09/15/10 11:50 PM ET
Rangers' Young picked for AFL Hall of Fame
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Sharing time keeps Rangers catchers fresh
ARLINGTON -- Bengie Molina was back at catcher on Wednesday after Matt Treanor started three straight games.Manager Ron Washington said he is planning on Molina catching the next three games: Wednesday night against the Tigers and then Friday and Saturday against the Mariners. After that, Treanor is expected back in the lineup for two to three games. The two continue to share the catching duties. Going into Wednesday night's game, the Rangers had played 21 games since Treanor came off the disabled list on Aug. 23. In those 21 games, Molina started 11 of them, Treanor started nine and Taylor Teagarden one. Washington declines to say who is his No. 1 catcher. "I've got two pretty good veterans," Washington said. "For the rest of the season, I'm going to keep the rotation I've got going. It's good because you save wear and tear on their bodies and keep them fresh." The Rangers are also going to the playoffs. At that point, it may become more obvious who will be the No. 1 catcher. But Washington isn't going there yet. "We as a group will decide what's best for that position on a given day," Washington said. "They are both quality catchers. The last thing I'm going to do is pit them against each other. We feel good when either one of them is back there." The primary job for the Rangers' catchers is working with their pitchers, and that part has gone well. The Rangers went into Wednesday's game with the sixth-lowest team ERA (3.96) in the American League. In other measurable defensive categories, Rangers catchers are tied for the fourth-fewest passed balls in the league and they have thrown at 21.1 percent of attempted basestealers, seventh best. Rangers pitchers are also tied for the sixth-fewest number of wild pitches. Offensively, Rangers catchers are hitting .206, second lowest in the league. The Mariners are hitting .193. Rangers catchers also have the third-lowest on-base percentage (.284) and fourth-lowest slugging percentage (.319) as a group.
Closer Feliz pushes for rookie mark, award
ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz was back in uniform on Wednesday, one day after missing Tuesday's game because his wife Karina gave birth to daughter Nerali Lucia. Feliz said mother and daughter are doing well.Feliz's return put the two leading candidates for American League Rookie of the Year in uniform at the Ballpark in Arlington on Wednesday. The award is likely going to come down to Feliz and Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson. "I will just put up my numbers," Feliz said. "That's not my decision, it's up to whoever has the responsibility. I'll put up my numbers and let somebody else decide." Feliz went into Wednesday's game with 36 saves, one short of the record for most by a rookie. Kazuhiro Sasaki, who had spent 10 years pitching in Japan's professional league before coming to the United States, set the record with 37 saves for the Mariners in 2000. Feliz is also 3-3 with a 3.05 ERA and opponents are hitting .185 off him, but the numbers aren't that relevant. It all comes down whether voters choose a reliever or a position player. Jackson went into Wednesday's game hitting .302 with 94 runs scored, 31 doubles, 10 triples, three home runs, 32 RBIs and 22 stolen bases for the Tigers. "That would be something very big for me," Feliz said. "I'm just trying to help my team win games. I didn't even dream about it but if I win I'd be very happy."
MRI shows improvement for Francisco
ARLINGTON -- The result of Rangers reliever Frank Francisco's MRI revealed that he is showing some improvement in the strained muscle in his right rib cage.Francisco is going on the Rangers' road trip and is hoping to be able resume a throwing program on Monday. That would give him two weeks to get ready for the playoffs, and that might be pushing it. "I don't know ... maybe," Francisco said. "It will depend on how things go. We're going day-by-day." Francisco is 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA as the Rangers' eighth-inning setup reliever. He appeared in 56 games before going on the disabled list Aug. 28.
Top '10 picks on instructional league roster
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are bringing 35 pitchers, six catchers, 15 infielders and 11 outfielders to instructional league.
Among the players outfielder Jake Skole, catcher Kellin Deglan and pitcher Luke Jackson, top picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
The first workout is on Thursday at the Rangers' Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz.
Josh Hamilton (bruised rib-cage muscle) went through his usual rehabilitation and therapy but there was little else in the way of improvement in his situation. ... Ian Kinsler has officially appealed his one-game suspension, but there has been no ruling handed down yet. Kinsler expressed hope that the suspension would be dropped, but that decision has not been made. ... Dustin Nippert was just the fourth Major League reliever this season to get a victory by going 4 1/3 innings in relief on Tuesday. ... Vladimir Guerrero, going into Wednesday's game, leads the Major Leagues with 49 two-out RBIs and is second with 30 go-head RBIs. ... The Rangers' bullpen went into Wednesday's game with a 3.27 ERA, lowest in the American League.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.