OAKLAND -- Rangers center fielder Endy Chavez was 2-for-4 on Tuesday against the Athletics and is 8-for-16 in his last five games. That has raised his batting average to .305 on the season.He is also hitting .313 in 208 at-bats this year as a center fielder. That is the second highest for an American League center fielder with at least 50 at-bats at the position. Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox leads with a .317 average. "Really? I didn't know that," Chavez said. "I'm really fighting right now. Honestly I just want to be productive for the team. I know if I can keep my average in that area, I'm helping the team. We're fighting to make the playoffs and I'm happy that I can contribute." He has. The Rangers have used four center fielders -- Chavez, Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton and Julio Borbon -- and they combined to hit .282, the third highest in center field for any AL team. Chavez has the most at-bats at the position on the team and has put himself into the running for Comeback Player of the Year after being out of the Major Leagues for almost two full years while recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee. "This season has meant a lot to me," Chavez said. "It has been very special, especially coming back after two years. I feel very happy to do this, get healthy for the whole year and play the way I've been playing." Chavez said part of his success comes from the way manager Ron Washington has used him. Chavez, 33, has been platooning lately with Gentry in center field and has been given regular time off so he does not get worn down. "He has taken care of me," Chavez said. "All the time he makes sure I'm ready to play. He has been very good in that. He understands I didn't play for a long time. We're on the same page."
Rangers mull options for postseason roster
OAKLAND -- The Rangers have met and discussed the possible makeup of the postseason roster. Manager Ron Washington does not want to discuss it publicly before they clinch, fearing swift retribution from the baseball gods.But there are clues. The Rangers took a 7-1 lead into the ninth inning on Tuesday night and with a rested bullpen, left-hander Michael Kirkman was sent into pitch. Washington admitted the Rangers wanted to take a look at him. Kirkman, despite being in Triple-A most of the season, is a candidate for the postseason roster, especially if the Rangers carry eight relievers. There are others and no decisions have been made. An eight-man bullpen would likely include closer Neftali Feliz, right-handers Mark Lowe, Koji Uehara and Mike Adams, and left-handers Darren Oliver and Michael Gonzalez. It would also include one starter not in the postseason rotation, possibly right-hander Alexi Ogando. Kirkman could be attractive as a third left-hander in the bullpen. The Rangers will also look at three right-handers: Scott Feldman, Darren O'Day and Yoshinori Tateyama. All could contribute in different ways. Feldman's primary advantage over the others is being able to pitch multiple innings. The Rangers are mulling all possibilities.
Cruz not yet ready for duty in outfield
OAKLAND -- Mitch Moreland was back on the bench Wednesday for the fourth straight game because Nelson Cruz is not ready to return to the outfield. Cruz, recovering from a strained left hamstring, remains at designated hitter and manager Ron Washington said he will be there again on Thursday afternoon as well."I don't think it's a good idea putting him in the outfield with the day game after the night game," Washington said. But Cruz stays in the lineup even though he is 2-for-15 with six strikeouts since coming off the disabled list because Washington wants to get his bat going. Cruz was 1-for-5 with a double on Tuesday and Washington said he saw progress. "I saw much better passes at the ball," Washington said. "I'm looking forward to him breaking out soon. He doesn't have to hit the ball out of the ballpark, just hit it hard." Moreland, who has four hits in his last 25 at-bats, remains on the bench because Michael Young has to start at first base while Cruz is at DH. "I understand the situation," Moreland said. "You do what you've got to do to keep it rolling. I'm still into the game every day." Washington said the time off will help Moreland. "He needs it," Washington said. "He's a grinder. It's a refresher. He has been grinding. It's not what I wanted to do but it worked out that way. He'll come back strong and mentally refreshed. In the past when I've sat Mitch like this, he's come back ready to go."
Young moves into rare 200-hit company
OAKLAND -- Michael Young became the 16th player in Major League history to have at least six 200-hit seasons in his career. Young had three hits on Tuesday and has 201 on the season.Of the other 15 players, 11 are in the Hall of Fame while Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter are still active. Pete Rose, who had 10 200-hit seasons, is banned from Hall consideration. The final player on the list is Steve Garvey, the former Dodgers and Padres first baseman. Young went into Wednesday's game five hits behind Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox, who leads the league with 206. Gonzalez also went into Wednesday's game leading the league with a .340 average while Young was second at .333. "Michael is unbelievable," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "He does it every year ... 200 hits is tough to do in the big leagues. He's a guy you want on your team."
The Rangers expect infielder Esteban German to return this weekend. He has been in the Dominican Republic after his mother passed away earlier this week. Manager Ron Washington hasn't decided if Yorvit Torrealba will start on Thursday. Mike Napoli has started four straight games at catcher. Derek Holland, 24, became the youngest pitcher in Rangers history to win 15 games in a season after the 7-2 victory on Tuesday night.
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.