07/19/10 9:13 PM ET
Washington ejected for fourth time in '10
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
O'Day using crafty approach to get ahead
DETROIT -- Darren O'Day goes into Monday's game having not allowed a run in his last 17 1/3 innings over 19 appearances.That's the second longest active streak in the Majors -- J.J. Putz of the White Sox has a 24 2/3 innings scoreless streak -- and has lowered his ERA to 1.42, the fifth lowest in the league. Not bad for a pitcher who throws sidearm and is the only hurler in the Rangers' bullpen who can't hit at least 93 mph on the radar gun. O'Day topped out at 89 in his last appearance in Boston on Sunday. "I think I make a lot of softball players proud," O'Day said before Monday's game with the Tigers. "At least that's what the fans in Boston told me. But we have quite a talented bullpen and everybody has a great arm down there. "I'm probably one of the five slowest guys in the league, but that's how it's always been. People may think it's a gimmick, but it's always worked for me. It's done out of necessity, I don't throw 94 like the other guys. You have to figure out some way around it." O'Day may not be overpowering, but opponents are hitting just .198 off him and his 0.89 WHIP is the second lowest among Rangers relievers to Darren Oliver's 0.85. O'Day also strikes out 6.15 batters per nine innings. He's primarily a ground-ball pitcher, but is not afraid of bringing high heat when opponents are looking for something around the knees. "That's what's made me a better pitcher: being able to throw up and down in the strike zone," O'Day said. "People don't expect a guy who throws from around the knees or the waist to come up in the zone. You've got to control the dimension of strike zone. If you throw 98, you can get some of the plate, but I have to work the fringes and keep them guessing."
Scheppers moving to 'pen at Oklahoma City
DETROIT -- The Rangers are moving right-handed pitcher Tanner Scheppers back to the bullpen at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Scheppers, the 44th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, is in his first professional season and the Rangers are closely monitoring his innings. But this could also put him in position to join the Rangers as a reliever if the need arises.Scheppers, who represented the Rangers at last week's All-Star Futures Game in Anaheim, is now up to 54 2/3 innings after making six straight starts for the RedHawks. He started the season in the bullpen and had a 1.89 ERA in eight relief appearances. He had a 5.84 ERA in six starts while working hard on developing his changeup as a third pitch. "This is an opportunity for him to pitch in short stints out the bullpen," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We're trying to line up some options down the road and make sure our depth is strong for our Major League team. He could be a possible shot in the arm for our club at some point this year." That need is not there now. Manager Ron Washington said he is quite happy with his bullpen as it stands right now. Dustin Nippert has pitched just three times in relief since his last spot start against Pittsburgh on June 23, but Washington said that's not an indictment on his performance. "We just haven't had an opportunity to use him," Washington said. "He's our long man. We've got him and we believe in him. We just haven't had a need for a long man." Levine said the Rangers still view Scheppers as a starting pitcher in the long term.
Cruz starting to heat up again
DETROIT -- Nelson Cruz, who has suffered two setbacks this year because of trips to the disabled list is starting to heat up again. Cruz had four multi-hit games in Boston and took a seven-game hitting streak into Monday's game with the Tigers.During the streak, Cruz is 12-for-28 with four doubles and seven RBIs. Manager Ron Washington said Cruz benefited greatly from the All-Star break. "It looks like maybe he needed a break," Washington said. "His swing is back, he's waiting on the ball and he's not chasing. His rhythm is good. Because all of that is right, he's producing again. Now we've got to keep him healthy." Cruz was on the disabled list from April 27 to May 13 with a strained right hamstring and May 29 to June 21 with a torn left hamstring. But they are no longer an issue. "Ever since I came back from the disabled list, my hamstrings have been good," Cruz said. "My body feels good."
Molina says tight quad muscle feeling better
DETROIT -- Catcher Bengie Molina, who was named American League Player of the Week on Monday, was out of the lineup for the second straight game, but that is by design. Manager Ron Washington wanted to give Matt Treanor two straight starts behind the plate.Molina, who didn't play on Sunday, was bothered by some tightness in his right quadriceps muscle in Boston, but he said that's pretty much gone. "I've done it before, so I knew what it was and it's gone away," Molina said. "A couple of days of rest helped it." Molina also had the top of his shin guard altered at the point where it was pressing into the quad muscle above the knee. Molina had a small half-arc cut out from the top, allowing the shin guard to fit more comfortably wrapped around the muscle rather than pressing on it.
Infielder Esteban German has been placed on the disabled list at Oklahoma City with a strained hamstring. ... Elvis Andrus had a three-hit game on Sunday to snap an 0-for-26 slump. The only other player in the past four years to snap an 0-for-25 or worse slump with a three-hit game was Tigers catcher Gerald Laird. He did so on May 16, 2009. ... Of the top 25 American League pitchers in ERA, the Rangers have faced 17 of them this season and have at least one victory against 13 of them.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.