5/19/2013 1:06 A.M. ET
Burns making bullpen decision harder for Rangers
By Jim Reeves / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Called up as an extra reliever when starter Alexi Ogando was placed on the disabled list, right-hander Cory Burns has given manager Ron Washington something to think about when the team has to send someone out Monday to make room for starter Josh Lindblom, who is coming up from Triple-A Round Rock to start against the A's.
It was assumed that Burns would be sent back out to make room for Lindblom, but after he made scoreless appearances in the first two games against the Tigers, it's not cut and dried that he will be the one sent down.
"It's not cut and dried that he's going to stay either," Washington said.
Burns has been effective against the Tigers' strong right-handed hitters, working 1 2/3 hitless innings in two games.
"We needed him to not let Torii Hunter or [Miguel] Cabrera start something [Friday night] and he didn't," Washington said. "I like what he did."
The Rangers are carrying three left-handers in the bullpen and wouldn't mind having another right-hander around, but Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman and Joseph Ortiz have all pitched well, too.
"We'll make that decision by Monday," Washington said. "When Lindblom comes up, somebody has to go."
Kinsler out of lineup; Murphy hits second
ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler was out of the Rangers' lineup for the second straight game with sore ribs Saturday night and with Elvis Andrus bumped up into the leadoff spot again, manager Ron Washington made the surprising move of inserting struggling left fielder David Murphy into the No. 2 spot in the batting order.
Washington said Kinsler is available to run or play defense but still feels discomfort when he swings the bat.
"He's still a little tender," said Washington, who used Kinsler as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning Friday night. "We'll give him another day and reassess [Sunday]."
Kinsler wasn't in the clubhouse or on the field before the game.
Washington is hoping that Murphy will respond well to a move up in the order. The left fielder has been showing signs of improvement lately by going 11-for-33 (.333) in his last 12 games to lift his average from .168 to .211.
"I just wanted to see if we could get him up there and get him more involved, not sitting around, waiting to go up there and get an at-bat and maybe trying too hard," Washington said.
Murphy, Washington said, is a guess-hitter who's been guessing wrong more often than usual this season.
"Hopefully it'll work, but the bottom line is, David's got to get himself going," Washington cautioned. "If there was anything we could do, we'd have got it done already. This falls in David's hands.
"If we could pinpoint the answer, he wouldn't be going what he's going through. Sometimes players have to figure it out on their own by just being out there, and we're putting him out there."
Murphy went 0-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored in Saturday's 7-2 victory.
Discomfort not something for Ogando to be shy about
ARLINGTON -- Sometimes the language barrier gets in the way but manager Ron Washington says he's pretty sure that Alexi Ogando now understands that it's his responsibility to let someone know if he's having some sort of discomfort, even if he's experienced it before.
Ogando landed on the 15-day disabled list this week with some biceps soreness in his pitching arm that he apparently has from time to time. Now that he's a starter, Washington said, Ogando needs to alert the Rangers the first time he feels anything.
"When you're a reliever, you can come in and get treatment and go out there and get in your inning or two-thirds of an inning, but taking on the workload of a starter, anything that's not right, we got to know about it.
"It's just [lack of] experience. Now he has it, we hope that doesn't happen again."
Martin letting secret out about strong arm
ARLINGTON -- Rookie Leonys Martin's arm is about to be a secret no longer. His bullet, on-the-fly throw to the plate to nail a sliding Andy Dirks at the plate in the third inning Friday night was his team-leading third outfield assist this season.
Washington said Martin has the strongest outfield throwing arm on the team and his spreading notoriety may soon make opposing third-base coaches hesitate before sending runners on balls hit to center.
Not that Tigers third-base coach Tom Brookens wasn't right to send Dirks, the Tigers' leadoff hitter, in that situation. It took a perfect throw to barely nip him at the plate.
"In that situation I don't think a team is going to stop anybody unless they have David Ortiz at second," Washington said. "If that throw is off just a little, left or right, he doesn't get him.
"Yes, [Martin's] making other teams think. He was coming straight in on that one and that makes a difference."
Washington's reaction to the play: "Outstanding!"
• Catcher A.J. Pierzyski will begin a two-game rehab stint with Double-A Frisco on Sunday and will be ready to be reactivated in time for Tuesday's game with Oakland assuming his strained oblique is completely healed.
"If it was up to me, I wouldn't have a rehab, but I don't get to make those important decisions," Pierzynski said.
• Right-hander Colby Lewis, who had elbow surgery last season, will resume his rehab assignment at Frisco on Monday, starting against San Antonio with Pierzynski as his batterymate. Lewis played long toss before Saturday's game and came through it with no problems.
• Geovany Soto hit home runs in back-to-back games in this series and found himself on the bench Saturday with Robinson Chirinos getting the start behind the plate.
"I just decided I needed to get this kid a game out there," Washington said.
Jim Reeves is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.