ARLINGTON -- First baseman Mitch Moreland was out of the lineup on Tuesday even though there was a right-hander, Jesse Litsch, on the mound for the Blue Jays.
Moreland has been in the lineup for every game since a doubleheader in Baltimore and manager Ron Washington just wanted to give him a breather. Chris Davis got the start at first base Tuesday."I'm just trying to keep from fatigue from setting in," Washington said. "David Murphy is about to get one, too." Wednesday might be a day for Murphy since left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes is pitching for the Blue Jays. "I'll take that under advisement," Washington said. Washington is still not sure when he'll get catcher Taylor Teagarden in a game. Teagarden has not played since being recalled from Triple-A a week ago, but Washington said he might play him during a four-game series against the Athletics this weekend in Oakland. "Right now I'm trying to get as many guys in there as I can," Washington said. "Hopefully pretty soon I'll get him into a game. It may be in Oakland I give him a chance. He plays well in Oakland."
Comstock invaluable to rehabbing pitchers
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter, sidelined with a strained right groin muscle, will soon join Scott Feldman and Brandon Webb in Arizona. They will be working with one of the unknown but invaluable members of the Rangers' organization.While in Arizona, all three will be working with Keith Comstock, a former Major League pitcher whose official title is rehab pitching coordinator. Comstock, who pitched for the Twins, Giants, Padres and Mariners over 144 appearances during his Major League career, is based in Surprise, Ariz., and works with pitchers who pass through there at any point over the calendar year. That includes those who are in extended spring camp and others recovering from injury. Derek Holland makes his offseason home in Surprise and did much work with Comstock over the winter. "The best way to describe it is I call him my daddy," Holland said. "He's like a father figure to me. He definitely knows his stuff. He helped me a lot with my mechanics and getting my head moving in the direction of the glove. But I had a lot of talks with him about anything and everything, on and off the field." Comstock has been in the organization for five years and this is his fourth as the rehab coordinator. This is his 36th season in professional baseball as a player, coach and Minor League manager. He even spent two seasons (1985-86) pitching in Japan. "We're fortunate to have a guy with Commie's experience in that position," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's had a positive effect on guys throughout the system -- look no further than Michael Kirkman pitching in the postseason for us last year to see the impact he's made. We can send an A-ball guy or a big leaguer down to [Arizona] and there's a comfort level knowing his on-field rehab will be handled properly."
Hamilton works in field, yet to swing bat
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton is still more than a month away before he can return from a small fracture in his right arm. But two weeks after getting hurt sliding head first into home plate in Detroit, Hamilton is doing some baseball activities.Hamilton was out early with first-base coach Gary Pettis on Tuesday. The reigning American League MVP was out in left field, taking ground balls and throwing to second base. "Josh is coming along fine," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He has become more visible and more loud. Guys are asking, 'When is he going to play?' When Josh is doing that, he's feeling good." But Hamilton has not begun swinging a bat and that will be the biggest obstacle before he returns.
"Swinging will be the last thing I do," he said. "I've been taking swings with my back arm off the tee, just staying on top of everything I can until I can get back.We'll see. I can't say it's going to four days, five days, but today is the best I've felt as far as my pain since I've been hurt."
Cruz halts home run drought
ARLINGTON -- Nelson Cruz hit his first home run in 14 games in the ninth inning of Monday's 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays. It was his second straight game with an extra-base hit after going 12 games without one.That was the second longest extra-base hit drought of his career, but the longest over one season. His six home runs are still second on the Rangers. "You don't try to hit home runs, you just do it," Cruz said.
Schieffer welcomes opportunity to return
ARLINGTON -- Tom Schieffer said he wasn't openly looking to get back into baseball. But he was certainly receptive when Commissioner Bud Selig called last week and asked if he would be interested in helping out with the Dodgers.Schieffer said he would if needed. It was a brief conversation. Schieffer said they had a more extensive conversation on Monday when Selig called and asked him to be his trustee to help oversee the Dodgers franchise. Schieffer said he would. "I love baseball and baseball called," Schieffer said Monday night. "I'm trying to help baseball and the Dodgers through a difficult period." Schieffer, who was at the Rangers game on Monday night with his wife Suzanne in their second-row seats near the home dugout, said he has not spoken yet with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. "I'm trying to get briefed on the situation, but I hope to be able to do that soon," Schieffer said. "Obviously I have to clear up some things here with my law firm, but I hope to get out to L.A. as soon as possible." Schieffer was the Rangers president from 1991-99, overseeing the construction of the Ballpark in Arlington as well as three division championships in 1996, '98 and '99. The Dodgers may be a bigger challenge. ""It's obviously a difficult situation," Schieffer said. "I'm not sure there has been anything like this before. It's a bit of uncharted waters. The Commissioner just emphasized to me this is an important matter and asked me to do it. I'll try and do my best."
Rangers starters have gone at least five innings in 21 of 22 games. The only exception was David Bush's three-inning spot start on April 13 against the Tigers. The Rangers and the Mariners are the only two teams that have not played an extra-inning game. Texas relievers went into Tuesday's game with 52 appearances, the lowest total in the Majors.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.