ARLINGTON -- Rangers infielder Andres Blanco is feeling less soreness in his back, an ailment that landed him on the 15-day disabled list on July 8.He resumed swinging a bat for the first time since going on the DL in Anaheim on Tuesday. "It's getting better," Blanco said. "Today is another day I have to get in the cage and swing a little bit and see how it feels. Today's my third day in a row." Blanco will begin his rehabilitation stint soon. Rangers manager Ron Washington has said that it takes about 20 Minor League at-bats before he believes that a player is prepared to return. "Go to rehab, go somewhere and play," Blanco said. "I don't know where exactly right now, but I should know soon." The most likely location is Double-A Frisco, which will be playing at home until Thursday. In the meantime, Blanco said he is trying to get back to feeling comfortable swinging the bat. "... It's pretty much mental stuff, you know, that you have to get back," Blanco said. "You have to start back from the beginning, and you always treat it carefully. At some point you want to feel comfortable and swing free with no pain. You got to let it rip."
Red-hot Napoli gets start over Moreland
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington trotted out a lineup on Friday that included Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, but was missing slumping first baseman Mitch Moreland.Washington said it was more that he wanted to put the red-hot Napoli in the lineup than to send a message to Moreland. "I had to get Napoli in the lineup," Washington said. "There's a lefty throwing [Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes], so I had to get Napoli in there against that lefty. [Torrealba] had yesterday off, so [he's] catching and Napoli's at first base." Napoli is riding a hot streak, as he went 8-for-14 with a home run and two doubles in four games on the road trip. For the season, he's been especially effective against lefties, hitting .313 with a .719 slugging percentage in 64 at-bats against them. Moreland sat for two games on July 4-5, but after getting four hits in his first two games back, he has struggled, going 4-for-32 in eight games since July 9. Washington did not rule out having to give Moreland more rest to try to regain the stroke that had him batting .310 through the team's first 64 games. "There will probably come a point where I will do that for Moreland, but today wasn't that day," Washington said.
"Today was a day that he was going to have to take off anyway, simply because I had to shuffle the lineup to get Napoli in."
Washington fined due to comments on ump
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Friday that he received a letter from Major League Baseball notifying him of the fine he accrued as a result of his ejection by first-base umpire Angel Hernandez on July 3 and his postgame comments, which were critical of the umpire.Much to Washington's chagrin, it was higher than he expected. Washington said that the fine amount "wasn't nice." "I knew it was coming," he said. "I think somebody asked me, 'You think you're going to get something for what you said?' I knew it. I thought they might go light on me, but they didn't." Following the game from which Washington and first-base coach Gary Pettis were ejected after arguing with Hernandez about a play in which they thought a balk should have been called, Washington said, "[Pettis] didn't [erupt]. Angel is just bad. That's all there is to it."
Coincidentally, Hernandez and his crew chief at the time, Joe West, were split up during the All-Star break, with Hernandez joining a new unit. While Washington said he had heard the news, he declined to comment.Washington still felt his actions on that day were justified. "Yeah, it was worth it," Washington said. "But I've learned my lesson. I'll keep my mouth shut about umpires. I'll just keep it to myself."
Webb to have surgery on right shoulder
ARLINGTON -- Brandon Webb will opt to have partial rotator cuff surgery in an attempt to clean up his right shoulder, which has previously undergone surgery, and continue his pitching career next season.Webb's agent, Jonathan Maurer, said that Webb would be sidelined from throwing for 16 weeks after the surgery, which is scheduled for Aug. 1, but that he would attempt to pitch in the 2012 season. Dr. Keith Meister, the Rangers' physician, will be performing the surgery. Meister was the same doctor who performed Webb's shoulder debridement in 2009. Webb has not thrown a pitch in the Majors since April 6, 2009.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.