6/17/2014 9:43 P.M. ET
Rangers may miss pair of aces in Tigers series
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- The Rangers could miss the Tigers' two marquee pitchers during a three-game series that starts next Tuesday in Arlington. As of right now, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer aren't scheduled to pitch against the Rangers.
Verlander is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Indians and Scherzer is scheduled to pitch Sunday. That would leave the Rangers to face left-hander Drew Smyly and right-handers Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello in the Tigers series.
The Rangers are scheduled to face left-hander Hector Santiago and right-handers Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker in Anaheim. The Rangers rotation calls for Joe Saunders, Nick Martinez and Yu Darvish. That means the Rangers are going to push Darvish ahead of Colby Lewis, who pitched Monday night against the Athletics but won't start again until Tuesday in the series opener against the Tigers.
Ross sent down to sort through mechanics
OAKLAND -- The Rangers have sent struggling reliever Robbie Ross Jr. to Triple-A Round Rock. He will be used as a starter for the Express, primarily because it will get him more mound time and also time between starts to work with Round Rock pitching coach Brad Holman.
"We just feel like he needs consistent work," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has had periods where he struggled before but not to this degree. It feels like his mistakes have been costly and he hasn't been able to right the ship. His work ethic has been great. Robbie cares, but he has not been able to sort through it up here."
Ross, after serving as a left-handed setup reliever the past two years, opened the season in the rotation and was 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine starts. The Rangers moved him back to the bullpen on May 20 and he has a 9.00 ERA in nine appearances with opponents hitting .415 off him. He has allowed eight runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings in his last four outings.
"He needs to go down and work it out," manager Ron Washington said. "He needs to throw strikes on both sides of the plate and start getting some outs."
Monday's 14-8 win underscored the Rangers' frustration. Ross entered the game in relief of Colby Lewis with one out, a runner on second base and the Rangers leading, 11-4. The Rangers were hoping for at least a couple of good innings out of Ross so they wouldn't have to empty the bullpen. Instead, he walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a three-run home run to Yoenis Cespedes. Ross got the next hitter before Shawn Tolleson replaced him.
Before the game was over, the Rangers had to use five relievers including setup men Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts. The Rangers were hoping Ross would keep them from having to use those two. Now he is going back to the Minor Leagues to try to figure it all out.
"It's disappointing, but it's part of it," Ross said. "I'll just keep battling and do what I have to do to get back here ... It just hasn't been my year so far."
Poreda rejoins Rangers bullpen from Triple-A
OAKLAND -- Left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda finds himself in that peculiar position that many young pitchers have to endure. He has options so the Rangers can move him up and down from Triple-A at will.
Poreda, who is from the Bay Area and went to the University of San Francisco, was called upon Tuesday for the third time this season. He will replace Robbie Ross Jr. and be the second left-hander in the bullpen. Poreda is 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA in 16 games over his two previous times in the big leagues.
"He has handled it like a pro," manager Ron Washington said. "He hasn't let going up and down affect the way he is throwing. That's what you want to see. That's why he is here."
The Rangers are hoping Poreda and right-hander Ben Rowen can step up and take some of the workload off left-hander Neal Cotts and right-hander Jason Frasor. Cotts leads the Rangers with 32 relief appearances while Frasor and Shawn Tolleson have 28 each.
"We'd like to give them as many breaks as we possibly can, but when we have a chance to win the game, we've got to use them," Washington said.
Rowen is a right-handed submarine pitcher with a fastball that averages 77.6 mph and an even slower slider to go with it. He has pitched in two games since being called up last week when Tanner Scheppers went on the disabled list and has retired six of eight hitters faced. Two batters have reached base on singles.
"He throws strikes and has that funky delivery," Washintgon said. "He certainly doesn't power the ball, so he has to be deceptive. His deception is the key."
Moreland facing season-ending surgery
OAKLAND -- Mitch Moreland was examined on Tuesday by Dr. Ned Amendola in Iowa and it appears the first baseman will have reconstructive surgery on his left ankle. A time and date have not been confirmed yet as the Rangers are awaiting the final details.
If Moreland has the surgery, he will miss the rest of the season while facing a long rehabilitation process. He has been on the disabled list since June 8.
Derek Holland, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season while recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, went through another heavy work of pitchers' fielding practice on Tuesday at the Rangers complex in Surprise, Ariz.
Holland is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Wednesday and again Monday. At that point, he will rejoin the Rangers in Texas, and the club will decide if he is ready to go on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
• The Rangers have signed their 24th-round Draft pick, right-handed pitcher Austin Pettibone from UC Santa Barbara. They have 22 of 40 Draft picks under contract.
• Colby Lewis' earned his 49th win with the Rangers on Monday. That ties for Matt Harrison and Derek Holland for 12th all-time in club history. Doc Medich is next with 50.
• Outfielder Engel Beltre, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg, is taking live batting practice in Arizona and is close to being assigned to a Minor League team.
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.