06/08/08 5:19 PM ET
Duran returns to Rangers, lineup
Infielder recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma; Ramirez designated
By Shawn Shroyer / MLB.com
After spending 10 days at Triple-A Oklahoma, Duran was recalled Sunday and manager Ron Washington plugged him right into the starting lineup. That was just the beginning of the tinkering Washington had to do with his lineup Sunday.
Michael Young was out of the starting lineup due to a sore left groin he aggravated Saturday night. Josh Hamilton was also out of the lineup as he's trying to recover from a viral infection that has bothered him for the past few days.
Even though injuries necessitated Duran's recall, he's just glad to be back with the club.
"Getting back is something I've been working on for some time," Duran said. "I was excited my first time up, and I don't think that will change each time I get called up."
Duran was hitting just .193 with one home run and playing sparingly before he was sent down to Oklahoma on May 28. With a healthy infield, the Rangers didn't need Duran on a daily basis, so the team sent him down to allow him the opportunity to play every day. Duran said the move did him a lot of good.
"I got some regular at-bats while I was down there and got some starts at third, some starts at short and some starts at second," Duran said.
Duran became available for the Rangers to recall just in time. After sending Duran down, Texas had to wait 10 days to bring him back, unless it placed a player on the disabled list. But the 10-day waiting period ended Sunday and the team was able to designate Elizardo Ramirez for assignment instead.
Young had already been bothered by a hairline fracture in the ring finger on his left hand, which kept him out of the lineup Friday. But he was back in the lineup Saturday for the first seven innings until his groin started bothering him. Washington expects Young to be back in the lineup when the Rangers begin their series with the Royals on Tuesday.
"He's a little sore," Washington said. "So I'll give him a day and tomorrow and hopefully he'll be ready to go in Kansas City. He made it through the finger though."
With Young out of the lineup, Ramon Vazquez moved to shortstop and Duran was inserted at third base while Frank Catalanotto, starting at first base, was moved to the second spot in the order.
As for Hamilton, Washington had been hoping to get him a day off sometime this week, but as Hamilton's condition didn't improve, it made for an easy decision.
Hamilton hasn't looked like his usual self lately, going 3-for-21 in his last five games. Washington expects Hamilton to be ready to go against the Royals as well.
"He's a little weaker today," Washington said. "At first I though I'd be able to DH him, but I decided to give him a day off and hopefully put an end to the exertion."
David Murphy was placed in the three hole to replace Hamilton and hit a solo homer in the first inning. He was joined in the outfield by Brandon Boggs and Marlon Byrd while Milton Bradley was back at designated hitter.
Even though Washington is without half of his top four hitters from the last time Texas faced Matt Garza and Tampa Bay, he'll still have Young and Hamilton at his disposal for late-inning situations.
"If it would make a difference in the game if Young or Hamilton were at-bat, then I'd use them," Washington said.
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.