylor Teagarden and could add Max Ramirez as well in September. Bench -- The Rangers will have enough infielders when Ian Kinsler and Cristian Guzman are activated off the disabled list. What they really need is speed off the bench and that took a big hit when Craig Gentry went down earlier this month with a broken wrist. The Rangers were really looking forward to adding him. The Rangers have other candidates, but they are not on the 40-man roster.
Rangers employee OK after being hit by car
ARLINGTON -- A Rangers part-time seasonal employee was in good condition in a Fort Worth hospital after being hit by a car outside the Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday afternoon.The unidentified lady was hit by a car while crossing Randol Mill Road near the first-base entrance to the Ballpark. The accident is still under investigation by the Arlington Police Department. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and was being held overnight for observation.
The Rangers are still trying to stay away from reliever Frank Francisco, who is dealing with some soreness in his right rib cage. He had a cortisone shot earlier this week. ... The Rangers have just standing room only tickets remaining for Saturday's game against Oakland. Seats still remain for Friday and Sunday. ... C.J. Wilson's six victories since the All-Star break are the most in the American League.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.