8/28/2013 7:25 P.M. ET
Ogando, Feliz nearing returns from injury
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, had another session of long toss on Wednesday morning, and his next step will be a bullpen session on Saturday in Arlington. It will be his first session off a mound since his last start on Aug. 13.
"It feels good," Ogando said. "I don't know what it will be like with more stress off the mound, but right now it's good."
With Minor League seasons coming to an end next week, Ogando will likely not go on a rehab assignment. But the Rangers are still planning on using him as a starter when he returns, although it's still going to be another one to two weeks before he gains enough strength and durability for that role. Ogando could be used in a "piggy-back" arrangement with fifth-starter Travis Blackley until he is built up enough to resume his spot in the rotation.
Neftali Feliz, in the final stages of recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, is scheduled to pitch two or three innings on Wednesday night for Triple-A Round Rock. This will likely be his longest outing on his rehab assignment, but the Rangers are not stretching him out as a starter. They are just giving Feliz extra work in preparation for being activated on Sunday.
"Instead of using him in back-to-back games, we're letting him throw multiple innings," manager Ron Washington said. "We're just trying to get his arm strength going. He's not going to be a two-inning pitcher when he comes up here."
Despite big numbers, Beltre knows MVP is out of reach
SEATTLE -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre finished third in the American League Most Valuable Player Award voting in 2012. It appears a bronze medal in that race is the best Beltre can hope for again this season, and he is fine with that.
Beltre sees Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera as the favorite, but said Chris Davis is right there with him. Cabrera won the AL MVP Award last year after winning the first Triple Crown since 1967.
"What Cabrera has done is amazing," Beltre said. "It's a two-player race for the MVP. It depends on what happens in the last five or six weeks. What Cabrera has done is unbelievable, but Davis is having a great season, too."
Beltre will likely settle for a second straight Rangers Player of the Year Award. He has carried the Rangers for most of the summer and went into Wednesday's game against the Mariners hitting .373 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs in his last 55 games. He has a .447 on-base percentage and a .608 slugging percentage in that stretch.
Entering Wednesday's game in Seattle, Beltre was in the top 10 in the AL with a .326 batting average (third), 78 runs (10th), 27 home runs (tied for eighth), 79 RBIs (tied for ninth), a .383 on-base percentage (eighth) and a .537 slugging percentage (fifth).
He burnished those numbers in a 12-4 win over the Mariners, going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
"I can do better," Beltre said. "I'm not saying I'm doing badly. I'm doing OK. But I could have done better. There are a lot of situations this season where I haven't done my job. But for the most part, I've done an OK job."
Rangers want Profar to settle down
SEATTLE -- The Rangers are trying to get rookie infielder Jurickson Profar to be more careful in dealing with umpires. The latest incident came in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Mariners.
Profar, batting against reliever Yoervis Medina, was ahead 3-1 in the count. Medina threw one on the outside corner that appeared to be ball four, but home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor called a strike. Medina then missed with the next pitch, giving Profar a base on balls. Profar reacted by flinging his bat toward the dugout before trotting to first base.
After the inning was over, third-base coach Gary Pettis was among those who talked to Profar about his conduct.
"I just told him, along with other guys, that you have to be careful over what happens," Pettis said. "This game is emotional and you have to try and control it as best you can. I think he understood afterward."
Bucknor stared hard at Profar after he flung his bat, but took no action. But Profar has been told it's not a wise move for a rookie to show up a veteran umpire.
"I've seen guys get thrown out for less than that," Pettis said. "Be satisfied. We need baserunners. We have an opportunity to win a ballgame. Everybody goes through situations where they look back and say, 'What was I thinking?' It's an emotional game. You need to control your emotions, whether something good happens or something bad happens."
Profar went 2-for-5 with a double and a run in Wednesday's 12-4 win over the Mariners.
Tepesch to be activated on Sunday
SEATTLE -- Nick Tepesch, after throwing two-plus innings on Monday, will pitch again on Friday for Double-A Frisco. He is scheduled to pitch three innings in his second outing on medical rehabilitation assignment. He has been sidelined since July 7 with elbow inflammation.
The Rangers are planning on activating Tepesch on Sunday, but it will most likely be in a relief role. Travis Blackley will continue as the Rangers' fifth starter into September, until Alexi Ogando and Tepesch build up enough arm strength to return to the rotation.
The rookie Tepesch was 4-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 16 starts before going on the disabled list. He has not been used in relief at the big league level and made just eight appearances as a reliever in the Minors. But the Rangers will likely start him out in middle relief.
"We haven't decided that yet, but that's where his work could come," manager Ron Washington said. "It would give us some length, that's what you want in September."
• Double-A Frisco pitcher Nick Martinez is challenging Alec Asher as the hottest hurler in the Rangers' organization. He threw seven no-hit innings for the RoughRiders in relief of Tepesch on Tuesday night, allowing one walk and six strikeouts in a 5-1 victory. Martinez, an 18th-round pick out of Fordham University in 2011, was promoted from Class A to Frisco earlier this month and is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four games there. In 26 innings, he has allowed eight hits, seven walks and struck out 20.
• Luke Jackson, who was also promoted from Class A to Frisco earlier this month, is 1-0 with a 0.39 ERA in four starts and one relief appearance for the RoughRiders. In 23 innings, he has allowed 11 hits, 10 walks and 27 strikeouts. Jackson was the 45th pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft as compensation for losing Marlon Byrd in free agency.
• Tuesday marked the first time the Rangers won a game in extra innings with the winning run scoring on a balk.
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.