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07/11/08 8:31 PM ET
Rangers make moves to reinforce 'pen
Loe, Diaz called up; Feldman, Littleton optioned to Minors
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reinforced their bullpen on Friday, calling up right-handed relievers Kameron Loe and Joselo Diaz while optioning Scott Feldman and Wes Littleton back to the Minor Leagues. Texas needed help after its relievers were used for 26 innings over four games during its series with the Angels. "We just needed some arms," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Feldman was sent down because he won't pitch again before the All-Star break, and probably won't pitch in the first three games after the break. Washington said Feldman will be called back up on Monday, July 21, when the Rangers open a three-game series with the White Sox in Chicago. But the Rangers aren't sure if Feldman will be used as a starter or a reliever. Feldman, in his first year as a starter, has already pitched 87 2/3 innings in the Majors and another 12 2/3 innings in the Minors. It's the first time he's ever thrown more than 80 innings in four full professional seasons and the Rangers are concerned about the increased workload. They were hoping to limit Feldman to 135 innings this year, and the best way to do that may be by using him out of the bullpen. "He could probably finish this year if we gave him the same workload and had him make every start," Washington said. "He wouldn't feel it this year, but he would feel it next year." Feldman will not pitch during the All-Star break. He'll take the time off, then the Rangers will gauge the state of their rotation. Kevin Millwood is scheduled to pitch the first game after the break, followed by Eric Hurley and Vicente Padilla. Both are on the disabled list, but Hurley is scheduled to pitch on Monday for Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment. Luis Mendoza and Matt Harrison could fill the final two spots, with Feldman moving to the bullpen. "I love starting, and that's what I want to do is be a starting pitcher," said Feldman, who is 3-3 with a 4.85 ERA in 14 starts. "I know the reasons why they're worried about my arm. I can't help but appreciate it if that's what they're doing: looking out for my arm. Right now, though, I feel great and my arm feels as good as it can." Feldman said a tired arm had nothing to do with allowing eight runs in 3 2/3 innings on Thursday against the Angels. "That was just a terrible night," Feldman said. "I felt perfectly fine." Diaz was 1-0 with a 3.95 ERA and four saves for Double-A Frisco. Loe was 2-4 with a 5.59 ERA for Triple-A Oklahoma, although he has been sidelined since June 19 with a strained back. He also had a 2.16 ERA in four relief appearances with the Rangers earlier this season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.