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04/10/07 8:45 PM ET
Notes: Teixeira practicing patience
Rangers first baseman knows home runs will come
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Mark Teixeira knows the home runs will come. Until then, he'll take the walks and the singles to left field. Teixeira went into Tuesday's game without an extra-base hit. He had six singles in 23 at-bats, but he was also tied for second in the league with seven walks, a sign that he is patiently waiting for his time to come. "I'm taking my line drives," Teixeira said. "If I get a pitch away, I'm not trying to pull the ball. But those balls will start floating back over the middle of the plate. Until then I'll take my walks because if I'm on base, we have a chance to do something. "I think every team has to decide who to pitch to and who to be careful with. Right now, I'm not getting the pitches to hit and do a lot of damage with." Teixeira doesn't want a repeat of 2006 when impatience got him in trouble in the first half of the season. The numbers suggest he got increasingly frustrated as the first half progressed. He walked 16 times in 25 games in April, 14 times in 28 games in May and 11 times in 27 games in June. Things started to change in the second half, especially after the Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Lee from the Milwaukee Brewers. "I said all along that last year was a great learning experience," Teixeira said. "I established that I'm a guy who is going to hit home runs, so a guy is not going to throw me a 3-1 fastball. They're going to be a lot more careful. "There's no doubt that the pitches will eventually start being there. My biggest thing is to be patient. I got into trouble last year because I was impatient. A changeup, low and away, if you try to pull it, it's going to be a grounder to second base. If you go the other way, it's going to be a line drive single to left." Wood sent down: The Rangers optioned pitcher Mike Wood to Triple-A Oklahoma before Tuesday's game to make room for Jamey Wright. Wood, who had a 1.29 ERA in Spring Training, pitched in one game for the Rangers, allowing one run on three hits in 2 1/3 innings. "There was no one we wanted to send out," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It was a tough call in that nobody really deserves to be sent out including Mike." To make room for Wright on the 40-man roster, the Rangers designated left-handed pitcher Daniel Haigwood for assignment. He was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies last year for pitcher Fabio Castro, but had yet to pitch this season. He had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday. Wood was used as a reliever by the Rangers, but will go into the Oklahoma starting rotation. Gagne watch: The Rangers will have to make another roster move on Friday when Eric Gagne is activated off the disabled list. "That will be equally tough," Daniels said. The Rangers play the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. If the Rangers lead that game 11-0 going into the ninth inning, Gagne will pitch. But, if they lead 4-3 going into the ninth inning -- Gagne will still pitch. The Rangers talked about easing Gagne back into the closer's role but manager Ron Washington said that won't be a priority. "When he gets here, he's going to close," Washington said. "That's what he is here for." Gagne made his final appearance at Double-A Frisco on Tuesday night. Monday's Minor Stars: Top three performances from the Rangers' Minor League affiliates on Monday: Gold: Oklahoma reliever Willie Eyre threw two scoreless innings in the Red Hawks' 7-2 victory over Nashville, and their bullpen has not allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings over their first five games. Silver: Class A Bakersfield pitcher Kenny Bautista allowed two runs on five hits and five strikeouts against Stockton. Bronze: Jason Botts was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs for Oklahoma. He said it: "I remember working out with him at the Y before games at Oklahoma City and all the things he used to do to prepare. He deserves everything he receives." -- Tampa Bay infielder Carlos Pena on Rangers shortstop Michael Young Briefly: Washington said he likes how catcher Chris Stewart works with starter Brandon McCarthy. He said that might be a way to get Stewart into games, but isn't committing to him being McCarthy's personal catcher. ...Wright's start on Tuesday was his first appearance against an American League team since Sept. 27, 2003. Up next: The Rangers close out their three-game series with the Devil Rays by sending Robinson Tejeda to the mound at 7:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Right-hander James Shields pitches for the Devil Rays.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.