08/18/12 2:14 PM ET
Andrus gets a breather against Blue Jays
By Chris Toman / MLB.com
Andrus had played in 47 of the team's past 48 games, and Washington felt it was time to give him a little breather. He originally intended to sit him during Texas' last series in New York, but Andrus objected.
"When I mentioned it to him in New York, he was ready to box," Washington joked.
Andrus took the news better this time and was informed after the Rangers' 3-2 loss to Toronto on Friday that he was getting a day off. He will be back in Texas' lineup Sunday.
Last season, Washington said the grueling 162-game schedule took a noticeable toll on Andrus, particularly on the defensive end. But this year, he doesn't have those same concerns and considers it proof that Andrus has grown into a more mature player.
"He's learned how to deal with a little bit of fatigue and play through it," Washington said.
"He's only human, so he will make some errors. But you don't see him making them because he's tired or he's trying to do something that shouldn't be done. He just makes them because he is human."
Taking Andrus' place at shortstop was utility man Michael Young, who batted second, which is Andrus' normal spot in the order.
It was just the second start that Young has made at short this season. The 34-year-old has mainly been used as the team's designated hitter and has also seen time at first, second and third base.
The 35-year-old Young has struggled at the plate this year, entering Saturday's contest batting .270 with a .644 OPS, his lowest marks since the 2002 season. But Washington thinks a breakout for the seven-time All-Star is right around the corner.
"I still believe he's about to pick us up any time," Washington said. "There's a spurt in him."
Dempster to start Monday against Orioles
TORONTO -- Ryan Dempster, who didn't make his scheduled start Saturday against the Blue Jays due to personal reasons, will make his next start Monday against the Orioles.
According to multiple media accounts, Dempster missed Saturday's game because he didn't have a passport. The Rangers, who have not confirmed those reports, announced on Friday that Dempster had been placed on the restricted list due to personal reasons.
As a result, the Rangers have made some tweaks to their rotation for the upcoming week.
Right-hander Scott Feldman was supposed to start Monday, but he will be pushed back a day, as will lefty Derek Holland and Yu Darvish. The only starter who will pitch on normal rest for the week ahead is All-Star Matt Harrison, who gets the ball for Sunday's series finale in Toronto.
Manager Ron Washington said pitching coach Mike Maddux came up with a number of different scenarios, but ultimately felt it was best to give a few of his starters an extra day of rest.
One option included skipping Dempster entirely.
"We decided to stay in line and just give everybody a day," Washington said.
Taking Dempster's spot Saturday was veteran Roy Oswalt, who Washington said would be limited to roughly 75 pitches.
"He will let us know how far he can go," Washington said. "I'm hoping he can at least get through five [innings]. Get through five, we can manage the last four. If it's less than five, it will be rough."
Washington said everybody was available in the bullpen, which was likely to see plenty of action Saturday.
Martinez gets second start behind the plate
TORONTO -- Luis Martinez started behind the plate for just the second time this season for the Rangers' contest against the Blue Jays on Saturday.
The 27-year-old, who was called up after Mike Napoli was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quad, is giving incumbent starting catcher Geovany Soto a day off.
Washington believes catching is one area where the Rangers could receive better production, as Napoli has had a down year after a career 2011 season and Soto has struggled, especially since coming to the American League.
In 11 games since joining the Rangers, Soto was batting just .175 with a .233 on-base percentage and a .275 slugging percentage.
As a whole, Texas catchers are hovering around the league average mark, which is .243/.310/.400.
Washington said it's a difficult position to pinch-hit for, so he will have to live with the production he is getting for now.
The problem with pinch-hitting for a catcher, according to Washington, is that if his replacement gets injured, it can be detrimental to the team because he would have to turn to someone inexperienced.
Getting Napoli back, who is hitting .223 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs, will be key.
That may not happen until September, as the club plans to take it slow with him, but Washington is encouraged by Napoli's progress.
"He's been doing a lot of squats out there with medicine balls trying to strengthen [the quad]," Washington said. "He looks different in batting practice, so his body must be feeling better. Not that he ever made that an excuse. He's working."
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.