Beltre set for rehab, eyes Thursday return
Rangers third baseman making first stint in Minors in 10 years
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre will leave Monday morning for Omaha. He is joining Triple-A Round Rock on a medical rehabilitation assignment in the hopes of being activated by the Rangers on Thursday.Beltre said he is ready to be activated now, but that's not going to be the case. "I'm good enough to play," Beltre said Sunday afternoon. "I'd rather not go, but that's the orders. I'm going to do whatever they ask me to do. But I don't like rehab assignments." He hasn't been on one since 2001, when he missed the first six weeks of the season with the Dodgers because of a strained abdominal muscle. He did not go on a rehab assignment in 2009 with the Mariners, after he missed more than a month after shoulder surgery. But Beltre has been sidelined since July 23 with a strained left hamstring, he has already had one setback that cost him an extra three weeks and the Rangers want to make sure he's ready to go. Manager Ron Washington said Beltre has to learn to "manage" his hamstring. Beltre, who missed three weeks with a strained hamstring in 2000, said he has learned to do that. "I manage it every year," Beltre said. "It's just this year I've had a problem. It might be the heat. I pulled the hamstring in 2000, and every year they get sore. I know how to deal with it."
Uehara displeased with performance in Texas
ARLINGTON -- Reliever Koji Uehara has one word to describe his first month with the Rangers."Negative," Uehara said. "I haven't been able to produce." That isn't completely true. But Uehara gave up two more runs to the Angels on Saturday night and is now 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 11 games since being acquired from the Orioles on July 30. He has allowed three home runs, including one Saturday night to Howard Kendrick. Manager Ron Washington said he is still staying with Uehara and Mike Adams as his late-inning setup relievers, noting he has not lost confidence in Uehara despite his struggles. "When it's time to give him the ball, I'm going to give him the ball," Washington said. "People have stretches, but when things don't go right, but I'm not going to jump off the bandwagon. I'm going to ride this until it sinks because it could be like a submarine and resurface." Uehara said he is still trying to find his "rhythm" with his new team while adjusting to a new routine and new living conditions. He is still living out of a hotel instead of his home in Baltimore. The heat has also been a significant adjustment. "Not only the weather, but a lot of issues," Uehara said. "Whatever happens, happens. I'll just continue to work hard and hopefully it will change. Time will solve everything."
Feldman looks forward to Tuesday spot start
ARLINGTON -- Scott Feldman, who was a 17-game winner and the Rangers' Pitcher of the Year in 2009, will make his first start of the season on Tuesday. Feldman still hopes starting pitching is in his future, but he is not looking at this start as a way to reclaim that role."I'm just going to go out and have some fun with it and enjoy the pennant race," Feldman said. "I'm not looking too far ahead, I'm just focused on this game." Feldman is getting the start because the Rangers want to give Matt Harrison a break. The southpaw, who is 1-2 with a 6.51 ERA in his past five starts, is still scheduled to pitch next Sunday against the Red Sox in Boston. Manager Ron Washington said this is just a spot start for Feldman, although the Rangers still view him as having a possible future in the rotation. "He ended up a reliever because he got hurt, and by the time he got back, there were no spots for him," Washington said. "We're still thinking longterm for the rotation, but it's not a given." Feldman had microfracture surgery on his right knee on Nov. 3 and opened the season on the disabled list. He was 3-1 with a 4.17 ERA in 10 games in the Minors on rehab assignment before being activated off the disabled list at the All-Star break. He has been used in long relief and has a 3.94 ERA in seven games. "I look at myself, and I've had success as a starter," Feldman said. "I like starting. I hope at some point I get back in the rotation. But right now our starters are doing a great job, and I'm just looking to help the team." Feldman will be only the seventh starting pitcher used by the Rangers this season. David Bush had three starts before the All-Star break in spot situations.
Lineup matters: Cruz fifth, Murphy in outfield
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington adjusted his lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Angels. Nelson Cruz had two consecutive three-hit days in the No. 7 spot, so Washington moved him back into the No. 5 spot.Washington dropped Cruz on Friday in hopes that the lower spot would get him to relax, and he went 7-for-9 with two home runs. "It's only two games, but he looks good," Washington said. "It would be nice if he can put it together down the stretch. We know what he's capable of doing." Washington also used David Murphy for a third straight game in the outfield. He is 4-for-9 with two home runs in the first two games of the series. "He's starting not to miss pitches," Washington said. "He's been a little more aggressive, but he's not trying to do too much. By not trying to do much, he's getting results."
The Rangers have had nine sellouts this season, their most since 1998. Neftali Feliz pitched a scoreless ninth on Saturday and is now 3-0 with an 0.68 ERA in 41 games against American League West opponents since the beginning of last season. Infielder Andres Blanco (strained lower back) is joining Adrian Beltre on a medical rehabilitation assignment Monday with Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers will be off on Monday for the first time in 18 days.
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.