Saltalamacchia sent on rehab assignment
Rangers unsure when catcher will return to big leagues
BOSTON -- Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on a medical rehabilitation assignment and is expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday night. Saltalamacchia has been on the disabled list since the second game of the season with stiffness in his upper back and left shoulder.
The plan is for him to catch five innings on Tuesday, be used at designated hitter on Wednesday, catch seven innings on Thursday and nine innings on Friday. He will be reevaluated at some point, though the Rangers have not committed to a date when Saltalamacchia will return.
Saltalamacchia has had too many setbacks since his shoulder surgery in September for the club to have any expectations on when he'll be ready.
"Let's wait until we find out what he's doing and assess how he feels," manager Ron Washington said. "Let's get him through what he's got to do."
Kinsler tests out injured right ankle
BOSTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler, on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle, went through his most extensive workout yet on Tuesday without any problems and could be close to going on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
Kinsler took ground balls and turned double plays at second base and did some medium-to-heavy running in the outfield. There are just a few more tests the Rangers want to see before pronouncing Kinsler ready for a rehab assignment.
No. 1 is they want to see how the ankle feels Wednesday after Tuesday's heavy workout.
"Tomorrow is going to be a key," manager Ron Washington said. "Before we go forward, we want to see how his recovery is tomorrow. The next few days will be heavy, so we'll see if he can take it all."
Kinsler's final step will be "explosive running," meaning breaking out of the batter's box or from a lead at first base and accelerating quickly. The Rangers also want to see how he reacts to stopping and starting again on the bases.
Once Kinsler's done all that, he'll be ready for a rehab assignment, and that is likely to happen at some point in the next few days, or at least by the weekend. Kinsler, who has been sidelined since March 12, wants to start the process in Arizona, where he can get multiple at-bats in a non-regulated extended spring training game.
"They won't be quality at-bats, but just getting back in the box, seeing pitches and feeling comfortable, that can be accelerated a lot faster in Arizona," Kinsler said.
Treanor gets second consecutive start
BOSTON -- Matt Treanor was back at catcher on Tuesday night. Treanor also caught on Sunday, and this is the first time that he has started back-to-back games this season.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden is 0-for-18 with 13 strikeouts on the season and Treanor is likely to see far more playing time than he normally would as a backup catcher. He could get the majority of the playing time until Jarrod Saltalamacchia is activated off the disabled list.
"I don't feel my role has changed," Treanor said. "I'm here to catch when they need me to catch. Right now, they want me behind the plate, so I'm going to be ready to play. To me personally, it's nice to play, but still, winning is the biggest thing. That's my focus, to be on a winning club."
Manager Ron Washington said Treanor was back in the lineup on Tuesday because knuckleballer Tim Wakefield was on the mound for the Red Sox.
"I thought the veteran would have a better chance against the knuckleballer," Washington said.
As far as Wednesday night, Washington said, "I haven't decided. I haven't thought that far ahead. I just want to get through this day against Wakefield."
Borbon dropped to ninth spot
BOSTON -- Julio Borbon was back in the lineup on Tuesday after getting Sunday off. But he has been dropped from the leadoff spot, at least for now. Borbon is going to hit ninth while Elvis Andrus will bat leadoff.
"I'm just taking a little pressure off him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I don't want him to think he has to go up there and ignite this team. Whatever we can do to make him better, we need to do."
Said Borbon, "I'm in there. ... I'm in the lineup. Whether it's ninth or leadoff, that's all that matters."
Borbon was 3-for-36 going into Tuesday's game, giving him an .083 batting average, the lowest in the Majors among qualifiers.
"I still feel good," Borbon said. "All I can do is smile, seize the moment and enjoy the run. This is not going to last. I'm going to come out of it. I'm confident. I'm not approaching it any other way except to get on base and create havoc."
Tommy Hunter threw batting practice on Monday in Surprise, Ariz., and will do so again on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could pitch in an extended spring training game on Friday. He has been sidelined for a month with a strained oblique muscle in his left rib cage. ... Thursday and Friday's games have been switched from 105.3 The Fan to KRLD 1080 AM. Friday's game has been moved from KXTA Ch. 21 to FOX Sports Southwest because of a conflict with the Mavericks' playoff game. ... Triple-A Oklahoma City pitcher Derek Holland was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week after winning two starts without giving up a run in 13 2/3 scoreless innings.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.