7/2/2014 6:22 P.M. ET
Weather could impact Darvish's All-Star plans
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Online All-Star voting ends on Thursday, but the most significant event impacting the All-Star Game could be happening on the Atlantic Seaboard. With Hurricane Arthur crawling up the East Coast, there is a growing possibility that the Rangers' game with the Orioles on Thursday night could be rained out. The forecasts are calling for a 70-90 percent chance of rain.
Yu Darvish is scheduled to pitch for the Rangers on Thursday. A rainout would push him back to either Friday or Saturday against the Mets. Another rainout on Friday is a possibility.
Either way, a rainout on Thursday would mean that Darvish would likely get only two more starts before the All-Star break. One would be this weekend in New York and the other would be either Wednesday or Thursday in Arlington. He would not pitch on the final Sunday before the All-Star break and that would make him available to pitch in the All-Star Game on July 15 in Minnesota.
With that amount of rest, Darvish could emerge as a prime candidate to start for the American League. The only other Rangers pitcher to start an All-Star game was Kevin Brown in 1992. Darvish has been selected to two All-Star Games but has yet to pitch.
"That's a scenario, but tomorrow hasn't gotten here yet," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Sundberg retiring as club executive
BALTIMORE -- The Rangers announced that Jim Sundberg will retire at the end of the season. Sundberg has been serving in the Rangers front office since 2004 and as senior executive vice president since October of 2008.
In all, Sundberg has spent over 30 years with the Rangers as a player, executive, broadcaster and Minor League instructor. He is a charter member of the Rangers Hall of Fame after winning six Gold Gloves as a catcher while in Texas.
"While I am stepping away from a full-time role, I look forward to continuing my long association with the Texas Rangers organization," said Sundberg. "Being involved in the community has always held a special place for me, and I will remain involved in that capacity."
Sundberg spent 16 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Rangers, Brewers, Royals and Cubs. He was a three-time All-Star and won a World Series as the Royals starting catcher in 1985. He retired after the 1989 season and spent six years as a Rangers broadcaster. He returned to the Rangers as a Minor League instructor in 2002 before joining the front office two years later.
The Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award is given annually to a Rangers player who best emulates Sundberg's civic-minded efforts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during his playing career and afterwards. Sundberg was also instrumental in raising the scope of the Rangers Alumni Legacy program and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
Pena returns to lineup
BALTIMORE -- Carlos Pena was back in the lineup on Wednesday with right-hander Chris Tillman on the mound for the Orioles after getting the night off Tuesday with a left-hander starter.
"I always try to use a day off to my advantage, whether it's getting an extra workout or doing extra things to take care of my body," Pena said. "Whatever helps me get ready for the next day."
Pena went into Wednesday's game with three hits in 26 at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. Pena was 8-for-24 in seven games at Round Rock after signing a Minor League contract with the Rangers on June 17. Prior to that, Pena had not played since Spring Training but said the limited number of games did not have anything to do with his production at the plate.
"I feel pretty good," Pena said. "I'm putting together good at-bats and putting good swings on the ball. After that, it is out of your hands. I feel fine."
Manager Ron Washington said he is not seeing a lack of timing at the plate with Pena and had him back at the No. 3 spot on Wednesday.
"He's just not getting hits," Washington said. "I see some good swings and swings that just miss. He has had almost 30 at-bats here and 30 down there. Hopefully in the next 40 at-bats he'll have some consistency in what he is trying to do."
Rangers likely to miss former teammates
BALTIMORE -- Don't expect to see former Rangers pitchers Scott Feldman and C.J. Wilson on the mound during the upcoming homestand against the Astros and the Rangers. Neither is expected to pitch against their former teams.
Feldman is scheduled to pitch against the Angels on Saturday. The way the Astros rotation is set up, the Rangers will likely see Brad Peacock, Brett Oberholtzer and Dallas Keuchel in a three-game series that starts on Monday in Arlington.
Wilson is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Astros and again on Wednesday against the Blue Jays, the day before the Angels begin their four-game series against the Rangers. The Angels play the Astros and Blue Jays in Anaheim so it's unlikely that the Angels rotation will be altered by weather. Wilson has yet to face the Rangers this season.
The Rangers are scheduled to face Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon on Saturday at Citi Field although heavy rain is expected on the Atlantic Seaboard both Thursday and Friday. Colon is 20-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 33 career starts against the Rangers. That's the most victories ever by an opponent against the Rangers.
• Catcher Geovany Soto has passed all his tests and is scheduled to fly back to Texas on Thursday. Soto, who has been on the disabled list since the end of Spring Training after undergoing surgery on his right knee, is scheduled tp begin a medical rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Friday and catch five innings. He is hoping to be activated on July 18 when the Rangers open the second half in Toronto.
• Miles Mikolas is the 11th starting pitcher used by the Rangers this season, the most in the Majors.
• Outfielder Engel Beltre, who had been sidelined since Spring Training because of a fractured right tibia, is 3-for-19 in his first four games on a medical rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock.
• The Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Jeffrey Nunez from the Dominican Republic, according to MLB.Com's Jesse Sanchez. He was signed for $250,000, the maximum the Rangers can pay under their limitations. He is 16 years old.
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.