04/13/2013 8:18 PM ET
Garcia get first start as Washington switches lineup
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- With left-hander Joe Saunders pitching for the Mariners, manager Ron Washington switched his lineup on Saturday. Lance Berkman and Mitch Moreland were given the night off, while Jeff Baker started at first base, Elvis Andrus was used at designated hitter and Leury Garcia made his first Major League start. He was at shortstop.
"With the left-hander going, I wanted to get a couple more [right-handed hitters] in there," Washington said. The manager added that Berkman was available to pinch-hit.
Washington also moved A.J. Pierzynski into the No. 5 spot in the lineup, with David Murphy dropping to No. 7. Pierzynski went into the game hitting .382 with two home runs in 10 games, while Murphy was hitting .167. Murphy has a career .230 batting average and .389 slugging percentage in April, well below his overall career .283 batting average and .451 slugging percentage.
"Regardless of how I start, I feel like I'm always trying to find my feel in April," Murphy said. "This is no different. I don't feel terrible, but I don't feel great either. I've hit a lot of balls hard at some people and that can make a difference in a small sample. But I'm having one or two good at-bats in a game rather than three or four and that's what I'm looking for."
Rangers looking to trade Borbon
SEATTLE -- The Rangers are growing confident they can find a trade partner for outfielder Julio Borbon, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday. The Rangers have 10 days to trade him or put him on waivers. He has to clear waivers before Texas can send him to Triple-A Round Rock.
A Major League source said it's "very unlikely" that Borbon gets to outright waivers, although the Rangers aren't expecting a big return for him. One source said the Rangers might be able to get a reliever who could be a Major League option at some point this season.
The Astros, Twins and Mets are among the teams that appear to need an outfielder, and the Rays scouted Borbon during Spring Training. The Mariners are also being stretched thin with Michael Saunders and Mike Morse going down with injuries this week. If the Rangers aren't able to trade for him, they expect Borbon to be claimed on waivers.
Borbon was the Rangers' center fielder on Opening Day in 2010-11. He spent all of '12 in Triple-A, then made the Opening Day roster this season because the Rangers didn't have to add fifth starter Nick Tepesch until nine days into the season. Borbon is a career .283 hitter in 216 Major League games with a .324 on-base percentage and a .358 slugging percentage. He also has 40 career stolen bases.
Yu pushed back to avoid chilly Chicago
SEATTLE -- The Rangers have pushed back Yu Darvish in the rotation to avoid having him pitch in Chicago during the three-game series that starts on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. Texas' starters against the Cubs will be Derek Holland, Justin Grimm and Alexi Ogando.
Darvish's next start is scheduled for Friday against the Mariners at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The forecast for the three games in Chicago calls for cold temperatures and potential rain. The Rangers did not want Darvish pitching in that environment. He has been dealing with a blister on his right ring finger and has occasionally been prone to stiffness in his neck.
"All of that comes into play," manager Ron Washington said. "Especially with [Matt Harrison] down, we've got to make sure we keep him right."
Darvish is healthy and said his finger did not bother him during Friday's start against the Mariners. But Darvish said after that 3-1 loss that he is "not right" and needs to make an adjustment before his next start. His biggest problem is his fastball command.
Darvish allowed three runs in the first but then pitched five scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Darvish is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA after three starts.
"He has been pitching fine for me," Washington said. "I'd like to be not right and pitch the way he has. Look out for the rest of the league when he is right. He knows himself better than I do, but I'll take him not right the way he has been pitching. He'll get into a part of the season where things will fall into place. He's pitched just three games."
Rangers likely to miss Cubs' Feldman, M's Felix
SEATTLE -- The Rangers are expected to miss Cubs right-hander Scott Feldman and Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in their upcoming series next week.
Feldman was scheduled to pitch against the Rangers and his former teammates on Wednesday during the three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. But Feldman is dealing with some stiffness in his lower back, and the Cubs are planning to skip him in the rotation. Their scheduled starters are left-hander Travis Wood on Tuesday, right-hander Carlos Villanueva on Wednesday and right-hander Jeff Samardzija on Thursday.
The Rangers then return home for a three-game series against the Mariners. Hernandez is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the Tigers so he'll likely not pitch against the Rangers unless the Mariners adjust their rotation. Right now the Rangers are in line to face left-hander Joe Saunders and right-handers Brandon Maurer and Aaron Harang.
The Rangers may also miss C.J. Wilson when they visit Anaheim on April 22-24, although the Angels' rotation is in flux due to Jered Weaver going on the disabled list with a broken left elbow. Wilson is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Astros, and if the Angels stay in line, his next start would be Saturday against the Twins. That would mean he would miss a three-game series against the Rangers that starts the following Monday.
The exception would be if the Angels used a day off on Monday to move Wilson up in the rotation and pitch him Friday against the Twins. That would put him in line to face the Rangers in the third game in Anaheim.
• Ian Kinsler, going into Saturday's game, has hit 32 home runs in his career in April, third most in club history. Rafael Palmeiro hit 43 in the month and Juan Gonzalez hit 40. Kinsler has also hit 21 of his career 147 home runs within the first 11 games to the start of a season.
• Darvish gave up a pair of two-strike hits to Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez on Friday night. In his first two starts, opponents were 0-for-23 with 20 strikeouts when Darvish had two strikes on them.
• Triple-A Round Rock infielder Jurickson Profar was out of the lineup for a third straight game with some soreness in his left side. He remains day to day.
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.