5/27/2014 8:10 P.M. ET
Rangers facing imminent roster decision
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers will have to make a roster move before Wednesday's game to activate pitcher Joe Saunders off the disabled list. They may be reluctant to put pitcher Yu Darvish on the disabled list, but it could put them in a tight spot if they don't.
Darvish was scratched from Tuesday's start against the Twins with stiffness in his neck, forcing the Rangers to bring Scott Baker out of the bullpen to replace him. That move left Texas with six relievers. If the Rangers drop a pitcher to make room for Saunders, it would leave them with just five relievers.
The other possibility would be to send down a position player. Outfielder Daniel Robertson hasn't played since last Thursday after suffering facial damage in a collision with Alex Rios. He could be ready to play again by Wednesday.
But if the Rangers drop a position player, they would be down to three reserves going into a weekend series with the Nationals, for which there will be no designated hitter. The lack of a DH gives the Rangers an extra bench player, but manager Ron Washington would still like one more in the National League city.
"If I'm headed to the National League, I'm not going to be short on my bench," Washington said.
Injuries may force Rangers to reevaluate roster
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rangers' rash of injuries has not put general manager Jon Daniels in a position to consider being "sellers" at the July 31 Trade Deadline. That has been the speculation by the national media, especially after Prince Fielder was lost for the season after undergoing neck surgery on Tuesday.
"Same as we always were ... we're in May," Daniels said. "The players aren't giving up, and we certainly aren't either. Obviously, we have been dealt some challenges and we're taking them as we come. We'll continue to evaluate it and let it play out. We'll make adjustments if we have to, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves."
The Rangers have several players who are in contractual situations annually associated with players dealt at the Trade Deadline. Pitcher Joakim Soria and outfielder Alex Rios are both free agents after this season, although the Rangers hold options on both for next season. Pitchers Colby Lewis and Joe Saunders are unconditional free agents after this season.
Elvis Andrus has also been mentioned because of the Rangers' perceived depth of young infielders. But Andrus has a more complicated contract negotiated by agent Scott Boras. Andrus agreed to an eight-year, $120 million contract extension that starts in 2015 at $15 million annually. But he also has the option of getting out of the contract after '18 or '19.
Fielder underwent surgery to have a cervical fusion in his neck to repair a herniated disk. Dr. Drew Dossett told the Rangers that the surgery went well and a full recovery is expected. Recovery time is three to four months, but the Rangers aren't expecting Fielder to return this season.
Moreland, Dozier renew high school rivalry
MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Rangers face the Twins, it renews an old northeast Mississippi rivalry between the Moreland clan and the Dozier clan. Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is from Amory, while Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and his brother Clay are from Fulton, one county to the north.
"I grew up playing against the Doziers," Moreland said. "It's friendly now, but it was heated when we were in high school."
Moreland and Dozier actually went head to head because Moreland was a pitcher in high school and in college when he went to Mississippi State. Dozier went to Southern Mississippi, and they went up against each other in college.
"He owned me," Moreland said. "He pretty much hit me around."
Dozier doesn't quite remember it that way.
"We got the best of each other," Dozier said. "I got him some and he got me some. I remember thinking that if he ever got to the big leagues, it would be as a pitcher. He was the best pitcher in Mississippi."
Dozier and Moreland did play together on some summer league teams, and their dads have become good friends as well.
"We both grew up dreaming that this is what we wanted to do," Dozier said.
Saunders credits Round Rock's Holman in rehab
MINNEAPOLIS -- Add Joe Saunders to the list of pitchers who have benefited greatly from the work of Triple-A pitching coach Brad Holman and Arizona pitching rehabilitation coordinator Keith Comstock.
Both helped Saunders during his long stay on the disabled list. Holman suggested a mechanical adjustment in Saunders' delivery that apparently made a big difference in his final rehab start for Round Rock.
"One little thing can make a huge difference in the way things come out," Saunders said. "Brad just has certain things that he can kind of relate to, and he helps you figure it out easily. He's a guru. I've talked to players, ex-Rangers, everybody I talked to has nothing but good things to say about him."
Comstock is in his sixth season as the Rangers' rehab pitching coordinator, but he was also a pitching coach in the Angels' organization when Saunders came up through their system.
"He helped me to the big leagues," Saunders said. "I credit him with getting me to the big leagues. He is a special human being. I can't thank him enough. The Rangers are blessed with some great pitching minds. [Mike] Maddux and [Andy] Hawkins up here have been amazing."
Saunders is scheduled to come off the DL and face the Twins on Wednesday.
• Washington said he would still like to get Luis Sardinas in the lineup during the four-game series with the Twins. But he's not ready to give Elvis Andrus a day off for the first time this season. Andrus is hitting .348 through the first five games of the road trip.
• The Twins were 3-for-17 against Nick Tepesch on Sunday during the second and third times through the rotation. Last year, opponents hit .343 against Tepesch through the second and third times through the rotation.
• Tuesday marked Washington's 1,187th game as manager of the Rangers. He has officially passed Bobby Valentine as the longest-tenured manager in club history.
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.