© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
06/30/07 11:20 PM ET
Notes: Hairston strains left knee
Injury may force Rangers to place Kinsler on DL
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Jerry Hairston may have pushed Ian Kinsler onto the disabled list. Hairston strained his left knee in a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night and may not be available for Sunday. Kinsler is already sidelined with a sprained left foot and the Rangers know he's not going to play in the next two games in Boston. Hairston had started the last two games in place of Kinsler, but if he can't go on Sunday, the Rangers will need an extra infielder. Tim Hulett and Desi Relaford are the likely candidates and the Rangers would have to make room for one of them by putting Kinsler on the disabled list. The Rangers had considered calling up outfielder Freddy Guzman, but now they have a more dire need for an infielder. Kinsler, who injured the foot on Thursday in Detroit, is on a three-day treatment plan and the Rangers are hoping for better results by Sunday. "[Sunday] is the big day," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said before Saturday's game. "We'll see if he responds to treatment. If he doesn't we'll have to consider other options." Kinsler is off crutches, but was walking around with a boot designed to take pressure off it. He said he didn't see much improvement on Saturday. "It's still the same," Kinsler said. "I don't know what's going to happen; hopefully I'll be ready in a week or so." Washington could use Ramon Vazquez at second and Travis Metcalf at third, but he would be without a backup infielder if Hairston is sidelined. Hairston also backs up Kenny Lofton in center, which is why the Rangers are looking at bringing up Guzman. But the Rangers have Marlon Byrd, who can play center if needed. Joaquin Arias would have been a candidate, but he just started playing again after missing over two months with a shoulder injury. The problem with calling up Hulett is he's not on the 40-man roster and the Rangers would have to make a move there. Honoring family: Before each at-bat, Vazquez steps to the side of home plate and writes something in the dirt. He said it's the initials of his grandmother and his two children. "My grandmother, she really loved baseball," Vazquez said. "She really wanted to come to the States and see me play, but when I got to the big leagues, she had passed away. So I write her initials and now I have my kids and I'm always thinking about them. So I added them, too." McCarthy good to go: Brandon McCarthy threw 25 pitches in a light throwing session in the bullpen before Saturday's game and didn't have any problems with the blister on his right middle finger. He'll be activated on Monday to start against the Boston Red Sox. He has made just one start since the blister first became a problem on May 25 in a start against the Red Sox. Grieve's guests: Tom Grieve had 14 teammates, student manager Dan Ford and coach Buddy Pellerin from the 1966 Pittsfield High School state championship team at Fenway Park on Saturday. They beat Braintree, 1-0, in the state championship game and Grieve actually played catcher. He threw out two base-stealers and had a single to drive in the game-winning run. He pitched in the state semifinals against Springfield Tech and won. "I threw about 170 pitches," Grieve said. "I struck out 10 and walked nine. I was the Bobby Witt of Pittsfield." Ramirez visits: Neil Ramirez, the 44th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft, and his family were guests of the Rangers on Saturday night. Ramirez is from Kempsville (Va.) High School, where he was 6-2 with a 1.46 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 522/3 innings. He has yet to sign a contract but seems eager to get going. "When I heard the Rangers drafted me, I was ecstatic," Ramirez said. "It's a great situation for me because I have family in Texas. Just to get drafted was a dream come true." He said it: "That's definitely one of the odd parts about my job." -- C.J. Wilson, who had his second one-pitch outing of the season on Friday night Friday's Minor Stars: Gold: Left-hander Kasey Kiker, the Rangers first-round pick in 2006, threw six scoreless innings in Class A Clinton's 3-0 loss to Benoit. He allowed four hits and a walk while striking out six. Silver: Infielder Drew Meyer returned from the disabled list and went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in Oklahoma's 11-3 victory over Iowa. Bronze: Bakersfield pitchers Kendy Batista, Michael Wagner and Kevin Altman combined on a four-hit shutout in an 8-0 victory over Modesto. They walked just two and struck out 13. Briefly: Lofton, with 619 career stolen bases going into Saturday's game, needs one more to tie Otis Nixon with 620 for 15th all-time. ... He is the 14th Ranger to steal 20 bases before the All-Star break. Dave Nelson holds that record with 28 before the break in 1972. ...The Rangers, going into Saturday's game, have 51 stolen bases, two short of their total for last year. Up next: Right-hander Kameron Loe pitches for the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Right-hander Julian Tavarez pitches for Boston.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.