05/05/10 3:27 PM ET
Kinsler talks his way into the lineup
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Saltalamacchia wielding hot bat at Triple-A
OAKLAND -- Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as of Wednesday morning, has an 11-game hitting streak going at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He's going to get a chance to extend that hitting streak before he gets called up to the Major Leagues.Saltalamacchia, while recovering from back and shoulder problems, was activated off the disabled list on April 27 and optioned to Oklahoma City. Once optioned, the rules require him to stay a minimum of 10 days in the Minors. That 10-day period expires on Friday, but general manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers have no plans to call him up immediately. "He's working on some things," Daniels said. "He feels fine, he's swinging the bat well and he's receiving the bat well. Coming back from injury, he's throwing from a lower arm slot and he's doing some drills to get back on top of the ball." Saltalamacchia had shoulder surgery last September and has had a number of setbacks since then during the offseason and Spring Training. He was the Rangers' Opening Day catcher but went on the disabled list after the second game because of stiffness in his upper left shoulder and neck. The Rangers wanted him 100 percent healthy with no doubts before bringing him back. Right now Saltalamacchia is having no physical issues but the Rangers aren't ready to bring him back to the Majors. "We don't have any moves planned right now," Daniels said. Matt Treanor has taken over as the Rangers' starting catcher and Max Ramirez is his backup. Ramirez started on Wednesday, but the Rangers had won seven straight starts with Treanor behind the plate before their 7-6 loss on Tuesday night. "We couldn't be happier with the job that Matt Treanor has done," Daniels said. "You talk about a guy who has come in and seized an opportunity and run with it. There aren't many Mike Piazzas and Joe Mauers out there so [manager Ron Washington] wants a guy who can handle a pitching staff and manage a game. Matt has done exactly that."
Holland opening eyes at Oklahoma City
OAKLAND -- The Rangers are well aware of what left-hander Derek Holland has done at Triple-A Oklahoma City. There are no plans right now to call him to the Major Leagues either, but he is becoming a strong option if the Rangers have a need in their starting rotation.Holland went to 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA in Oklahoma City's 10-5 victory over Omaha on Tuesday night. "He's throwing great," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's really commanding his fastball, his slider has improved and his changeup has been good. He's definitely opened some eyes. He's an option if we have a need." The Rangers don't have a need right now. Rich Harden was terrific with seven scoreless innings on Monday night and is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA. Any suggestions he was moving to the bullpen as a long reliever to work out his problems were way off-base. Scott Feldman is 1-3 with a 5.45 ERA in six starts, but he won 17 games last year and just agreed to a two-year contract extension. The Rangers feel he has earned the right to get as much time as possible to work out his problems. Matt Harrison is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA and he could be considered the most vulnerable pitcher in the rotation. He pitches Thursday against the Royals, but also beat Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in his last start. Daniels did make it clear that Holland is only a candidate for the rotation and not likely to be called up to pitch in relief. "We want to keep him stretched out and starting," Daniels said.
Rangers have plan for Scheppers at Oklahoma City
OAKLAND -- Pitcher Tanner Scheppers made his debut at Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, pitching two innings and allowing one run on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts.Scheppers, the 44th overall pick in the June First-Year Player Draft last year, was promoted from Double-A Frisco, where he pitched 11 innings and allowed one run on three hits, no walks and 19 strikeouts. "He wasn't getting challenged at Frisco," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We want to force him to pitch more and get the ball down." The Rangers also want to build up Scheppers' innings at Oklahoma City. The plan is for him to pitch two innings a couple of times a week, three innings a couple of times a week and then four innings. That would put him in a position to move to the rotation at some point. "That's basically the thinking, building him up to starting," Daniels said. "That's what we're working for, but we reserve the right to adjust based on what's going on and our need up here."
Washington reconsiders decision
OAKLAND -- Manager Ron Washington admitted on Wednesday morning he was having second thoughts about having Julio Borbon swing away in the ninth inning on Tuesday night.The Rangers trailed 7-6 going into the ninth with closer Andrew Bailey on the mound for the Athletics. The Rangers had Craig Gentry at second with nobody out. The count was 1-0 on Borbon. Washington had Borbon swing away rather than try to bunt Gentry to third. Borbon flied to left and Gentry stayed at second. Bailey then ended the game by getting both Elvis Andrus and Michael Young to ground out. Washington noticed that A's second baseman Adam Rosales was holding on Gentry at second, leaving a big hole on the right side. Plus, the third baseman and first baseman were prepared to charge hard. Washington said he wanted to give Borbon one chance to pull the ball through the hole before bunting. "I thought I would give him one hack but it didn't work," Washington said. "Our job is to put those guys in a position to succeed. Maybe he wasn't ready to do that. I should have taken into account the way he's been swinging the bat."
Michael Young's next hit will place him second all-time in Rangers' history. His first-inning single on Tuesday tied him with Rafael Palmeiro at 1,692. Ivan Rodriguez leads with 1,747 hits. ... Rangers infielder Ryan Garko and Minor League infield coordinator Spike Owen have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association 28-man College World Series All-Legends team. Garko played at Stanford and Owen at Texas. ... Vladimir Guerrero's five RBIs on Tuesday gives him 1,336 for his career. In one night, he passed Ron Santo, Duke Snider and Mike Piazza on the all-time list. He is now 82nd, one behind Johnny Bench.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.