ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Mike Napoli caught Derek Holland's bullpen session on Friday, the first time he has squatted behind the plate since being placed on the disabled list with a strained left quad muscle. He also did some running and could start running the bases this weekend."Everything went well," Napoli said. "We'll just see how it feels tomorrow." Running the bases without a problem is usually the final hurdle for any player on the DL with a leg injury. If Napoli is able to do that by this weekend or early next week, the next step would be a rehab assignment in the Minors. "We've got to make sure he has no issues," manager Ron Washington said. "He's close, we just don't know how close." Luis Martinez made his third start at catcher for the Rangers on Friday after Geovany Soto started five straight games. During those five games, Soto was 7-for-19 with two doubles, one home run and six RBIs.
Washington, Daniels meet to discuss callups
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, manager Ron Washington and members of their staffs met on Friday afternoon to discuss potential September callups. Infielder Jurickson Profar, outfielder Leonys Martin and pitcher Martin Perez are among those who could join the Rangers in September."We talked about a lot of guys," Daniels said. "We still have another week. Nothing is set in stone. Just like every other team is doing now, we're discussing our options." Rosters expand from 25 players to as many as 40 for the final month. For teams in contention like the Rangers, the main points are to reinforce the pitching staff, add at least a third catcher and add bench players who can help in certain situations. The Rangers will reinforce their catching when Mike Napoli is activated off the disabled list and they expect him ready at least by the beginning of September. Luis Martinez is here now serving as the backup to Geovany Soto, and is expected to remain with the Rangers through September. Perez and right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama are the leading candidates to be added to the bullpen. Perez would give the Rangers a third left-hander in the bullpen to go with Michael Kirkman and Robbie Ross as well as being another potential long reliever. The Rangers bullpen also gets a boost when Koji Uehara comes off the disabled list, and that could be as early as Sunday. Profar, 19, has been discussed as a potential utility infielder. Another candidate is Luis Hernandez, a veteran switch-hitter who got the call on Friday when Michael Young was placed on paternity leave. Martin would give the Rangers another left-handed hitting outfielder who provides speed off the bench. He has played in 17 games for the Rangers so far this season.
Hamilton holds no grudge over pitch
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton didn't like seeing a pitch coming at his head, but was ready to move on, one day after Twins pitcher Scott Diamond was ejected from Thursday's game for doing just that. Diamond was thrown out by home plate umpire Wally Bell when one of his pitches sailed behind Hamilton's head in the third inning.On Friday, Major League Baseball announced that Diamond had been suspended for six games, though he plans to appeal.
"If you get hit in the shoulders or below, you take your base and move on," Hamilton said. "When you get a ball up around the head, that's a different story. Wally did a good job. It's part of the game. You move on."Diamond's pitch came after Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt hit Joe Mauer with a 3-0 pitch in the top of the inning. Oswalt said after the game he was not trying to throw at Mauer, but rather missed inside. Hamilton said he doesn't think there will be any further problems for the remainder of the series. "Nobody wants to see anybody get hit," Hamilton said. "Guys on both teams respect the game and each other. Nobody wants anybody to get hurt." Hamilton also said he didn't think Diamond was trying to throw that high. "You don't have time to react," Hamilton said. "If he had hit me, we would have seen if my new helmet worked or not." Added third baseman Adrian Beltre, "I wasn't expecting that. We expected them to retaliate, but I didn't think it would be close to the head. Luckily it didn't hit him."
Veteran Hernandez gets call over prospect Profar
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers needed a utility infielder for the weekend while Michael Young is away on paternity leave, and they chose veteran Luis Hernandez over top prospect Jurickson Profar. The Rangers may bring up Profar in September, but they didn't want to take him away from Double-A Frisco just for three games at the most."With Michael missing the weekend with his family, we decided it was best to let Jurickson to continue playing with his club," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Luis has had big league time before. This is the reason why we signed him." Hernandez, who has played 120 games in the big leagues with the Royals, Orioles and Mets from 2007-10, was hitting .262 with 21 doubles, five triples, eight home runs and 66 RBIs in 124 games at Triple-A Round Rock. He is hitting .423 in his last 18 games. "He has good hands and plays with a lot of energy," manager Ron Washington said. "He can swing the bat."
Manager Ron Washington said Roy Oswalt will get a few days off and then go back to the bullpen after his spot start on Thursday against the Twins. General manager Jon Daniels turned 35 on Friday. Joe Nathan has been successful on 23 straight save opportunities. That's the longest single-season streak in club history. The overall record is 25, set by John Wetteland in 1997-98. Michael Kirkman was charged with a blown save on Thursday night, ending the Rangers bullpen's streak of being successful in seven straight save opportunities. The Rangers have just six blown saves on the season, the lowest in the Major Leagues. Tanner Scheppers gave up two runs in the ninth inning on Thursday. That snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak for the Rangers bullpen.
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.