09/16/12 9:29 PM ET
Bullpen nearing full strength for road trip
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
Closer Joe Nathan was available Sunday, though he said before the game that he got the sense manager Ron Washington would like to give him two more days of rest, if possible, with Monday being an off-day. Nathan has been dealing with a "dead arm" period and hasn't pitched since blowing a save Thursday against Cleveland.
"They seem to like to do that around here," Nathan said of easing players back into action.
Setup man Mike Adams, dealing with a tight trapezius muscle, was not available Sunday but should be ready to go Tuesday against the Angels. Adams hasn't pitched since Tuesday. Left-handed reliever Robbie Ross (left forearm strain) was ready to go Sunday after a 30-pitch bullpen session on Friday.
Koji Uehara, Michael Kirkman and Alexei Ogando all were ready to go despite heavy use in the last few days with Nathan and Adams out.
Washington changes course, adds Perez to rotation
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will go with a rookie in the fifth spot in the rotation to close out the season and with the American League West title very much up for grabs.
Left-hander Martin Perez will start Friday in Seattle, manager Ron Washington said after the Rangers beat the Mariners, 2-1, on Sunday. Perez threw no-hit relief for 4 1/3 innings Saturday as the Rangers almost rallied from a 6-0 deficit. It will be Perez's fourth start of the season.
"He's been very aggressive, he's been keeping the ball down and he's been showing tremendous improvement," Washington said. "He's a very good competitor. We're going to give him an opportunity to take a few starts the rest of the way." Perez said after Sunday's game that he's thankful for the opportunity and that's he's ready.
"I just want to prepare myself well in the bullpen for the start," Perez said through an interpreter.
Scott Feldman allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings in Saturday's 8-6 loss. He has five losses and two no-decisions in his past seven starts, during which the Rangers are 1-6. He said he's disappointed but understands and will do whatever it takes to the help the club win. Feldman filled a key role in the bullpen during last year's postseason run.
"Last year I did this and had success, so I'm going to try and look at it like that," he said.
Rangers call up Font, Grimm for added relief
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers recalled right-handed pitchers Wilmer Font and Justin Grimm from Double-A Frisco and both were activated Sunday to give the club more depth in the bullpen.
Frisco's season ended Saturday night with a Game 4 loss to Springfield in the Texas League championship series.
Font had a 3.00 ERA in 10 relief outings in Frisco. Reports are good on his velocity, and he's throwing strikes and has an improved changeup. Plus he's in better condition since Spring Training, when he was coming off of Tommy John surgery.
"The season has done him well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He looks good. We'll start him out in a non-taxing situation and just ask him to get outs."
Grimm made his Major League debut with the Rangers earlier this season -- he made three starts. He had a 2.81 ERA with Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. Grimm will be used for multiple innings if needed out of the bullpen.
Both pitchers are on the Rangers' 40-man roster.
'O Soto mio? Geovany a catcher and a crooner
ARLINGTON -- Catcher Geovany Soto's arrival in Texas has brought with it some light-hearted moments and some good laughs when he comes out to the mound during an inning to talk with a pitcher.
One of them came recently with Ryan Dempster, his longtime teammate with the Cubs. Both were dealt to the Rangers at the Trade Deadline.
Dempster said Sunday that Soto came out to the mound with a bases-loaded situation and ...
"He was singing, 'We're the two best friends that anyone could be,' " Dempster said. The song had been made popular by the hit comedy movie "The Hangover."
Catcher Mike Napoli said he felt good after Saturday's return from a month off with a quad injury. He hit a three-run home run and moved around well behind the plate, and drew another start Sunday with Matt Harrison pitching.
The Rangers, who set a club record on Thursday going over 3 million in attendance, added their 50th home date of 40,000 or more fans Saturday. It was the club's 33rd sellout of the season.
Double-A Frisco's season is over after a 2-1 loss to Springfield in Game 4 of the Texas League championship series on Saturday. The RoughRiders lost the series, 3-1.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.