ARLINGTON -- Joaquin Arias, on a rehabilation assignment, played first base on Tuesday for Double-A Frisco, his fourth straight game there. Arias, eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, is also expected to play some third base.
It's the Rangers' desire to see if Arias can be more than a middle infielder. He hasn't made an error yet at first. He was a part of three double plays on Monday.
"We're looking at him to see what he can do," Washington said.
Arias can better his chances of staying with the Rangers when he is healthy if he can also play first base, possibly moving out Ryan Garko, who has just two hits in 27 at-bats this season. Arias was batting .321 when he went on the DL. He was 0-for-4 in Tuesday's game and he is batting .200 during his rehab stint.
Arias came up through the Minor Leagues as a shortstop. He played 13 games at second base before being shelved, retroactive to April 30, with a lower back strain.
Arias worked with infield coach Dave Anderson during early batting practice while the club was in Oakland last week.
Cruz expected to return in Toronto
ARLINGTON -- Texas right fielder Nelson Cruz (right hamstring strain) is scheduled to return to the starting lineup Friday when the Rangers play the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
Cruz started a two-game rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday for Triple-A Oklahoma against Sacramento. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Cruz will play full games in the outfield on Tuesday and Wednesday, then take a day off Thursday before playing Friday, following the same plan that Ian Kinsler had when he came off the disabled list last week.
Cruz was one of the Rangers' hottest hitters when the hamstring started bothering him. He was batting .323 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs when he last played on April 26.
Washington said that Cruz will play in only two of three games in Toronto because of Rogers Centre's artificial surface, which was replaced before this season.
Andrus not bothered by calf injury
ARLINGTON -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus said a lingering injury calf injury that has bothered him for a few weeks isn't bothering him much anymore.
"I'm getting some treatment," Andrus said. "Doing some workouts. It feels a lot better."
Andrus said he's not concerned about the artificial turf in Toronto, which has been known to be one of the worst playing surfaces in baseball. There is new turf -- AstroTurf -- that was put in this season.
"I don't really like playing there, but it's just three games," Andrus said.
Manager Ron Washington said he will give a day off to Ian Kinsler (ankle) during the three-game series in Toronto because of the turf. Kinsler, who has been known to plead to play on days he's supposed to be off, has already been told by Washington and seemed OK with the idea. ... Vladimir Guerrero, who had some knee problems last year, will only DH in Toronto. ... Right-hander Tommy Hunter (left oblique strain) is progressing well at Triple-A Oklahoma, but he still has at least two more Minor League starts in front of him before the team would consider putting him on the Major League staff. Hunter threw 55 pitches in his most recent start. Washington said the team needs to see Hunter be able to throw over 100 pitches in a start. ... Right-handed reliever Alexi Ogando was promoted from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Oklahoma on Tuesday. He has a 1.15 ERA and .078 opponents batting average in 15 2/3 innings. He has 21 strikeouts.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.