5/20/2014 7:46 P.M. ET
Scheppers to enter bullpen when he exits DL
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have told pitcher Tanner Scheppers that he will be used in relief when he comes off the disabled list.
Scheppers was the Rangers' Opening Day starter but was 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in four starts before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. He was used as a setup reliever in 2013, and the Rangers plan to move him back into that role when he is ready.
"I'm just excited to get back as soon as possible," Scheppers said. "It's a little disappointing but I felt like we had a good conversation."
In bringing back Scheppers as a reliever, the Rangers, having battled their share of injuries, are taking the safe route.
"What they mentioned is they are not in any position to risk anything happening," Scheppers said. "They can't afford another guy going down. That had a little to do with the decision."
Scheppers is expected to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment on Saturday at Double-A Frisco.
Rangers option Arencibia, recall Gimenez
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have optioned catcher J.P. Arencibia to Triple-A Round Rock and recalled catcher Chris Gimenez to be their backup behind Robinson Chirinos.
Arencibia was hitting .133 with a home run and six RBIs in 20 games. With Geovany Soto on the disabled list, Arencibia was the Rangers' Opening Day catcher, but eventually Chirinos passed him by and became the No. 1 catcher.
"The two spots that were struggling the most were second base and catcher," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We made a move at second base a few weeks ago; now we're looking to do something at the catcher's spot. [Arencibia's] work ethic was there, but Robinson outplayed him and was getting the bulk of the playing time. It was hard for J.P. to make the adjustments we need him to make playing sparingly. This will allow him to do that."
The Rangers signed Arencibia to a free-agent contract this winter after he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays.
"You look up at the boards and see .130 or whatever it was, and you just gotta swallow it and know that you've gotta accept the job," Arencibia said. "You just go down and work. I think that fortunately for me I got to see Edwin Encarnacion when he got designated and every one passed on him and he got cleared and came down to Triple-A when I was in Triple A in 2010, and I saw him go down there, work hard, get back.
"I'm not the first person this has ever happened to, and it's all how you take it. You always get punched in life, it's how your respond. It's part of life, and we'll see what happens."
Gimenez was claimed off waivers from the Athletics at the end of Spring Training. He was with the Rangers on Opening Day, then sent to Triple-A. He played in 31 games with Round Rock, hitting .259 with four home runs and 16 RBIs while splitting time between catcher and first base. At catcher, he threw out 12 of 24 attempted basestealers.
Gimenez has 143 games of Major League experience over the past four years with the Indians, the Mariners and the Rays, with a career batting average of .199 to go with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 331 at-bats. He has a .292 on-base percentage and a .293 slugging percentage.
"Gimenez is a very good makeup guy who can handle the staff and handle the bat," Daniels said. "I don't want to put too much pressure on him. He's a good player who can help a team in certain ways."
Prince scratched from opener vs. Mariners
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had hoped to get Prince Fielder back in the lineup on Tuesday after giving him Saturday and Sunday off to recover from some neck stiffness. That did not happen.
Fielder, who has a herniated disk in his neck, was in the original lineup but was still experiencing some weakness in his left side. Fielder had an injection on Friday, and the Rangers wanted to give him at least one more day for the medicine to provide relief.
"I'm coming along all right," Fielder said. "I can still feel a little weakness … not so much pain but a little weakness. I'm not too concerned. There is nothing I can do except give it another day. I plan to play [Wednesday]. That's the plan."
Fielder, who is hitting .247 with three home runs and 16 RBIs, has been bothered by the problem for some time but did not say exactly how long other that it had been "really sore" this season.
The Rangers acquired Fielder from the Tigers in the offseason and open a four-game series against them on Thursday in Detroit. Fielder said he was not worried about getting back to play against his former team.
"I don't care about the Detroit series; I just want to get back," Fielder said.
The Rangers also scratched Leonys Martin from Tuesday's lineup because of stiffness in his neck. Martin was originally scheduled to bat leadoff for the first time this season. Daniel Robertson hit leadoff instead.
Baker replaces lefty Ross in Rangers' rotation
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have taken left-hander Robbie Ross out of the rotation and replaced him with veteran right-hander Scott Baker.
Baker is scheduled to start on Friday against the Tigers, followed by Nick Martinez on Saturday and Colby Lewis on Sunday. Ross, who was a setup reliever the past two seasons, was 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine starts. He started on Saturday against the Blue Jays and is expected to be immediately available out of the bullpen.
"He wasn't as effective as we'd like him to be," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We haven't totally given up on Robbie being a starter, but we're in a position where we have to get our players in a position to succeed."
Baker was with the Twins from 2005-11 and made 159 starts with a record of 63-48 while tallying a 4.17 ERA before his career was derailed by Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He made three starts for the Cubs last year before signing a Minor League contract with the Rangers in Spring Training.
Baker was 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Round Rock before he was called up to the big leagues. His only outing with the Rangers was on May 7, when he pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief against the Rockies. He allowed two runs.
"He's got experience," Washington said. "He's been out there trying to get 27 outs before. We'll give him a shot. Where we are is giving guys opportunities so he'll get an opportunity."
• Michael Choice made his third start at designated hitter on Tuesday with Shin-Soo Choo in left field. Choo is still dealing with a sore left ankle but told Washington he did not want to be used too much at designated hitter.
• The Rangers entered Tuesday having gone 15 games without a save. One more would tie the club's longest stretch without a save since the beginning of 2003.
• The Rangers placed pitcher Martin Perez on the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, one day after he had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He is expected to be sidelined for at least a year.
• Matt Harrison, who is on the disabled list with severe nerve irritation in his back, is planning to return home to North Carolina while the Rangers are on the road. Harrison wants to use the time to decide if he will have surgery on his back or try to pitch through the pain.
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.