04/29/11 8:56 PM ET
Washington back in old stomping ground
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Reliever Miller joins Rangers organization
OAKLAND -- The Rangers, trying to overcome the significant number of injuries that have hit their pitching staff, have signed reliever Justin Miller to a Triple-A contract. He will join Triple-A Round Rock on Monday.Miller had a 1.04 ERA in six games with Triple-A Tacoma in the Mariners' farm system before exercising an out clause in his contract and becoming a free agent. The Rangers have called up four different relievers from Round Rock since April 15, leaving the Express hurting in the bullpen. "He's a veteran strike-thrower with good makeup and a good sinker," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Plus, it's a nice bonus that he's not hurt." Miller has spent all or parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Blue Jays, Marlins, Giants and Dodgers. He had a 4.44 ERA in 19 relief appearances with the Dodgers last season. From 2007-09, he appeared in 152 games for the Marlins and Giants, and was 12-5 with a 3.65 ERA. In 165 innings, opponents batted .246 off him while he walked 71 and struck out 153. He finished the 2009 season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.
Rangers make noise on the basepaths
OAKLAND -- The Rangers stole five bases on Thursday, including three by Elvis Andrus, in a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays. That's the most the Rangers have stolen in a game since they swiped nine against the Red Sox on April 20, 2010.That moved the Rangers into a tie for fourth place in the American League with 22 steals. Since Ron Washington became manager in 2007, the Rangers have the fourth-most steals in the American League behind the Rays, Angels and Yankees. Washington said the Rangers haven't stolen that many bases this season because opposing pitchers are throwing over more, stepping off with runners on base and using the slide-step in their delivery to the plate. "You can't force it," Washington said. "But when they're doing that, we're doing our job because their focus is divided. It's not always about getting the bag, it's also what you do to help the guy at the plate by separating the pitcher's thought process. "Our time will come when we start ripping bags, but I'm glad our guys are seeing it and not forcing it. This year's lesson is be patient and don't force it. We're still doing some crazy things on the basepaths, but we're learning to take what they give us."
Ogando wraps up fantastic first month
OAKLAND -- Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando, who doesn't pitch again until Tuesday against the Mariners, finished April with a record of 3-0 and a 2.30 ERA. That's tied for the 14th-lowest ERA for March-April in club history. It is the fifth lowest since 1990.The lowest ever was by Rick Honeycutt, who was 3-1 with a 0.72 ERA in five starts in March-April of 1983. The last Rangers pitcher to have an ERA better than Ogando in the opening month was Kevin Millwood at 2.13 in 2009. Ogando has held opponents to a .171 batting average, the third lowest by a Rangers pitcher for the opening month. Nolan Ryan had a .158 opposing batting average in April 1989 and Jose Guzman had a .159 OBA in 1989. Ogando's 8.33 baserunners per nine innings is the fourth best, and he is the 18th Rangers pitcher to go undefeated in the first month with at least three wins. Bobby Witt (1997), Aaron Sele (1998) and Rick Helling (1998) are the only Rangers pitchers to ever go 5-0 in April.
Feldman pitches three shutout innings in Arizona
OAKLAND -- Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman, on the disabled list while recovering from November knee surgery, pitched three scoreless innings in an extended spring training game against the Royals on Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.Feldman threw 39 pitches, including 26 for strikes. He allowed one hit and a walk while striking out three. He is scheduled to throw four innings in an extended spring game next Tuesday. Tommy Hunter and Brandon Webb are scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Mariners in extended spring. Webb (shoulder) is down for three innings and Hunter (groin) is scheduled for 2-3 innings.
Neftali Feliz, on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, is traveling with the Rangers, but Josh Hamilton and Mason Tobin are doing their rehab work back in Arlington. Manager Ron Washington turned 59 on Friday. Washington said he would like to see Feliz get at least one inning of work in a Minor League game before he comes off the disabled list next Friday. The Rangers have not made that decision, but still believe Feliz will be ready in the minimum of 15 days.
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.