06/16/10 6:30 PM EST
Nippert, not Harrison, to start Thursday
Rangers go with right-hander vs. righty-heavy Marlins lineup
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Cruz cleared to do rehab work this weekend
MIAMI -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who has been on the disabled list since May 29 with a torn left hamstring, will spend the weekend in Nashville on a medical rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.The Rangers cleared Cruz after a second straight heavy workout at Sun Life Stadium. Cruz once again reported no problems or pain with his hamstring. "It was like [Tuesday], it was good," Cruz said. Cruz will play the outfield on Friday, be used at designated hitter on Saturday and play the outfield again on Sunday. If all goes well, he could be activated on Tuesday when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Pirates at the Ballpark. "We just want him to go out and see live pitching," manager Ron Washington said. Cruz has played in just 32 of the Rangers' first 64 games. He's been on the disabled list twice because of hamstring injuries, but is still hitting .327 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs. He has a .405 on-base percentage and a .729 slugging percentage.
Rangers relievers beat the heat in Miami
MIAMI -- The temperature was 91 degrees at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium. The heat index was 100 degrees.So what were the Rangers' relievers doing running pass routes and throwing a football around in the outfield 3 1/2 hours before their game with the Marlins? "That's our running," veteran reliever Darren Oliver said. "You play out there, you have to run out there. We'll have time to cool down. It's camaraderie ... togetherness." So who is the best receiver out there? "I'll tell you who the most improved player is -- Alexi Ogando," Oliver said. "He just figured it out." And the best quarterback? "Good question," Oliver said. "Not me," said Frank Francisco. "Frankie has the best NFL body ... to be a linebacker," Oliver said. "I'll knock you down," Francisco said. What about Oliver as the quarterback? "Too old," Oliver said. "I'm slow. I can't run. I have slow feet. That's why I'm a pitcher."
Rangers ponder way to use Vlad vs. NL
MIAMI -- Vladimir Guerrero was out of the lineup on Wednesday, as manager Ron Washington stayed with his plan of not using him in the outfield two days in a row. The Rangers are in the middle of a nine-game, three-series stretch on the road against National League teams, and the designated hitter isn't being used.Washington wants to use Guerrero twice in each three-game series, but he doesn't want him playing out there two games in row. So far that has not been a problem. The Rangers were off on Monday, so Guerrero played Tuesday, was off on Wednesday and returns to the outfield on Thursday. The Rangers then open a three-game series with the Astros on Friday. Guerrero will have to play two games in a row if Washington wants to use him twice in that series. Washington will do that, he's just not sure how. The one good thing is the Rangers are off on Monday, so Guerrero will get extra rest no matter how he is used in Houston. "He's going to get two of them," Washington said. "I just have to figure out how to run him out there back-to-back." Guerrero went into Wednesday's game hitting .336 with 14 home runs, while sitting second in the American League with 54 RBIs. "He plays with such reckless abandon. I don't want him running into a wall going after a ball," Washington said. "He's showed if the ball is hit to him, he can catch it. But I don't want him to slip or catch a cleat. I just want him to hit."
The Frisco Roughriders are sending five players to the Texas League All-Star Game. Catcher Taylor Teagarden is one of them. Pitcher Blake Beavan is another. Also going are infielders Matt Lawson and Renny Osuna, and outfielder Joey Butler. ... Alexi Ogando was the first Rangers pitcher to win in his Major League debut since Matt Harrison on July 8, 2008. Ogando is the first reliever to do so since Doug Mathis on May 12, 2008. ... Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez had gone 17 1/3 innings over 18 appearances without walking a batter until walking Julio Borbon with two outs in the ninth on Tuesday. It was Borbon's fourth walk in 192 plate appearances. ... Rangers pitchers have allowed three or less hits in two straight games. The last time that happened was when Ken Hill and Roger Pavlik pitched back-to-back one-hitters on May 3-4, 1996, against the Tigers in Detroit.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.