8/31/2014 8:03 P.M. ET
Fifth spot remains unsettled
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- The Rangers are undecided who will start Thursday against the Mariners in Arlington.
That spot in the rotation belongs to Miles Mikolas, but he is sidelined with fatigue in his right shoulder. Scott Baker remains a candidate after winning his last two starts. The Rangers also have Robbie Ross, who pitched five no-hit innings against the Astros in a spot start on Saturday.
"We'll see how Mikolas feels," manager Ron Washington said. "If he feels he needs to skip another start, we can always fill in with Baker. Robbie is in the mix too. We'll see where it goes. Robbie has thrown 112 pitches in three days. He needs time down."
The bigger question is if the Rangers look at Ross as a future starter or return him back to the bullpen where he was effective the past two years. Ross wants to start but left-handed relief remains a valuable commodity, especially if the Rangers don't re-sign Neal Cotts. Right now Cotts and Alex Claudio are the two left-handed relievers in the Rangers bullpen although they still have Aaron Poreda, Michael Kirkman, Joseph Ortiz and Ryan Feierabend in the organization.
Arencibia's starts likely to be limited
HOUSTON -- J.P. Arencibia started at designated hitter for the Rangers on Sunday. There are not going to be many more starts for him down the stretch.
Arencibia, who was the Rangers Opening Day catcher, returned from Triple-A after the All-Star break as their starting first baseman. But that role has been passed to rookie Ryan Rua, whom the Rangers want to see play in September.
Arencibia could get time at designated hitter but that may evaporate when Jim Aducci returns from the seven-day concussion disabled list. As far as beyond this season, Arencibia still sees himself as a catcher and the Rangers are looking at Robinson Chirinos and Tomas Telis both now and the future at the position.
"It's obvious what they want to do," Arencibia said. "I get it. They want to look at young guys and see what they can do. I have been around enough. When I came back from Triple-A playing every day, my numbers were there."
Arencibia, who was demoted to Triple-A on May 14, was called up after the All-Star break and hit .262 with six home runs and 20 RBI in his first 17 games. He is 5-for-50 with one home run since then going into Sunday's game while splitting time at first base with Mike Carp. The Rangers acquired Carp from the Red Sox on Aug. 3 and designated him for assignment on Saturday.
But that was to make room for Rua, not to get Arencibia back in the lineup every day.
The Rangers signed Arencibia last offseason after he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. It appears unlikely at this point the Rangers will have a role for him in 2015.
"The only thing I can do is come in every day and take it day by day," Arencibia said. "It's out of my hands. I can't dictate what they do with me. That's their decision. When I came back after the All-Star break, you saw the production. When I stopped playing, it made it tougher, that's the bottom line. When I was playing every day, the numbers are the numbers."
Others have exited with no-hitter
HOUSTON -- Robbie Ross was the sixth Rangers pitcher in club history to leave a game with a no-hitter going. The other four.
• On Sept. 22, 1973, Sonny Siebert exited a game against the Royals with a no-hitter through five innings. The Rangers ended up losing in 14 innings.
• On Opening Day of 1985, Charlie Hough had a no-hitter through six innings. But he also walked eight and allowed two runs against the Orioles in Baltimore. The Rangers lost 4-2 on a day when it snowed.
• In Bobby Witt's second Major League start on April 17, 1986, he pitched a no-hitter through five innings against the Brewers, allowing eight walks and striking out 10. He also had four wild pitches. The Rangers won, 7-5.
• After an abbreviated Spring Training because of a labor dispute, Nolan Ryan started for the Rangers on Opening Day in 1990 and had a no-hitter through five innings before coming out having thrown 91 pitches. The Rangers won, 4-2.
• The closest the Rangers came to completing a combined no-hitter was on Aug. 23, 2010. Rich Harden had a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings against the Twins. After walking five and striking out six, Harden left the game having thrown 111 pitches. Matt Harrison finished the seventh, Darren O'Day set the side down in order in the eighth but Neftali Feliz gave up a single in the ninth in a 4-0 victory.
• Rosters expand on Sept. 1 but manager Ron Washington said the Rangers will probably wait until Tuesday. Triple-A Round Rock's final game is Monday. The Rangers are expected to bring up pitchers Spencer Patton and Lisalverto Bonilla and infielder Luis Sardinas.
• The Arizona Rookie League Rangers beat the Angels, 6-5, in 10 innings on Saturday in a quarterfinal playoff game. The Rangers, in the Arizona Rookie League playoffs for the fifth straight year, play the Indians on Sunday.
• Entering Sunday, the Rangers had scored three or fewer runs in 15 of their last 20 games. In the other five, they had scored 10-plus runs in four of those games.
• Outfielder Jim Adduci, on the seven-day concussion disabled list, said he still isn't quite over hitting his head on the Minute Maid warning track on Thursday night. Adduci made a spectacular catch before tumbling over second baseman Rougned Odor.
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.