ANAHEIM -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler's 42-game errorless streak came to an end on Sunday when he misplayed a routine ground ball. Manager Ron Washington said that's a play Kinsler makes "one thousand times out of a thousand."The error doesn't change his assessment of Kinsler's defense this year. "Outstanding," Washington said. "One of the best in the league." Washington ranks Kinsler, Robinson Cano of the Yankees and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox as the three best defensive second basemen in the league. He said all three are about equal as far as range and hands. What separates the three of them, according to Washington, is Kinsler's ability to turn the double play. "I think Kinsler turns the best double play of anybody in baseball," said Washington, whose team leads the league in twin killings. Of the eight second basemen in the league with enough games to qualify, Kinsler is last in fielding percentage. He is at .984 and Pedroia leads at .992. But, according to STATS Inc., Kinsler has the highest zone rating (a comprehensive defensive sabermetric) at his position in the American League. According to FanGraphs.com, another website that attempts to rank defensive players through a combination of factors, Kinsler ranks second behind Pedroia in "ultimate zone rating." Cano is the reigning Gold Glove winner at second base. Placido Polanco, now with the Phillies, won it with the Tigers in 2009 and Pedroia did so in '08. Kinsler has never won it, but Washington believes he deserves consideration this year. "I saw Michael Young win a Gold Glove [at shortstop in 2008] and it's something I definitely want to do," Kinsler said. "It would mean a lot to me. It's recognition as one of the best defensive players of the year. That would mean a lot to me. I feel I'm playing good defense. I just need to stay focused."
Beltre likely not returning until September
ANAHEIM -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has been on the disabled list since July 23 with a strained left hamstring, did some stretching and light running in the outfield before Monday's game.But that was all, and it still appears that he will not be ready until after the rosters expand on Sept. 1, especially since the Rangers are adamant that he does not rush back. He was one day away from being activated off the disabled list when he re-injured his hamstring eight days ago in Arlington. "If that happens again, we'll see him in Spring Training," Washington said. "This time it will be step by step by step and go through the process. The first time he might have pushed himself a little too much. I think he understands now what a dormant hamstring is. "I don't see him getting back before August is over. We just want to make sure he's right. It could sooner, but if he didn't have that setback, he'd be in the lineup right now." The Rangers, after their three-game sweep of the Athletics, are 12-9 since Beltre went down with his injury.
Washington: No rules regarding Feliz
ANAHEIM -- Rangers closer Neftali Feliz threw 20 pitches on both Saturday and Sunday. That doesn't mean he's unavailable for Monday's game against the Angels.Manager Ron Washington said there will be no set rules on how to use Feliz. He said that will be determined daily. All Rangers relievers usually play catch during batting practice and how they feel at that point goes a long way in determining if they are available for the game. "If the game needs to be shut down and he says he's ready, I'll use him," Washington said. "I'm not thinking about anything else. If the game is on the line and he says he's available, he's our closer. Whatever happens, we have to live with it." The last time Feliz pitched three straight games, the third appearance didn't go well. He allowed three runs to the Indians on Aug. 6, and the Rangers lost, 7-5. It was Feliz's sixth blown save. Since then, he has pitched in four games and not allowed a run or a hit. He has walked two while striking out five. Feliz said the big thing is he has been able to use his slider more effectively, and he struck out Hideki Matsui with it while collecting his 23rd save on Sunday in Oakland. "My breaking ball pitches are working well right now," Feliz said. "I feel much more comfortable with them."
Minors notes: Olt on rehab assignment
ANAHEIM -- Class A third baseman Mike Olt, who has missed 2 1/2 months with a broken left collarbone, has been sent to the Arizona Rookie League on medical rehabilitation assignment. Olt, the 49th overall pick in last year's Draft out of Connecticut, was hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs at Myrtle Beach before he was injured. Pitcher Omar Beltre, who has missed most of the season because of a back injury, has almost stopped throwing completely and is concentrating mainly on core strengthening. He hasn't pitched in a game since July 3 and is working out in Surprise, Ariz. The Rangers have promoted first baseman Jose Ruiz from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock. The former Cuban national was hitting .275 with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 106 games at Frisco. The Rangers have put pitcher Barret Loux on the disabled list at Myrtle Beach with arm fatigue. Matt Kata was placed on the DL at Round Rock. First baseman Clark Murphy has been promoted from the Arizona Rookie League to Class A Hickory.
The Draft Deadline passed on Monday and the Rangers were not able to sign any more picks. They had hoped to sign catcher Max Pentecost, a high schooler out of Georgia who was taken in the seventh round, but could not reach an agreement.
David Murphy was back in the Rangers' lineup on Monday for the second straight game. Murphy had the game-winning hit on Sunday, but manager Ron Washington said he had already planned to give Endy Chavez two days off. The Rangers have signed 48th-round pick C.J. Edwards, a right-handed pitcher from Mid-Carolina (S.C.) High. The Rangers swept the Athletics last weekend without hitting a home run. They hadn't swept a three-game series without hitting a home run since July 18-20, 1999, against the Giants. The Rangers also scored at least seven runs in three straight games without hitting a home run. They hadn't done that since '88. Craig Gentry is 13-for-13 on stolen-base attempts, matching Chase Utley for most swipes this season without being caught.
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.