© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
07/07/07 9:00 PM ET
Notes: Roster shakeup before break
Club recalls Littleton, optioned Tejeda to start at Oakland
By Drew Davison / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have optioned starter Robinson Tejeda and recalled right-handed reliever Wes Littleton. Tejeda will remain with the team and not make any Minor League starts during the All-Star break.
"It had nothing to do with his pitching," manager Ron Washington said. "He had options and it was just an opportunity to get a fresh arm."
Washington said Tejeda would start July 17 at Oakland. He said the decision stemmed from a depleted bullpen without left-hander Ron Mahay or setup man Akinori Otsuka available on Saturday. Mahay threw a season-high 3 2/3 innings Thursday, and Otsuka has been sidelined with soreness in his right forearm.
The only long reliever available for the Rangers on Saturday was Willie Eyre, who pitched 3 1/3 innings on July 2 at Boston.
"If we use Willie tonight, then we are stuck," Washington said. "At least out of Littleton, we can get two [innings] out of him."
Tejeda, who has been in the starting rotation the entire season, has struggled lately. In his last start on Thursday, he allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He is 5-8 with a 6.70 ERA on the year, the highest in the Major Leagues among qualifying pitchers (minimum 86 innings pitched).
After the All-Star break, Tejeda will come back as the No. 5 starter. Before his July 12 start, he will throw two bullpen sessions in front of pitching coach Mark Connor and bullpen coach Dom Chiti.
"I think it's good he stays with us so Mark and Dom can get extra work with him," Washington said.
Littleton, making his third stint with the Rangers this season, last pitched June 12. He is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in nine games with the Rangers this season.
First baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to rejoin the Rangers the first game after the All-Star break on July 13 against the Angels. Teixeira will make a medical rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco on Wednesday, however, it is still uncertain how many games he will play. Teixeira said he wanted to play on Wednesday, then fly out with the team Thursday for Anaheim.
"I haven't sat down and talked with him, so I don't know yet," Washington said. "I'm going to talk to him today. I don't want any contradictions."
Lofton, Kinsler updates:
Center fielder Kenny Lofton was not in the lineup for the third consecutive game Saturday, although he was available. Washington said Lofton needed one more day to rest a sore left knee, and the decision had nothing to do with left-hander Erik Bedard pitching for the Orioles.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler has "no idea" when he will be able to return to the lineup with a stress fracture on his left foot.
"There's nothing I can do except lift and throw and not put pressure on the foot," he said. "There's no telling how long it will take, it just depends on how my body responds."
Kinsler went on the disabled list on July 2.
Baltimore shortstop Brandon Fahey, who was born and resides in Dallas, provided 200 tickets for family members and friends Saturday. Fahey started in place of Freddie Bynum, who injured his hamstring in Friday's game.
Fahey is the son of Bill Fahey, a Rangers catcher in 1972 and from 1974-77.
"It's always fun to come back," Fahey said. "I came here last year three days after I was called up and things were flying threw my head. This year, I'm more relaxed."
He said it:
"I'm just glad he didn't admit he was wrong when he made the call. That takes a lot to say he missed the call, it's very classy of him to stand up. It was to our advantage and that's a good thing." -- Washington, on home plate Brian Knight admitting a missed call in Friday's game.
Friday's Minor League stars:
Gold: Third baseman Christopher Davis extended his hitting streak to 26 games in Class A Bakersfield's loss to Stockton, 4-2. Davis went 2-for-4 with a bases loaded RBI double.
Right-hander Luis Mendoza suffered his first loss despite going seven innings giving up two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts, as Double-A Frisco was defeated by Arkansas, 4-1.
Triple-A Oklahoma outfielder Nelson Cruz went 2-for-4 with a run scored in a loss to Nashville, 5-4. It was Cruz's third consecutive multi-hit game. Jason Botts extended his hitting streak to 19 games, going 1-for-5 with a triple.
The Rangers host in the Orioles in the series finale and last game before the All-Star break on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Kevin Millwood takes the hill for the Rangers against right-hander Daniel Cabrera of the Orioles.