6/11/2013 8:01 P.M. ET
Rangers announce Tribute for Heroes finalists
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Rocky Bloom of Clarksville, Zach Briseno of Fort Worth and Chance Nix of Sachse are the Rangers' three finalists for the Tribute for Heroes campaign, a national initiative that recognizes veterans and military service members. All three will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to the Rangers' game against the Reds on June 29 at the Ballpark in Arlington.
One winner from each of the 30 MLB Clubs will be included in All-Star Week festivities and recognized during the pregame ceremony leading up to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field on July 16th.
Bloom served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years and in the U.S. Army for four more. On Nov. 14, 2010, he saved the lives of several soldiers, securing an Afghan machine gun and preventing the enemy from overrunning his platoon's position. For his act of valor, he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. He suffers from a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and major depression. He has been working with SAFE: Soldiers and Families Embraced, and will attend college this fall with the goal of becoming an advocate for disabled veterans.
Briseno served in the United States Marines. In 2007, while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, his convoy hit an IED. The explosion blew a hole in the floorboard beneath him, mangling his legs and right arm. He received a Purple Heart. A fellow double amputee helped Briseno change his outlook on his situation while at the Naval Medical Center. He was also nominated for the American Patriot Award by Operation Military Embrace president Jerry Reed.
Nix fought for the U.S. Marines in the second Battle of Fallujah, driving the lead vehicle of the scout element for 506 convoys across Iraq. He discovered more than 30 IEDs and thus saved numerous lives. He was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart, a Combat Action Ribbon, two certificates of commendation and several other honors. Honorably discharged in 2011, Chance now works as an EMT and pediatric worker in Sachse.
Lindblom to stay in rotation, start on Saturday
ARLINGTON -- Josh Lindblom will stay in the rotation and start on Saturday against the Blue Jays, Rangers manager Ron Washington said Tuesday.
Lindblom earned another start after holding the Indians to three runs in six innings on Monday during the Rangers' 6-3 victory. He did not get the win but impressed the Rangers to merit another start while Alexi Ogando is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
"He kept us in the ballgame," Washington said. "He had a good breaking ball and a changeup and he was able to spot his fastball. He kept it down in the zone. He did a really good job."
Lindblom made a spot start against the Athletics on May 20 during Ogando's previous stay on the disabled list and allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-2 loss. The Rangers then sent him back to Triple-A Round Rock and called up Martin Perez for a spot start. That's not going to be the case this time.
"I'm still here, that's a good sign," Lindblom said. "I just come to the field, go through my routine and prepare for my next start like I'll be here."
The Rangers aren't sure how long Ogando will be sidelined, but he'll likely miss at least the next two turns in the rotation. The spot comes up again on June 20 against Oakland.
Indians, Rangers cancel BP due to sinkhole
ARLINGTON -- An underground pipe burst behind the pitcher's mound at the Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday, soaking the area and creating a sinkhole. The grounds crew was able to make repairs in time for the game, but it forced both the Rangers and Indians to cancel batting practice.
Mitch Moreland, on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, was hoping to take batting practice for the first time but was forced to do so indoors. It did not take away from another productive day. Moreland went through full baseball activities at 80 percent without any problems and remains optimistic about coming off the disabled list on June 21.
Ian Kinsler, who is on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right ribcage, also wanted to take batting practice on Tuesday, but the Rangers wouldn't let him. That could come as early as Thursday, and a rehabilitation assignment could follow shortly after. Kinsler had another good day of fielding drills to test the injury and had no problems.
"I'd like to be taking BP by [Wednesday]," Kinsler said, probably being too optimistic. "Hopefully just one day of BP and then rehab. Thursday would be nice. That would be ideal."
Beltre slowed by hamstring injury, but able to play
ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre has a reputation of playing through injuries. The latest has been a left hamstring injury that occurred on June 1 against the Royals. Beltre took just two days off and returned to the field for the Rangers.
While the third baseman isn't 100 percent, Beltre has still made an impact since he returned to the lineup last week. Beltre is 8-for-27 with three home runs and four RBIs in his last six games. Beltre went hitless Monday for the first time since the injury, but he managed to draw a walk in the seventh. Beltre scored from first on Nelson Cruz's double, although it was clear he wasn't running full speed.
"You saw me running?" Beltre said with a chuckle. "You want me to answer that question? I was good enough to be out there."
"Adrian looks like he's playing with one leg," Cruz added.
Beltre said he wants to be out on the field every day to help the Rangers. It doesn't matter if he goes hitless or grabs four hits, Beltre said it's "what we're supposed to do."
"A lot of guys are playing hurt here," Beltre said. "If the pain is something you can control, then you can kind of nurse it a little bit. Pretty sure if it was different, I wouldn't be able to play. I'm pretty sure all the guys here are doing all the same stuff I'm doing.
"We're supposed to be out there every day. If it's not bad enough to be on the DL, it's good enough to be on the field."
Soto gets chance to work with boyhood idol Pudge
ARLINGTON -- Rangers special assistant Ivan Rodriguez is in town this week and spent time on Tuesday afternoon working with catcher Geovany Soto on his throwing.
"We just want to stay consistent in our throwing," Soto said. "I've been throwing OK, but it's something you want to stay on top of. Who was better throwing than Pudge?"
Maybe Johnny Bench?
"Not in my opinion," Soto said.
Rodriguez and Soto are both from Puerto Rico. Working with Rodriguez not only gives Soto a chance to work with a 13-time Gold Glove Award winner, but also his boyhood idol. Soto was 8 years old when Rodriguez made his debut with the Rangers in 1991.
"It's awesome to be around a guy you idolized and watched on television," Soto said. "You just hope one day to see him, meet him or stand next to him. In 2009, I played with him in the World Baseball Classic, and for the first time I got a chance to talk with him. It was fun, we would toss together and just talk about the game with a guy I idolized my whole life."
• Double-A Frisco had seven players selected to the Texas League All-Star Game: infielders Brett Nicholas, Odubel Herrera and Guilder Rodriguez, pitcher Carlos Pimentel, Neil Ramirez and Ben Rowen; and catcher Tomas Telis.
• Outfielder Leonys Martin was "under the weather" on Monday and that's why the Rangers gave him an extra day off on Tuesday even though a right-hander was on the mound for the Indians. Washington said he expects Martin to be back in the lineup on Wednesday against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
• Colby Lewis played catch in the outfield for a third straight game without any problems. He's still sidelined with soreness behind his right elbow, which shut down his rehab program in his recovery from flexor tendon surgery.
• Class A Hickory third baseman Joey Gallo was 4-for-4 with three home runs on Tuesday in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Hagerstown. Two of the three home runs came off pitcher Matt Purke, who was the Rangers' No. 1 draft pick in 2009 but did not sign.
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.