7/10/2014 11:43 P.M. ET
West gets first taste of Majors; Irwin to Triple-A
Baker likely to take mound in Sunday's series finale against Angels
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have called up right-hander Matt West from Triple-A Round Rock, optioned pitcher Phil Irwin and are preparing for the possibility of Scott Baker starting Sunday against the Angels.
West is the third reliever called up by the Rangers in the last seven days. Neftali Feliz was called up last Friday and Roman Mendez followed on Monday.
"We may see everything Round Rock has before it's over," manager Ron Washington said.
With the young arms being called up, the Rangers continue to look at the possibility of trading veteran relievers Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. There is interest in both, even though Frasor has allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in his last five outings.
"He has just hit a bad patch," Washington said. "Every time he throws a pitch that doesn't go where he wants it to go, it gets hit. When you're going good, they pop it up or miss it. It happens. We'll keep giving him the ball and things will fall back into place."
West was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA 19 games at Round Rock. In 24 innings, he allowed 34 hits and eight walks while striking out 28. He had a 2.79 ERA in his last eight outings.
West was originally drafted by the Rangers in the second round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft as an infielder out of Houston Bellaire High School. In 2011 he became a pitcher because he had a fastball that was registering 100 mph. But he missed almost all of last season after undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery Aug. 22, 2012.
"It has been eventful, that's for sure," West said. "It has been a dream ever since I was a little kid. I'm excited to do my job and help this team win."
In Friday's 15-6 loss, West made his Major League debut, striking out one over two perfect innings.
Irwin, who allowed three runs in four-plus innings in an 8-3 loss to the Astros on Tuesday, was scheduled to pitch Sunday. The Rangers haven't announced a replacement, but it will likely be Baker unless he is needed out of the bullpen before then.
Washington said the Rangers have no plans to bring Yu Darvish back on three days' rest. Darvish is expected to start next Friday in the first game after the All-Star break.
Holland in limbo regarding rehab assignment
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from surgery on his left knee, said he has still not been told when he will be sent to the Minor Leagues on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
Holland will likely have to go through more fielding drills this weekend to test the strength of the knee before the Rangers clear him to pitch in a game. The club is still concerned Holland's knee isn't quite strong enough to hold up to the rigors of fielding his position.
Holland has been throwing regularly and believes he will be able to pitch at least four-five innings right from the outset of a rehab assignment.
"I haven't heard anything, but the only thing I don't want happen is I'm out there for just two innings and 35 pitches," Holland said. "That better not happen. I have been throwing 80-pitch bullpens."
Holland did admit he needs to show more than just strength and endurance on his rehab assignment. He needs to show he can get Major League hitters out.
"I want to make sure things are right," Holland said. "If I'm not having success, don't send me up here. I want to make sure I'm ready to go."
Ross having command issues at Triple-A
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. is continuing to struggle at Triple-A Round Rock since being sent down by the Rangers.
Ross allowed nine runs in 2 1/3 innings against Colorado Springs on Wednesday and has a 10.54 ERA in four games. In 13 2/3 innings, he has allowed 17 hits, including four home runs, walked 11 and struck out 12.
"He is having a hard time with his fastball command," Rangers Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Clark said. "He is getting the middle of the plate and has lost the deception on his fastball."
The Rangers optioned Ross to Round Rock on June 17 after he went 2-4 with a 5.61 ERA in nine starts and nine relief appearances at the Major League level. Manager Ron Washington said the club isn't going to bring Ross back until he gets his command issues straightened out.
Rangers go through bunt drills
ARLINGTON -- Third-base coach Gary Pettis had nine players out for early bunting work Thursday. Joining him were catchers Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez, infielders Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Adam Rosales and outfielders Leonys Martin, Daniel Robertson, Jake Smolinski and James Adduci.
The Rangers try to get their young players out for early fundamental work every day, and bunting is a regular part of that.
"You never know when there will be an opportunity to bunt and I want them to be able to execute," manager Ron Washington said.
The only active players not out for early bunting were third baseman Adrian Beltre, first baseman Carlos Pena and outfielders Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo. Beltre was on the field during bunting drills, but he was throwing batting practice to Adrian Jr. in the outfield.
"I'm not going to be giving any bunt signs to Beltre," Washington said.
Beltre hasn't dropped a sacrifice bunt since 2006 while with the Mariners.
• Adduci, who is on the disabled list because of a broken finger on his left hand, has taken batting practice for two straight games and could be close to going out on medical rehabilitation assignment.
• Catcher Geovany Soto, who has been on the disabled list since the end of Spring Training because of surgery on his right knee, has been transferred to Double-A Frisco on his medical rehab assignment. Soto was 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts at Triple-A Round Rock, but the plan all along was to transfer him to Frisco because the Roughriders are at home this weekend.
• Smolinski had five hits in his first three Major League games entering Thursday. The only two Rangers with more in their first three big league games were George Wright and Rusty Greer with six each.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.