8/2/2014 7:08 P.M. ET
Robertson gets start in left field vs. lefty
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Daniel Robertson started in left field for the Rangers on Saturday night with a left-hander on the mound for the Indians. Jim Adduci and his left-handed bat was out of the lineup.
The Rangers still want to look at both down the stretch to see if they can be winning pieces as reserve outfielders on a contending team. The Rangers had two players like that in Craig Gentry and David Murphy in 2010-13.
Manager Ron Washington wants to watch Robertson and Adduci play. He in no way wants to compare them to Gentry and Murphy even though there appears to be similarities.
Robertson is a right-handed hitter who can run and play good defense. He also went into Saturday's game hitting .341 against left-handed pitchers. But Gentry, now with the Athletics, has tremendous speed that made him a serious threat on the basepaths and was a superior defensive player. He also has an outstanding throwing arm.
"Robertson plays with a lot of energy and a lot of excitement," Washington said. "He plays within himself. He knows who he is and what he is and how his success is obtained. He has been around long enough to know how to take advantage of it. He can do some things."
Conversely, Adduci probably has more physical ability than Murphy. Even at 6-foot-2, he is probably the fastest player on the Rangers. He is just not as polished as Murphy, especially at the plate.
But Adduci, 29, had a breakthrough season at Triple-A Round Rock in 2013 when he hit .298 with a .381 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage and the Rangers were eager to see if that could translate to the big leagues. But his chances of getting serious playing time were dealt a setback because he missed three months with a broken finger.
"We're going to keep putting him out there and see what we've got," Washington said.
Klein makes good impression on Maddux
CLEVELAND -- Rookie pitcher Phil Klein had an interesting Major League debut on Friday night. He gave up a home run to Lonnie Chisenhall on his fourth pitch, ending his 35-inning scoreless streak. He hit a batter with one out, committed a balk and gave up an infield single that put runners on the corners.
But he got out of the inning with a strikeout and a grounder and pitching coach Mike Maddux liked what he saw.
"I like the way his arm works," Maddux said. "He is a big guy who throws top to bottom. He's got a little angle on his fastball. He got a lot of check marks for his first outing. He surrendered the long ball, got a strikeout looking, hit a batter and executed a balk.
"I was curious to see him because his numbers were so stellar in the Minors. Your Major League debut is usually a mulligan. If it's great, that's good. If not, so what. You have so much excitement and nerves flying around. You don't usually perform the way you're supposed to, but he was fine. He had first and third and saved a run. He got the strikeout and the groundout."
Rangers chase pitching history
CLEVELAND -- Rookie Phil Klein was the 33rd pitcher used by the Rangers this season. They are the fourth team since 1901 to use at least that many pitchers in a season.
But they are four short of the record set by the Padres in 20002. Whether they can match it or not may depend on how they feel about forgotten left-hander Joseph Ortiz.
The Rangers have two excellent candidates to come up at some point in relievers Corey Knebel and Spencer Patton. Both were acquired in trades last month and are currently pitching at Triple-A Round Rock. Derek Holland will also likely pitch for the Rangers this season. He has been out all season because of knee surgery but is currently on medical rehab assignment.
That leaves the Rangers one short of matching the Padres. Knebel, Ortiz and Lisalverto Bonilla are on the only three pitchers on the 40-man roster who have yet to appear in the big leagues. Bonilla has a 4.88 ERA at Round Rock. Ortiz missed most of the season with a broken left foot but has pitched in three games at Double-A Frisco.
Of course the Rangers could make history by using another position player on the mound. Their list of 33 pitchers includes Mitch Moreland and Chris Gimenez.
• The Rangers will wait until Nick Tepesch throws a bullpen on Sunday before deciding if he'll pitch on Wednesday against the White Sox. He was skipped in his last start because of some soreness in his left knee and replaced by Jerome Williams.
• First baseman J.P. Arencibia had another RBI on Friday night, giving him 16 since the All-Star break. Going into Saturday, that was tied with Cleveland's Carlos Santana for the Major League lead.
• The Indians honored Jim Thome before Saturday's game. Thome had 32 career home runs against the Rangers, 10th most by any opponent. Reggie Jackson is still the all-time leader with 43.
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.