07/27/10 8:18 PM ET
Rangers ink second-round pick Buckel
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
Rangers have decision to make on Harden
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a decision to make.They can stick with Scott Feldman, who is 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in his past six starts, at the back end of their rotation or they can give Rich Harden a chance. Harden impressed in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing no earned runs on two hits and a walk while striking out 10, including eight of the last 10 and the side in the fifth and sixth innings. "He's done what we asked him to do, so now we just have a decision to make," manager Ron Washington said. "We just haven't made it yet." The Rangers will sit down as a group with Washington, pitching coach Mike Maddux, general manager Jon Daniels and others to decide what they will do next. Most likely, Feldman will pitch Friday against the Angels, and Harden will either go to the bullpen or make one more start on rehab assignment. Harden said he feels he is Major League ready and has been. "I felt good. I felt like everything went well," he said. "I got my offspeed working early. That's been the key." But Harden said he didn't feel like he needed to dominate in the manner he did to have a chance at returning to the rotation. "I'm feeling good," he said. "I certainly don't feel like I needed that result, but it doesn't hurt." Added Washington: "We needed him to show us that he could dominate down in the Minor Leagues. He showed us that. That's a good thing. We just have to get together and decide where to go from here." Harden could start in Feldman's place on Saturday against the Angels and be going on four days' rest. But Washington didn't discuss potential options for Harden, opting instead to wait until he can meet with members of the Rangers' coaching staff. "I don't want to speculate," Washington said. "He's done well, he got back in here today. We're going to talk about it. We'll get together with Rich and let him know what our thinking is. Then we'll decide something." And while Washington didn't say Harden's return to the rotation was imminent, he didn't rule him out for starting Saturday either. "Anything is possible, but we haven't talked about it yet," Washington said. "I don't really have a concrete answer and I certainly don't want to speculate and be totally wrong."
Borbon returns to Rangers' lineup
ARLINGTON -- Rangers center fielder Julio Borbon was back in the lineup Tuesday against the A's, his first action in three games."It probably did me some good as far as recovery," Borbon said of his three days off. "There was a point earlier in the summer where I was a little banged up. But I'm back to being fully recovered and I'm ready to go." Taking his place over the final two games against the Angels was David Murphy, who has primarily been playing against left-handed pitching. But Tuesday, Borbon received the start against the left-handed Gio Gonzalez. "It's always good to be able to participate somehow," Borbon said. "Whether it's me or Murphy or whoever is in the lineup, it's going to be the best thing for the team that day." Added manager Ron Washington: "There'll be some [left-handers] I'll let him play against. There will be some I'll want Murphy to handle." Regardless of who starts, Borbon understands Washington's decision as the Rangers try to win an American League West title. "He's going to try and get both of us engaged as much as possible," Borbon said. "That's the right thing to do going toward the end. You never know what is going to happen with injuries. You want to keep getting at-bats at the same place so whenever anything happens, we're both in good shape. It's an understanding thing and it's definitely going to help us going to the end." Borbon's only disappointment in not playing over the last two games against the Angels was missing the chance to experience the environment of the sold-out crowds in attendance. "It was awesome," Borbon said. "Those are the games we're definitely going to be playing in October, so we definitely need to be ready for those. It needs to be something that we've gone through before."
Feliz racking up saves at record pace
ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Neftali Feliz is quietly putting together a season to remember.His 28 saves are the most in the American League, 16 more than the previous Rangers rookie record and only nine shy of matching the all-time Major League rookie record. Additionally, his 19 consecutive saves marks the seventh longest streak in Major League history and third longest by a rookie. "I'm just trying to do my job," Feliz said. "It's something that they've told me, but I just thank God for the ability to stay healthy and do my job." Those numbers will likely give Feliz a chance at the AL Rookie of the Year Award, something he says he'd certainly be glad to receive. "I try to win and do my job as a closer," he said. "But there's a chance for that, and I'd be more than happy to receive it." Feliz's calm demeanor late in games may be a big part of his performance this season, as he's been relaxed in even the tightest situations. "That's always been my style," Feliz said. "I've always been calm as a reliever and closer. I feel happy that I'm able to do my job." But despite the mentality he's always carried, he still credits this season as one of his biggest learning experiences. "What I've learned is to be confident in myself and trust myself," he said. "I try to get as many hitters as I can as fast as I can."
Triple-A pitcher Geoff Geary has exercised an out in his contract and has been released. ... Josh Hamilton enters Tuesday's game against the Athletics with a Major League-high .357 average, 10 points higher than the next-closest player (Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, .347)... ... Chris Davis has hit in a season-high four straight games and is 4-for-11 during that span to bring his average back to .200.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.