8/1/2014 11:32 P.M. ET
Rangers rolling with righty-heavy bullpen
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The Rangers have a seven-man bullpen for their series with the Indians. Four of the seven have joined the bullpen since July 1, including closer Neftali Feliz.
Left-hander Neal Cotts and right-hander Shawn Tolleson are the only two that have been with Texas all season. Scott Baker has been designated for assignment twice this season and has bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen.
Through all that, manager Ron Washington is trying to sort out roles. Right-hander Phil Klein joined the Rangers on Friday, replacing left-hander Ryan Feierabend. The move leaves Cotts as the only left-hander in the bullpen. Cotts is also the Rangers' primary eighth-inning reliever. Everything else is up in the air.
"Some of these right-handers are going to have to deal with these lefties," Washington said.
Going into Friday's game, left-handed hitters were batting .182 off Roman Mendez and .236 off of Tolleson. They were 1-for-8 off Nate Adcock. Klein handled left-handers at Triple-A, allowing five singles in 29 at-bats against them.
"He could get some lefties," Washington said. "We can use him for multiple innings, probably in the middle innings. We'll see where it goes. He's moving fast, so we'll see what he has to offer."
Rios, Cotts happy to still be with Rangers
CLEVELAND -- Rangers outfielder Alex Rios admitted Thursday was a hectic day.
"I was packing stuff just to be ready," Rios said.
Reliever Neal Cotts said the day was tougher on his wife, Jaime.
"She gets all stressed out about stuff," Cotts said.
Turns out there was nothing hectic to get stressed out about. The Rangers had discussions with other clubs about both players, but nothing happened before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I'm not off the hook yet," Rios said. "There is another month to go. Right now I'm focused on what I have to do here. I'm just going to go with the flow. I'm here, and that's the only thing I'm focused on."
Players can be traded in August if they clear waivers. Or they could be traded to the team that makes the waiver claim.
Rios also could still be with the Rangers next season if they pick up his $13.5 million option. The veteran said he is not worried about playing well enough to convince the Rangers to pick up the option.
"I don't think I have to prove anything," Rios said. "I have played this game quite a bit and had an OK career. It's their decision whether they bring me back or not. I'm not here to judge what they do. If they have plans for me, good. If not, that's their opinion. I'm here to play the game."
Cotts is a free agent after the season, but the Rangers have had initial discussions about bringing him back next season. Cotts would be open to that.
"I would like to come back," Cotts said. "I enjoy the team and the organization. I honestly believe we are going to be a much better ballclub next year. It's a tough division, but I believe we can be competitive."
Reliever Klein surprised to get call to Texas
CLEVELAND -- Right-handed reliever Phil Klein wasn't sure what Triple-A Round Rock manager Steve Buechele meant on Thursday. Buechele told Klein to make sure he got two tickets for his parents to Friday's game.
Klein, a native of Ohio, wondered why his parents were coming to Round Rock. Then Buechele told Klein he was joining the Rangers in Cleveland. Klein is from just outside Columbus, 2 1/2 hours to the south.
"It was pretty surreal, I'm still letting it all sink in," Klein said. "It's close to home, a lot of family and friends coming. It will be nice."
The Rangers called up Klein and designated left-hander Ryan Feierabend for assignment. Klein didn't need to wait long for his big league debut, as he was called on to pitch an inning in the Rangers' 12-2 loss to the Indians. He gave up a home run to the first batter he faced before settling down without allowing any further damage.
"He could have been a little nervous," manager Ron Washington said. "He left a pitch down the middle to Lonnie Chisenhall. Nerves ... at least he got that one out of the way."
Klein, who stands 6-foot-7, was 3-0 with a 0.52 ERA and 10 saves over 33 relief appearances with Double-A Frisco and Round Rock. A 30th-round pick in 2011 out of nearby Youngstown State, the 25-year-old has not allowed a run in his last 35 innings over 22 appearances.
"I try not to pay attention to that," Klein said. "I just try to throw consistently good pitches outing after outing, and that stuff adds up. But it's not the goal. You just try to be consistent over time. That just happens to be a byproduct of that."
Opponents are hitting .132 off Klein, and he has not allowed an extra-base hit. In a total of 51 2/3 innings, Klein had walked 20 and struck out 70. His out pitch is his slider.
"He is a fastball/slider guy who has been an extremely hard worker and never gave into the grind," Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Clark said. "Hitters have had problems picking up his fastball. He is a big body guy who hides the ball with his delivery. He has added a cutter to put in his arsenal."
• Nick Tepesch threw in the bullpen on Friday and had no problems with his left knee. Tepesch, who was skipped in the rotation because of some pain in the knee, is tentatively scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the White Sox.
• Catcher Geovany Soto, who is on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle, began a medical rehabilitation assignment on Friday with Round Rock. The Rangers are hoping he'll be ready to go next Friday in Houston.
• Washington on the Athletics trading Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox: "Cespedes was the most dangerous hitter in that lineup. I know one thing. He'll tear apart that wall in Boston. He'll put some dents in it. He hits all pitches. It didn't matter, he smacked them all."
• Third baseman Adrian Beltre was voted the Rangers Player of the Month for July. He has won the award two straight months, and seven of the last 12.
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.