ARLINGTON -- Retired catcher Bengie Molina was in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game and received his American League championship ring from the Rangers before throwing out the first pitch.While he also received a World Series championship ring from the San Francisco Giants, he still said Texas has a special place in his heart and cherishes the memories he has with the Rangers. Molina was traded from the Giants to the Rangers on July 1 of last season.
"It's very special," Molina said. "I was only here for four months, but deep in my heart, it felt like I'd been here for 10 years. I'm not just saying that because I'm here. This is one of the most exciting teams that I'd been on."Molina said he's spent most of this season visiting his brothers, Yadier and Jose, who play catcher for the Cardinals and the Rays, respectively. "I do [miss baseball]," Molina said. "I did this as a pro for 19 years, so obviously I miss it. It's a process. Everybody goes through it when they retire, going through the same thing. I'm adjusting pretty good. I had a few teams that wanted my services, but they never worked out."
Beltre has setback with injured left hamstring
ARLINGTON -- After aggravating his left hamstring while running the bases Saturday, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has still not begun his rehabilitation stint."Right now we couldn't do anything for three or four days, so he won't be back out there doing anything until we hit Oakland on Friday," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Beltre, who was hitting .276 with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs through 100 games, was expecting to be back not long after Sunday, which was when his 15-day disabled list stint was scheduled to expire. Washington said that with the setback, Beltre would start over again with his rehab. "He'll go back to strengthening exercises and doing his stuff on the treadmill," Washington said. "As we progress, then he'll get on the field and run the bases, but that's not right out of the chute. We're going to have to ramp that up again." Whereas Beltre was aggressive in trying to return quickly from the original injury, he will now take his time and make sure he is healthy for the Rangers' stretch run in September. "It's not as bad as when he first did it, but when it's already injured and then you re-hurt it, it's just a process again," Washington said.
Blanco placed on DL with pulled back muscle
ARLINGTON -- To make room for Alexi Ogando to return from the paternity list, the Rangers placed Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.Blanco pulled a muscle in his back after his return from a sore back, which landed him on the disabled list on July 8. "It's been there, it didn't just pop up," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It's not the bone this time. He was [healthy] when he came off the DL. I don't know if what put him on the DL caused what's happening right now. We've got to get him right." Blanco said that he may have sustained the injury by overcompensating for his injured back. "I don't think I'd be able to play every day if I needed to," Blanco said. "It's bad for me, but I need to be honest with the team." Blanco played as a defensive replacement on Monday, so the trip to the disabled list cannot be retroactive and begins in full on Tuesday. Craig Gentry's rehabilitation stint must come to an end after Tuesday's game at Triple-A Round Rock, as he is mandated 14 days before he either has to be reinstated or placed on the 15-day disabled list. Washington hinted that the team was not planning on having eight relievers on Wednesday. Darren O'Day or Yoshinori Tateyama could be optioned back to Triple-A, or Scott Feldman could be placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a blister that popped up on Friday to make room for Gentry.
Feliz's strikeouts down this season
ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Neftali Feliz hasn't been as dominant as he was last season. Some blame his April 23 trip to the disabled list, others a lack of movement on his fastball.Whatever the reason, his strikeout rate has gone down from 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings to 6.2. "When you get two quick strikes, you'd like to see a punchout," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You don't want to see the ball put in play. I don't know."
Washington emphasized that more than Feliz striking people out, he would rather see the embattled closer just getting outs."More than anything else, my concern is just getting people out," Washington said. "If you get people out and don't strike anybody out, I don't really [care]. But I know he's a strikeout pitcher, at least he was last year. It's not happening with the consistency this year. I don't know the reason behind it."
Rangers first-round Draft pick Kevin Matthews was promoted to short-season Spokane. He struck out 12 and walked five in 12 rookie league innings. His first start in Spokane is Tuesday. No team has had as many three-hit games out of the seventh and eighth spots in the lineup as the Rangers. They have 18 such games going into Tuesday. Rangers starter Matt Harrison leads the Major Leagues in double plays induced with 28. The 28 is already the fourth-highest total in franchise history, and the team record is 30, shared by Rick Honeycutt in 1983 and Kevin Brown in 1991.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.