04/16/2013 11:45 PM ET
Rangers give Murphy first night off of season
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Outfielder David Murphy, who was hitting .160 going into Tuesday's game, was out of the Rangers' lineup for the first time this season. With left-hander Travis Wood on the mound for the Cubs, Jeff Baker made his first start in left field for Texas.
"I'm trying to get everybody a break," manager Ron Washington said.
Adrian Beltre is the only Rangers player to start in the field for all 14 games. Nelson Cruz has started every game, but was used once at designated hitter. There is no DH in the National League park so Murphy got the day off.
"We obviously had a day off [on Monday], so physically I don't need it and I don't want a day off," Murphy said. "But I can see where it would be beneficial, so I'll use it to take a mental break and be ready to play late in the game and be ready to play tomorrow."
Lance Berkman was also out of the lineup against the Cubs, so Beltre hit in the third spot and Cruz batted cleanup. Cruz has a career OPS of .777 in the cleanup spot. He has an .809 OPS batting fifth, an .847 OPS batting sixth and a .928 OPS in the seventh spot. Those are the four spots where he has at least 150 at-bats during his career.
"The only thing that matters to me is to be in the lineup," Cruz said. "What the manager thinks is the best spot to help the team win, that's where I want to be. They are going to pitch me the same no matter where I'm going to be."
Borbon draws interest; Texas wants pitcher
CHICAGO -- The Rangers are asking for pitching in return for outfielder Julio Borbon, who was designated for assignment last week. Texas is having active trade discussions with other teams, and the Orioles, Astros and the Mets are among those who are interested. The O's are looking for outfield help, and the Rangers have made multiple deals with them in the past few years.
The Rangers want a pitcher with options, meaning somebody who can be brought up to the Major Leagues in an emergency and then sent back to the Minors without having to clear waivers.
The Rangers have until 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday to complete a trade. If not, Borbon has to be placed on outright waivers and can be claimed by another team.
Right now, if Texas had a need for a reliever, the leading candidate to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock would be Cory Burns. Josh Lindblom is another strong possibility, but the Rangers are trying him out as a starter at Round Rock.
While the Rangers are looking for pitching, they also gave one away on Tuesday, sending left-hander Jeff Beliveau to the Rays for cash considerations. Beliveau was designated for assignment last week after the Rangers acquired catcher Robinson Chirinos from the Rays.
Washington, Lowe share Boston thoughts
CHICAGO -- The Rangers had an off-day in Boston last year on the day of the Boston Marathon. The team hotel is a part of Copley Square, so manager Ron Washington wandered down to Boylston to experience the Marathon.
Washington watched from a spot approximately 200 yards from the finish line. That's where two bombs exploded on Monday during this year's running of the Marathon.
"I was right there by the entrance to the mall," Washington said. "I always wander down there, just hang out right there. I don't know how people can take out innocent people. ... I mean innocent people. What message does that send?"
Derek Lowe pitched for the Red Sox from 1997-2004, and said the images from Monday's tragedy hit home.
"You can physically put yourself there. ... I know exactly where that was," Lowe said. "I know how important that day is to the city. You play at 11 o'clock in the morning, people go out and watch the end of the Marathon and either the Bruins or the Celtics play that night. It's normally a joyful time. A lot of my friends go watch the Marathon. It's always a sad situation when things like this happen. It's still going to be a great day for the city."
The Marathon is always held on the Massachusetts holiday of Patriots' Day, celebrating the 1775 victory by the Minuteman over the British at Lexington and Concord.
"It's always a unique day, but it's one of the days you get excited for because there is such a buzz, so many people in one area," Lowe said. "You know it's going to be hectic and traffic, but you look forward to it because there is such a buzz."
Washington eager to catch '42'
CHICAGO -- Manager Ron Washington had a day off on Monday. He was hoping to see "42," the new movie about Jackie Robinson, but other business called.
"I really want to see the movie," Washington said. "I was busy yesterday and didn't get a chance. I would have liked to have seen it but it wasn't a good day. If nothing else, I can see it when it comes out on DVD, unless there is a chance before then."
Major League managers stay busy during a 162-game season, even on days when their team is off. There are phone calls with the front office and meetings with his coaches. But seeing "42" is high on Washington's to-do list, even if he couldn't see it on the official Jackie Robinson Day being celebrated around Major League Baseball on Monday.
"We all know what Jackie Robinson means," Washington said Tuesday. "I've heard it's a really good movie. I'm looking forward to seeing it."
The Rangers wore their No. 42 jerseys Tuesday night in honor of Jackie Robinson. The Rangers improved to 4-1 when wearing the No. 42 jersey. It was also the jersey that Ian Kinsler wore in 2009 when he hit for the cycle. The last Rangers player to wear non-honorary No. 42 was outfielder Marc Sagmoen in 1997.
Lewis, Soria 'progressing on schedule'
CHICAGO -- Assistant general manager Thad Levine said the Rangers pitchers still in Arizona on rehabilitation programs are "progressing on schedule."
Colby Lewis, who had surgery on July 27 to repair a torn flexor tendon, and Joakim Soria, who had Tommy John surgery on April 3, 2012, are both throwing 30-pitch live batting-practice sessions. The next step for both is pitching in an extended spring training game, but no date has been set.
Martin Perez, who suffered a broken left arm on March 4, is throwing off a mound in the bullpen, but has not yet progressed to live batting practice. Kyle McClellan, who strained a ribcage muscle in Spring Training, is still limited to long toss.
Neftali Feliz, who had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 1, is also throwing long toss. He has been stretched out to 105 feet, but is not ready to throw off a mound.
Levine said that Matt Harrison, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his back, has not yet resumed throwing.
• Class A Hickory infielder Joey Gallo hit another home run on Monday, and has four in his last eight games.
• Washington said Berkman is available to pinch-hit, but the manager is still concerned about his knees in the cold weather. Said Washington, "If he can't get loose, I'm not going to send him out there."
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.