Rent to own? Texas could bring back Molina
'Salty' trade increases chances catcher returns in 2011
ANAHEIM -- Rangers catcher Bengie Molina may end up being more than a rental player.By trading Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston, the Rangers have increased the chances of Molina returning in 2011. Right now the Rangers' catching situation for next year is wide open and general manager Jon Daniels said that the club is open to bringing Molina back next season. "That would be a great thing," Molina said. "Being a guy in the league for so long and knowing how things are in the market, for those guys to want me back would be an honor for me. It's awesome if they want me back. "But it's too early to talk about anything. At some point we have to talk about what we're going to do next year but not yet. Let's see how it plays out." Molina, who is 36 and in his 13th season, said he still wants to keep playing regardless of who he is with next season. "I feel pretty good," Molina said. "It's toward the end of the season and I feel pretty good. I feel I can play one or two more seasons and retire after that." The Rangers acquired Molina from the Giants on July 1 in a trade for reliever Chris Ray and Minor League pitcher Michael Main. Trading Saltalamacchia also moves Taylor Teagarden into the position of being the Rangers' "official" catcher of the future if he can seize the job. He was in the lineup on Sunday against the Angels. The Rangers like his defense, but Teagarden still must show he can hit at the big league level. "This gives me a better opportunity going into next season," Teagarden said. "I feel like I have more confidence in myself from a team standpoint. When I first got called up [in 2008], things were pretty much going in that direction. The last few years I wouldn't say I've played up to my capability but I know it's there and I feel there are a lot of people who have a lot more confidence in me."
Hamilton gets cortisone shot in right knee
ANAHEIM -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton received a cortisone shot on Sunday for patella tendinitis in his right knee. He is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday in Seattle after Monday's off-day.
"It feels good," Hamilton said.
Hamilton did not start for a second straight game Saturday, two days after he was removed early from a game because he was worried the knee would give out on him in a tight situation. Hamilton did pinch-hit in the seventh and drew a walk against Jered Weaver before being removed for pinch-runner Jorge Cantu. Hamilton received the shot after being removed.
Hamilton had a cortisone shot earlier in the season and is hoping a second shot will carry him through October. He said he is permitted to have two shots per year in the same location.
"If I don't do something about it, it's going to linger," Hamilton said before the game. "The plan for it is what I did three months ago. I got a shot and that took care of it for 2 1/2 to three months. That's about what we've got left in the season, including the playoffs."
Young may draw DH duty on Tuesday
ANAHEIM -- Michael Young was in the lineup again on Sunday even though he has been fighting a flu bug during the Rangers' three-game series in Anaheim. Manager Ron Washington, with an off-day on Monday, would like for Young to play Tuesday at designated hitter.Washington is concerned about Vladimir Guerrero, who went into Sunday's game hitting .233 with one home run and nine RBIs since the All-Star break. The Rangers are off on Monday and again next Monday. Washington would like to give Guerrero a day off on Tuesday and again on Sunday. That would give Guerrero a pair of two days of not playing. "I'm trying to get him fresh again," Washington said.
Lee will push Harden back in rotation
ANAHEIM -- Rich Harden was at his best on Saturday night, holding the Angels to one run over seven innings in a 2-1 victory. But that won't keep him from being pushed back in the rotation so the Rangers can keep Cliff Lee pitching every fifth day.Lee, who started on Sunday, will pitch on Friday against the Athletics in Oakland on four days' rest. Harden will be pushed back to Saturday against the Athletics. "We want to get as many starts out of Lee as we can," Washington said. "If that changes, it's because Lee tells us he needs an extra day. He's always thrown every fifth day." Harden, though, has a spot in the rotation. Scott Feldman is in the bullpen and, on Sunday, the Rangers took Derek Holland off the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Unless there is a need, that's where Holland will be until September. Right now, the Rangers have a set rotation that includes Harden, who came off the disabled list on Saturday and earned his first victory since June 1. Harden was on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained lower back muscle. "I think since he came back, he's been looking like a guy with some confidence," Washington said. "He's got something to prove. This is a guy who has always had a ton of pride. He feels like he's got something to prove to himself and his teammates."
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Andres Blanco will be his shortstop if Elvis Andrus needs a day off. Cristian Guzman has been a front-line shortstop for most of his career, but he'll likely stay at second base. Said Washington, "That's what we got Blanco for." ... Neftali Feliz has been successful in 20 straight save opportunities. The club record is 21 set by Francisco Cordero in 2004. ... The Rangers were 14-13 in July, their third straight winning month. They had a 3.44 ERA in July, third best in the league. ... Matt Treanor, on the disabled list with a strained right knee, is hitting off a tee and throwing. His next step is to start catching in the bullpen.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.