7/2/2013 11:58 P.M. ET
Baker suffers setback with sprained thumb
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Jeff Baker had a setback with his sprained right thumb over the weekend. Baker saw a hand specialist on Monday and received a second cortisone shot, this time on the joint instead of the muscle. He will wear a splint for at least three days.
"I'm hoping this does the trick, put it behind us and move forward," Baker said. "Hopefully this will do it, if not it's just like anything else, and you go back to the drawing board to see what we can do."
The utility man said he tried to progress from swinging off a tee to hitting in the cages on Friday, but he couldn't control the bat head. He got five swings in the session before he stopped due to the pain.
"It's like a sprained ankle. You want to try to strengthen it and build it up, but it's also a pain tolerance," he said. "Anytime you have a sprain, you have a tear in there. If you keep beating it up, it's not going to heal. I tried to push it and progress it to see if I could get past that threshold. Off the tee and soft toss was fine, but during [batting practice] I couldn't do it."
Baker has moved past the frustration of the injury, which occurred during a celebratory high-five.
"Now it's just busting my tail and doing whatever I can with treatment and therapy," he said. "Our doctors are obviously doing everything they can."
Also out of the starting lineup on Tuesday was Lance Berkman, but he hopes to play Wednesday. Berkman swung in the cages and on the field Tuesday before the game. He said his right knee had bothered him a bit at the plate, but it progressed with the off-day Monday.
"Confident? I can't say that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Berkman's possible return Wednesday. But I hope so."
Jurickson Profar was the team's designated hitter in place of Berkman, and he was 1-for-3 in the 9-2 loss to the Mariners.
Lindblom recalled to serve as long reliever
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers recalled right-hander Josh Lindblom from Triple-A Round Rock and designated Kyle McClellan for assignment Tuesday.
It is Lindblom's third callup with the Rangers this season. He's 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts. Lindblom was sent down to Triple-A after his last start, on June 20 against the A's. The Rangers now have the flexibility to use either Lindblom or righty Ross Wolf in long relief situations, and they did just that in Tuesday's 9-2 loss, as Wolf relieved starter Justin Grimm and allowed three runs in three innings, and Lindblom followed with two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
"They both can be used in multiple roles," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If we use one on one day, we have another one. The thing about them is, when they do come out of the bullpen they can give us more than one inning, which is what you like to have."
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels wants McClellan to return with the Rangers. Daniels said they should know his decision before the 10-day period to either trade, release or outright McClellan, a six-year veteran, to the Minor Leagues.
"We'd like to keep him in the organization, but he has that option at this point," Daniels said.
McClellan went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in seven relief appearances this season. Daniels said McClellan needs more time to get his arm strength back, as he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder last year.
"In the long term prognosis, we just felt like he needed a little more time," Daniels said. "Maybe we were a little premature in pushing him and bringing him up here. Big time competitor, big time heart but he probably needs a little more arm strength before he's really ready to help us."
The Rangers now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
Soria to pitch on consecutive days
ARLINGTON -- Joakim Soria is scheduled to pitch in consecutive games with Double-A Frisco starting Wednesday.
Soria, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, could join the Rangers next week during their seven-game road trip before the All-Star break. The right-hander has pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out seven and allowing one walk, in five Minor League appearances. His return could help ease the heavy load of Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan out of the bullpen.
"We'll take it day by day, but he's not far off," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.
Soria said he's close to getting all of his velocity back. He said his command has been good during his rehab appearances, including on all of his breaking balls.
"I've been feeling really good," Soria said. "Every single outing I've been throwing the ball good. My command is good, and from now on it just depends on how it goes everyday, and then they'll decide the next step."
Matt Harrison plans to get on the mound after the All-Star break. He threw 25 pitches from 120 feet on Tuesday, and he plans to throw from that distance again on Wednesday. Harrison started throwing from that distance Saturday and took Monday off. Harrison said he'll stretch out to 200 feet, at the most, in the next two weeks.
Alexi Ogando will throw a live batting practice session on Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, the club plans to send Ogando out for a rehab assignment this weekend.
And Colby Lewis threw 37 pitches in his bullpen session on Tuesday. He's scheduled to throw another bullpen Thursday.
• Outfielder Jairo Beras made his Rangers debut in the Arizona League on Tuesday. The Dominican product signed with the Rangers last year, but he was suspended for a year for providing a false date of birth.
• The Rangers announced Neal Cotts and Nathan received the club's Player of the Month honors. It's the first shared team award since August 1991, when Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez won it. Cotts went 4-1 with a 0.59 ERA in 15 games in June. Nathan had a 0.63 ERA with 11 saves in June.
• Class A Hickory catcher Jorge Alfaro will not play in the Futures Game. He has been replaced on the World team by Double-A Jackson first baseman Ji-Man Choi from the Mariners' system. Alfaro broke his fifth metacarpal on his left hand when he was hit by a pitch on Friday.
• Triple-A Round Rock closer Cory Burns, outfielder Joey Butler, starting pitcher Brad Mills and infielder Yangervis Solarte were selected for the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno, Nev., on July 17.
• Former Ranger Scott Feldman is scheduled to pitch for the Orioles on Wednesday after being acquired from the Cubs. That means he'll likely pitch on Monday against the Rangers in Baltimore, and he has already beaten his former team once this year.
• Berkman will donate a fire truck, with the assistance of the Arlington Fire Department, to West, Texas, on Saturday. The truck will be presented during the pregame festivities as the Rangers host City of West Night against the Astros. West, Texas has been recovering from the fertilizer explosion on April 17 that killed 15 people.
Master Tesfatsionis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.