6/10/2013 8:15 P.M. ET
Rangers turn attention to Trade Deadline needs
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- A right-handed bat, bullpen help and possibly a starting pitcher are expected to be on the Rangers' shopping list as they turn their attention from the First-Year Player Draft to the July 31 Trade Deadline.
Much will depend on the Rangers' injury situation -- and there is a possibility they could have second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland back in the lineup within two weeks. But a right-handed bat is something the Rangers have talked about even before their lineup was hit hard by injuries.
The Rangers were hoping that former Royals closer Joakim Soria would be a part of their bullpen by now. But Soria, who is 14 months removed from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, is still at least 3-4 weeks away after suffering a setback in May with a strained muscle in his right shoulder.
The Rangers wouldn't mind one more power right-handed reliever to go with Tanner Scheppers late in the game. The Rangers called up right-hander Kyle McClellan on Sunday to reinforce the bullpen after Michael Kirkman went on the disabled list. McClellan has a career 3.45 ERA in 245 career relief appearances, and the Rangers are evaluating whether the former Cardinals middle reliever could be a winning piece for the bullpen.
The rotation took another hit when Alexi Ogando went on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. It's the second time he has been on the disabled list this season. Josh Lindblom was called up from Triple A Round Rock to start on Monday.
The Rangers are still planning to use Ogando as a starter when he comes off the disabled list. But if he continues to have physical issues, the Rangers may end up moving him to the bullpen. That would increase the need for a starting pitcher, unless Lindblom wins the job or the Rangers give Martin Perez another chance. Perez is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Round Rock.
Kinsler, Moreland making progress toward return
ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland both expressed optimism on Monday that their time on the disabled list could be drawing to a conclusion.
Kinsler, out with a strained muscle in his right ribcage, hit off a tee for a second straight day on Monday. He also went through an 11-minute fielding drill with manager Ron Washington at second base.
"We wanted to give him a chance to use every move he would make to aggravate that area," Washington said. "But he went through it real smoothly and got it done."
Kinsler has not played since May 17 and there is no timetable for his return. He hasn't taken full batting practice and he will likely need at least a couple of games on medical rehabilitation. But Kinsler is hoping he can be ready by the end of the current 11-game homestand.
"You basically ramp it up every day and see how it responds," Kinsler said. "We just want to make sure there are no setbacks. It's still a process. This is the frustrating part. When you start taking ground balls, you feel like you can go out there and play. But you still have to go through the process."
Moreland, who went on the disabled list last Thursday with a strained right hamstring, went through some advanced running drills at 60 percent on Monday without any problems. He is eligible to come off the DL on June 21 when the Rangers begin a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
"I'm feeling really good," Moreland said. "If it progresses like it is, I should be ready to go at 15 days. We've got a pretty good plan together … right now it feels good."
Andrus struggling since move to leadoff spot
ARLINGTON -- Getting Ian Kinsler back in the leadoff spot could be a boost for shortstop Elvis Andrus. He has struggled at the plate since being forced into the leadoff spot.
Andrus went into Monday's game against the Indians hitting .217 with a .288 on-base percentage in 22 games as a leadoff hitter. That's the sixth-lowest on-base percentage of any player with at least 100 plate appearances in the leadoff spot this season.
"The type of person Elvis is, he's trying to put too much pressure on himself," manager Ron Washington said. "At every point in the batting order, there is a job to be done and not everyone can do it. Do I think he can handle the job? Yes. But you can't do anything about a guy who wants to be very good. Sometimes when you want to be very good, you get outside yourself."
Washington's other options while Kinsler is sidelined are either second baseman Jurickson Profar or his centerfielders: Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry.
• Pitcher Colby Lewis has played catch for two straight days without any problem. Lewis, recovering from elbow surgery, hasn't pitched since May 25 after being shut down because of soreness in the back of his right elbow. He will continue to play catch for a couple more days before the Rangers determine if he can take the next step.
• Pitcher Matt Harrison, who is on the disabled list after undergoing back surgery, is hoping to begin a throwing program next week.
• Pitcher Ross Wolf is still unavailable after throwing 82 pitches over 6 2/3 innings in relief on Saturday. Manager Ron Washington said Wolf will likely get Tuesday off before he is available again.
• The Rangers have promoted pitcher Ryan Rodebaugh from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock. He was 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 20 games for the Roughriders.
• The Rangers had four rookies in Sunday's lineup: pitcher Justin Grimm, first baseman Chris McGuiness, second baseman Jurickson Profar and third baseman Leury Garcia. That's the first time they've done that since the final game of the 2009 season.
• Sunday's victory also marked the first time the Rangers have won after overcoming a four-run deficit on the road since Aug. 25, 2009.
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.