8/26/2014 9:28 P.M. ET
Baker preparing for Friday start in Houston
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Scott Baker is staying in the rotation and will pitch Friday against the Astros. It will be Baker's sixth start of the season but the first time he makes back-to-back starts without a relief appearance since May 23 and 27.
Washington said that could change if Baker is needed out of the bullpen before then. But Baker also threw a 37-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday in preparation for Friday's start against the Astros. He allowed one run in five innings in a 3-1 victory over the Royals on Sunday.
Baker is in the rotation because Yu Darvish is on the disabled list with mild inflammation in his right elbow and may not pitch again this season.
The Rangers are still expecting Derek Holland back in the rotation in September. Holland, recovering from offseason knee surgery, is scheduled to pitch Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock on what is his last start on medical rehabilitation assignment. The Rangers plan to activate him and put him back in the rotation when the rosters expand in September.
Choice eager for fresh start at big league level
SEATTLE -- Rangers outfielder Michael Choice returned to the big leagues on Tuesday and manager Ron Washington had a chat with him before facing the Mariners.
"I talked to him today about this being a fresh start," Washington said. "He has made adjustments. He still has to clean it up a little bit, but his head is in the right place. He's not confused."
Choice is here because Shin-Soo Choo is on the disabled list with a bone spur in his left elbow that will require season-ending surgery. In 43 games at Triple-A Round Rock, Choice was hitting .267 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs and a .460 slugging percentage. He was hitting .333 with two home runs and nine RBIs in his last seven games.
Choice began the season with the Rangers but was optioned to Round Rock after hitting .177 with eight home runs, 28 RBIs and a .318 slugging percentage. Choice got off to a bad start and was never really able to find himself. He went to Round Rock and said it was almost like starting from scratch.
"I went back to the drawing board, looked at video and reinvented my approach and my mechanics," Choice said. "I cleaned up a lot of things that had created bad habits. Go back and understand what hitting is and be able to put yourself in a good position to hit and in position to be successful.
"I'm taking it as coming back up here with a clean slate. Obviously my stats will be on the board but I'm not going to pay attention to that. I'm taking the approach that we're starting from scratch and it is a whole new season."
Williams among Texas' prospects set for Fall ball
SEATTLE -- The Rangers are sending six players to the Arizona Fall League: catcher Patrick Cantwell, outfielder Nick Williams and pitchers Lisalverto Bonilla, Cody Kendall, Josh McElwee and Sam Wolff.
Cantwell, a third-round pick from SUNY Stony Brook in 2012, is hitting .255 with one home run, 31 RBIs and a .316 slugging percentage at Double-A Frisco.
Williams, a second-round pick in 2012 out of Galveston Ball High School, is hitting a combined .291 with 13 home runs, 73 RBIs and a .481 slugging percentage at three different levels. He played most of the season at Class A Myrtle Beach before being promoted this month to Frisco. He is ranked as the fourth-best Rangers prospect by MLB.com.
Kendall, an eighth-round pick in 2012 out of Fresno State, has a combined 1.21 ERA and seven saves at Class A Hickory and Myrtle Beach. McElwee, another reliever and a 20th-round pick in 2012 out of Newberry (S.C.) College, has a 2.63 ERA and six saves at Hickory, Myrtle Beach and Frisco. Wolff, a sixth-round pick in 2013 out of the University of New Mexico, is 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA at Myrtle Beach as a starter.
Bonilla is one of two players acquired from the Phillies for Michael Young two years ago. He is 3-1 with a 4.14 ERA in four starts and 33 relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers acquired him as a reliever but are giving him a chance to start.
Telis catches shutout in Major League debut
SEATTLE -- Rangers catcher Tomas Telis caught a shutout in his first Major League start on Monday. He is off to almost the exact same start to his career as Jim Sundberg.
Sundberg, who is now in the Rangers Hall of Fame, made his first big league start on April 6, 1974, with Ferguson Jenkins on the mound against the world champion Athletics. With Sundberg behind the plate for nine innings, Jenkins allowed one single and one walk while striking out 10 in a 2-0 victory in the Rangers' second game of the season.
Sundberg was 1-for-2 at the plate with a run scored. He also threw out the first two attempted base stealers in his long and highly decorated defensive career. They were the only two baserunners against Jenkins that day.
Former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez also had a successful Major League debut. He arrived in the big leagues on June 20, 1991, and was the starting catcher in a 7-3 win over the White Sox. He was 1-for-4 and also threw out two baserunners.
Telis was the first rookie to catch a shutout in his Major League debut since Jason Kendall for the Pirates on April 1, 1996, against the Marlins.
• The Rangers are expected to face Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer, Scott Feldman and Dallas Keuchel during their four-game series with the Astros this weekend. The Royals are set up to have Yordano Ventura, Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas pitch against the Rangers next week in Kansas City.
• Telis is the 13th Ranger to make his Major League debut this season. That's the most for any team. He was the 58th player used. The all-time record is 59 by the 2002 Padres and Indians, and the '08 Padres.
• The Rangers have extended their player development agreement with Class A Spokane for another two years through 2016. The Rangers have been in Spokane since 2003. Player development agreements with Class A Myrtle Beach and Hickory are set to expire after this season.
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.