04/17/11 6:41 PM ET
Webb open to bullpen role with Rangers
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Lewis' impending return will force roster move
NEW YORK -- Colby Lewis returns from paternity leave on Monday, and the Rangers will have to make a roster move. Michael Kirkman was called up on Friday to replace Lewis, but may not be the one going back to Triple-A.The Rangers could send Mark Lowe down instead. Lowe has allowed four runs on seven hits in his last 3 1/3 innings. General manager Jon Daniels declined to discuss the options, but he did admit it's not automatic that Kirkman will be sent down. "We'll sit down and discuss it," Daniels said. When Lewis returns, the Rangers will have five starters and eight relievers. They might drop a reliever and add an extra position player, but they don't seem to be in any hurry right now. Backup infielder Andres Blanco has played in just two games and Chris Davis has yet to be in a game since being called up on Friday.
Napoli set to start at backstop on Monday
NEW YORK -- Mike Napoli will be behind the plate for the Rangers on Monday, when they face the Angels -- Napoli's former team -- at Ballpark in Arlington. It's the first regular-season game for Napoli against the Angels."It's his turn to catch," manager Ron Washington said. Napoli started at first base on Sunday for the fourth time. Monday will be his fourth start at catcher. At that point, Napoli will have played in half of the Rangers' first 16 games. Washington would like to increase the number of games Napoli catches as the season goes along, mainly to keep Yorvit Torrealba productive through the hot Texas summer. "I haven't really put a number on it," Washington said. "My intention is to try and get him back-to-back days when I do play him. I have no plans to wear Yorvit Torrealba down. I don't think Yorvit knows what that heat in Texas is like. "I'm in a good spot having two quality catchers. As we get deeper into the season, I'm going to get more repetitions out of Napoli. I'm working this the best I can." Napoli spent the last five years with the Angels splitting time at catcher with Jeff Mathis before moving to first base last season on May 30, when Kendrys Morales broke his ankle. Napoli started 67 games at first base. This is the first time he has been switched back and forth between catcher and first base. "It has been kind of tough, but I go catch [other pitchers] in the bullpen to try and stay fresh, and I take as many ground balls at first base as I can," Napoli said. "I'm sure everybody comes to the ballpark wanting to play every day. But I see my role. When I get in there, I'm prepared to play. When I'm not, I do the things I need to do to stay fresh."
Round Rock's Scheppers lands on disabled list
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have placed pitcher Tanner Scheppers on the disabled list at Triple-A Round Rock with stiffness in his lower back.
Scheppers has had the problem since the beginning of Spring Training, and he had to come out of Saturday night's game against New Orleans. Scheppers, ranked 43rd on the MLB.com list of top 50 prospects, worked two innings Saturday and allowed three runs on four hits and no walks with three strikeouts.
"After yesterday's outing, he still felt some issues in his back," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "Rather than have him continuing to throw, we're going to take a step back and invest in a core-strengthening and flexibility routine so when he comes back, he doesn't have these maintenance issues.
"We've talked about sending him to Arizona and work on his core-strengthening routine there. There is nothing structural wrong, just a recurrence of some stiffness. We're not comfortable having him pitch through it -- we want to knock this out once and for all."
Eric Hurley is coming off the disabled list for Round Rock on Monday after being sidelined for a week with a viral infection.
The Rangers will likely delay announcing the signing of Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin. He is still being processed through the customs and immigration, and it could be beyond this week before he is ready to play for the Rangers. Outfielder Joey Butler is 3-for-14 in three games with Round Rock since being promoted from Double-A Frisco. He was promoted when Chris Davis was called to the big leagues to replace Josh Hamilton. The Rangers have moved pitcher Ramon Aguero from Round Rock to Frisco. Aguero was recently claimed on waivers from the Pirates and has not allowed a run in three games -- two in Round Rock and one in Frisco. He has allowed just one hit, but walked four. Aguero is in the same bullpen with right-hander Fabio Castillo, who allowed five runs in one-third of an inning on Thursday. That was Aguero's first outing after being activated off the disabled list. He is on the 40-man roster, but missed most of Spring Training with a stress fracture in his left foot.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.