TORONTO -- Catcher Taylor Teagarden is having his best offensive season in the Minor Leagues since he hit .310 with a .586 slugging percentage in 2007. Teagarden was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday with a .281 batting average and a .578 slugging percentage.But Teagarden has been up and down from Triple-A all season. This marked the fourth time he has been called up and the question is if all the promotions and demotions are impacting his offensive progress. He was last sent down on July 3 and was hitting .211 with a .316 slugging percentage in his last 10 games. "After I got sent down in May, I was on fire," Teagarden said. "So I don't think it has been a distraction. It hasn't crossed my mind. It's nice to be in there all the time but I would never trade a big league callup for not being disrupted in the Minor Leagues. I didn't hit as well as I wanted to the last time I got sent down, but that's just part of the season. You hit highs and lows and you just have to figure it out." Teagarden, going into Friday's game, was hitting .269 (7-for-26) in his short time with the Rangers. He hit .230 with a .350 on-base percentage at Triple-A last season.
Facing Cecil, Washington stocks up on righties
TORONTO -- Yorvit Torrealba was the Rangers' designated hitter on Friday. It was only the second time in his career that he had started at that position.Torrealba started the previous three games at catcher, and Rangers manager Ron Washington had Mike Napoli behind the plate on Friday. But Washington also needed as many right-handed bats in the lineup as possible with Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil on the mound. Cecil went into Friday's start holding left-handed hitters to a .208 batting average. Right-handers were hitting .294. Torrealba was 6-for-11 with five RBIs in his three previous games. "He's swinging the bat well," Washington said. "I haven't given him the opportunity yet to see what it's like to be the DH and not have to stoop behind the plate. Hopefully, he can continue to do what he has been doing and give us a spark." The Rangers were missing two right-handed bats, with Adrian Beltre (hamstring) and Craig Gentry (neck) both on the disabled list. With both out, the club had two extra left-handed hitters in the lineup against Cecil. Mitch Moreland was at first base for Friday's game and David Murphy was in left field. Moreland went into the game hitting .205 against left-handers and Murphy was hitting .182. Washington has often used Michael Young and Napoli at first base when there has been a left-hander on the mound. "For the most part, I think I've had decent at-bats against them," Moreland said. "I feel comfortable against them. It's not like I don't see the baseball any better or any worse. The results haven't been there, but they will with more at-bats." Beltre has been sidelined for a week, and he's not going to be back anytime soon. He is still limited to treatment and rehab exercises for his strained left hamstring and has not resumed baseball activities. "Slowly it's progressing," Beltre said. "It's not exactly how I want it to progress but it's progressing." Beltre has a .578 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers, the 10th best in the league entering Friday. Nelson Cruz went into Friday's game with a .705 slugging percentage, second best in the league, while Napoli was fifth at .662. "The right-handed guys we do have in there are pretty good hitters," Washington said. "There's nothing we can do about Beltre not being there. We just have to keep battling until Beltre gets back."
Rangers pitchers walked just one batter on Thursday and began Friday ranked fifth in the AL in fewest bases on balls issued. They were averaging 3.0 walks per nine innings on the season, including 2.3 per nine in their past 32 games. After Thursday's night game in Texas, the Rangers arrived at their Toronto hotel at 5 a.m. ET on Friday. Matt Harrison now has 15 quality starts on the season, tied for the sixth most in the American League.
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.