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08/24/07 9:03 PM ET

Notes: It's Tommy John surgery for Eyre

Righty not expected to pitch in Major Leagues until 2009

ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Willie Eyre will have Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery on Monday. Eyre, 29, will not pitch in the Major Leagues until 2009.

Eyre underwent an MRI on Thursday and was diagnosed with a partial ligament tear in his right elbow.

"He had discomfort for a while and it got progressively worse," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He was a good competitor with good stuff. He pitched in a number of roles and was very effective."

Eyre was 4-6 with a 5.16 ERA in 33 games with the Rangers this season and had carved out a niche as a middle reliever with a prominent role in next year's bullpen. He was placed on the disabled list Aug. 17 with right elbow stiffness.

Rangers Dr. Keith Meister will perform the surgery on Monday.

Melhuse on waivers: Daniels said the Rangers placed catcher Adam Melhuse on waivers on Friday. It gives Melhuse a chance to sign a Minor League deal before Aug. 31, allowing him to be postseason eligible.

Melhuse, who was acquired from Oakland in a trade, was hitting .213 with one home run and nine RBIs this season.

Health updates: Brandon McCarthy, on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade, has been working out the past two weeks and hopes to throw off flat ground in five days. He wants to return to the Rangers rotation by the second week of September.

"I hope I can just for my mental well-being because I'm bored," McCarthy said. "It's important [to return this season], because I'm making strides each time out."

Manager Ron Washington said third baseman Hank Blalock will not go on a medical rehabilitation assignment strictly as a designated hitter. Blalock, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, originally targeted a Sept. 1 return, but, realistically, he is at least two weeks away -- which is near the end of the Minor League season.

Washington said the team would not rush Blalock back, especially as a designated hitter. The Rangers already have Jason Botts and Sammy Sosa as designated hitters.

Jerry Hairston, on the disabled list with a sore back, hit off a tee on Friday for the second consecutive day and is "hopeful" of returning this season.

Rangers rotation: The Rangers are ready to go with Jamey Wright for Saturday's game, although they have not put Armando Galarraga back into the Triple-A Oklahoma rotation. The Rangers were holding him as a possibility to start on Saturday.

Vicente Padilla will pitch the series finale against the Mariners on Sunday. Kason Gabbard will pitch on Tuesday in the series opener against the White Sox, followed by Kevin Millwood on Wednesday. Thursday's starter will either be Kameron Loe or John Rheinecker.

Sailing away: Rangers fans are invited to a four-night Carnival Cruise from Nov. 8-12 onboard the Ecstasy. The cruise will sail out of Galveston, Texas, with a stop in Cozumel, Mexico, with former Rangers Jim Sundberg, Mark McLemore, Pete O'Brien and Curtis Wilkerson. A portion of the ticket price will be donated to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

He said it: "I heard the guys talking about it all the time and I'm on the Internet all day, so it'll be nice to finally have something to actually check on." -- McCarthy, on joining his first fantasy football league

Thursday's Minor League stars:

Gold: Right-hander Scott Shoemaker allowed two runs on one hit with seven strikeouts and four walks over seven innings, leading Double-A Frisco past San Antonio, 6-4.

Silver: Catcher Cristian Santana went 3-for-4 with a double, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, as the Arizona Rookie League Rangers lost to the Mariners, 8-6.

Bronze: Outfielder Freddy Guzman went 2-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases, including his Pacific Coast League-leading 50th, as Triple-A Oklahoma fell to Nashville, 8-5.

Briefly: The Rangers signed pitcher Luther Hackman and assigned him to Oklahoma. Hackman is fourth in the PCL with 18 saves. ... The club placed Oklahoma pitcher Alfredo Simon on the disabled list.

Up next: Texas hosts Seattle in the third-game of the four-game series on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Wright pitches for the Rangers against left-hander Horacio Ramirez of the Mariners.

Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.