05/06/11 9:08 PM ET
Pain-free, Hamilton could return in 2-3 weeks
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
The Rangers' offense could use the boost from the 2010 American League Most Valuable Player, who has been out since April 13 with a non-displaced fractured right humerus bone.
"Each day I come back, I want to be sore from doing exercises and things like that with no pain [in the arm], and that's what it's been so far," Hamilton said. "I've been throwing to bases. I've been running the bases, throwing long toss, swinging the bat."
Hamilton swung with just his backhand off a tee, just his front hand off a tee and did front-toss fungo with both hands. He said the biggest thing is letting the bone heal.
"That's what's holding me back," Hamilton said.
He's running, throwing and hitting without pain.
Hamilton said he was planning on using a regular bat on his final swings Friday, but team doctor Keith Meister said to wait a couple of days.
"Dr. Meister said everything is a pain tolerance -- if it doesn't hurt, do it," Hamilton said.
Rangers expect Ogando to start Sunday
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are still expecting Alexi Ogando's blister on his right index finger to be healed enough to make his start Sunday against the Yankees, but they are making contingency plans just in case.
Closer Neftali Feliz was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, and instead of a pitcher being sent down, catcher Taylor Teagarden was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock so the Rangers can go with an eight-man bullpen.
That would allow the Rangers to use the bullpen to get them through Ogando's start on Sunday if he can't make it.
"If it gets to the point where we're concerned with it, what we have to do is just miss a start," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "An extra five days would probably help."
Ogando didn't throw a scheduled bullpen on Friday, two days after he missed one in Seattle. But Washington said he has been throwing "pitch and catch," just not a normal bullpen session.
"As long as he can keep his arm going and the blister isn't a problem, then he'll start Sunday," Washington said. "If we feel like it's best that we skip him, then we skip him."
Ogando said he has put a fake fingernail on his right index finger. He hasn't pitched with it yet, but he did say it pinches a little bit when he throws.
"I'm not concerned," Ogando said. "I think it will hurt for a day or two, and I'll take the ball and go right back at it."
Rangers reinstate Feliz from disabled list
ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz was back as the Rangers' closer on Friday, and he said he plans to keep it that way.
Feliz was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and said the plan is to keep working the program pitching coach Mike Maddux and team trainers have laid out for him.
"I'm going to focus on maintaining my exercise program, and hopefully it doesn't happen again," said Feliz, who was on the DL with inflammation in his right rotator cuff.
The Rangers have the third-lowest save percentage in the American League heading into Friday night. They have converted 8 of their 13 opportunities, blowing their last two during the recent road trip to Oakland and Seattle.
Actor McConaughey partners with Rangers
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers Baseball Foundation and the "Just Keep Livin" Foundation started by Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves announced a partnership Friday that will create and fund after-school programs at three high schools in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth.
McConaughey's mission is to help teenage kids lead active lives and make healthy choices. He said doing so in his home state was the only way to start what he wants to be a positive change for youth across the country.
"I remember coming home [to Longview, Texas] one Christmas Day at 2 p.m. and there was no one outside playing," McConaughey said. "We were always outside on Christmas. I want kids to get to know their neighbors next door and to be active playing outside."
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz is also assisting the two foundations with funding for the after-school programs.
The after-school programs will be implemented at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Pinkston High School in Dallas and Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School in Fort Worth.
McConaughey threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday night's game against the Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
It's still a wait-and-see deal with outfielder Nelson Cruz, who has been out since Tuesday after leaving the game in Seattle with tightness in his right quadriceps. Manager Ron Washington said he had no plans to play Cruz in Friday's game against the Yankees after traveling late Friday morning from Seattle. Cruz was evaluated Friday by team doctor Keith Meister and said he feels improvement, but the club will have an MRI done on his quad Saturday.
Triple-A Round Rock right-hander Neil Ramirez picked up his third win of the season Thursday, allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against Iowa.
C.J Wilson and Colby Lewis each had at least 10 strikeouts in back-to-back complete games Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, only the second time that has happened in Rangers history. Bobby Witt (10 strikeouts) and Nolan Ryan (13 strikeouts) were the only others to do it in September 1989. Wilson had 12 strikeouts Wednesday, and Lewis had 12 on Thursday.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.