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04/11/08 7:41 PM ET
Feldman to make the start Sunday
Right-hander will be called up from Double-A to face Jays
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Scott Feldman, currently with Double-A Frisco, is joining the Rangers rotation and starting on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays. That's just one of several moves the Rangers will have to make with their pitching staff this weekend due to a number of circumstances -- both seen and unforeseen -- that have come up lately. Minor injuries to relievers Dustin Nippert (bruised shin), Eddie Guardado (strained shoulder) and Jamey Wright (strained oblique muscle) have also given the Rangers cause for concern. Nippert could end up on the disabled list after Friday's game to make room for Luis Mendoza while the Rangers wait and see when Guardado and Wright will be available. "That's the nature of the game," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Over the course of a long season, you're going to have to go through these things. Hopefully, they'll stay in the minor injury category." Mendoza is coming off the disabled list and starting Saturday against the Blue Jays. That will require a roster move, and Nippert hasn't pitched since last Friday, when he got hit in the shin on a ground ball off the bat of the Angels' Chone Figgins. Jason Jennings was supposed to follow Mendoza and start on Sunday. But he is being pushed back to Monday to give him an extra day of rest. He is 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in his first two starts and still building up from last year's flexor tendon surgery. The Rangers want to take advantage of any opportunity to get him extra rest. "It should help him," manager Ron Washington said. The Rangers were looking for another starter after being rained out on Wednesday and having to play a doubleheader on Thursday. Kevin Millwood and Kason Gabbard started the doubleheader, and the Rangers don't want to bring back either one on three days' rest. This will likely be a spot start for Feldman before going back to Frisco. Feldman, who has made 73 Major League relief appearances, was converted to a starter at the end of Spring Training and had a no-hitter through six innings in his first and only start for Frisco. He ended up allowing one run on three hits over seven innings in a 2-1 victory over Springfield. "Toward the end of Spring Training something clicked with his new [three-quarter] arm slot," Daniels said. "We'd like to give him more time, but he's the best option we have right now." The Rangers will have to make a move on Sunday to add Feldman to the roster. They could option a pitcher or they could put one on the disabled list. Both Josh Rupe and Kazuo Fukumori have options, but the Rangers want to make sure that Wright and Guardado are both going to be available soon. "We certainly don't want to send out a healthy body and keep one that's not available," Washington said. Wright strained a muscle in his left rib cage while pitching in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays. Guardado apparently has been quietly dealing with some degree of soreness in his shoulder for at least a few days.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.