5/12/2014 7:30 P.M. ET
Ross being pushed back, possibly for Saunders
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- The Rangers are pushing back Robbie Ross Jr.'s spot the starting rotation. It's not because he is 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in his last five starts, it's because the Rangers are adjusting their rotation so that Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison won't have to pitch in a National League park.
The other advantage to the shift is that it could allow the Rangers to slide Joe Saunders into Ross' spot in the rotation if they want to make that change on Tuesday against the Mariners.
Ross, who has been in front of Lewis and Harrison in the rotation, pitched Sunday against the Red Sox. With the Rangers off on Thursday, Ross' next start would normally fall on Saturday against the Blue Jays. Instead the Rangers are going to go with Yu Darvish on Friday, Lewis on Saturday and Harrison on Sunday.
Manager Ron Washington said by moving Ross back, it sets up the rotation so that Lewis and Harrison won't have to pitch against the Nationals in Washington, D.C., during their three-game series May 30 to June 1. Because of their past injuries, the Rangers don't want Lewis and Harrison swinging a bat or running the bases in an Interleague game.
But the switch also makes it convenient for the Rangers to slot Saunders back into the rotation if they want to move Ross into the bullpen. Saunders, who is on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his left ankle, is scheduled to start for Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday.
If that goes well, Saunders could be ready to return to the rotation the following Tuesday on four days' rest if the Rangers want to bump Ross. The Rangers have not publicly stated that is a possibility.
Rangers ponder DL trip for lefty Perez
HOUSTON -- Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez did not make the trip to Houston, but he's also not yet on the disabled list. The Rangers are still not 100 percent certain whether Perez will need to go on the disabled list because of the soreness in his left elbow.
He is going to miss his next start, as Nick Tepesch will replace him on Wednesday against the Astros. But the Rangers aren't planning to make a roster move until then. One option the Rangers had was to put Perez on the disabled list and call up outfielder Daniel Robertson for two games until it was time to add Tepesch.
But the Rangers opted not to make any moves so Perez stays on the active roster even though he won't pitch Wednesday.
"We not through evaluating [Perez] yet," manager Ron Washington said. "We're still trying to get more information. Right now we're going to wait until Wednesday and get more information. If he is going to miss just one start, we'll do something else. If he has to go on [the DL], we'll wait until Wednesday. When we get back home [on Friday], I hope to have a full roster."
Perez, after throwing back-to-back shutouts and 26 consecutive scoreless innings, is 0-3 with a 12.83 ERA in his last three starts and reported discomfort in his elbow during his last outing against the Red Sox on Saturday.
"I just want to miss one start and get ready for the next one," Perez said Sunday. "It was a little inflammation. That's why I was too tight. I'll feel all right."
Moreland makes start in left field
HOUSTON -- Mitch Moreland made his second start in left field on Monday, with Shin-Soo Choo at designated hitter. The original lineup had Choo in left, but manager Ron Washington moved Moreland out there from designated hitter after re-considering his options.
Washington said he has been trying to get Moreland more time in the outfield and decided that Minute Maid Park would be a good spot because it has a relatively small left-field area.
"He has been out of the lineup for a while," Washington said. "If I can get him active on the field again, it might get him going."
Going into Monday night, Moreland had started just two of the Rangers' last eight games. They had faced four left-handers in that stretch while two games against right-handers were in Colorado with no designated hitter being used.
Rangers expect to face Buehrle, Dickey
HOUSTON -- The Rangers are expected to face Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander R.A. Dickey during their three-game series that starts on Friday in Arlington.
According to the way the Blue Jays' rotation is set up, right-hander Drew Hutchison is set to open the series on Friday night against Yu Darvish. He will be followed by Buehrle on Saturday and Dickey on Sunday.
Buehrle took a record of 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA into Monday's start against the Angels. The 1.91 ERA is the lowest in the American League. He is 13-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 19 career starts and three relief appearances against the Rangers, including a no-hitter against them in 2006 while still with the White Sox.
Dickey, the Rangers' No. 1 Draft pick from 1996 who has reinvented himself as a knuckleballer, is 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA going into Tuesday's start against the Indians. Dickey was the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner while with the Mets and is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in two career starts and three relief appearances against the Rangers.
The Mariners follow the Blue Jays into town for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday and right now it appears as if the Rangers will miss Felix Hernandez. He is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Twins in Minnesota. Hisashi Iwakuma and Brandon Maurer are in line to start for the Mariners in that series.
The Rangers could also miss Max Scherzer during the four-game series against the Tigers on May 22-25 in Detroit. May's inclement weather can always impact any team's pitching, but right now the Tigers' rotation is set up for Scherzer to miss that series. Justin Verlander is scheduled to pitch the last game on Sunday.
• Infielder Josh Wilson has accepted outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock rather than enter free agency. He was designated for assignment last week.
• Pitcher Tanner Scheppers, who has been on the disabled list since April 18 with inflammation in his right elbow, is expected to resume throwing off a mound while the Rangers are in Houston.
• Infielder Jurickson Profar, who has been on the DL since the beginning of the season with a torn muscle in his right shoulder, has reported to Surprise, Ariz., to begin playing games in extended spring training. He is expected to start out as designated hitter.
• Outfielder Odubel Herrera, who was hitting .297 at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, has been promoted to Double-A Frisco. Herrera is a former infielder who has been playing the outfield this season to increase his versatility. Outfielder Chris Grayson has been sent from Frisco to Myrtle Beach.
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.