ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Josh Hamilton was back with the Rangers on Sunday but still not in the lineup while recovering from an intestinal virus. Hamilton is hoping to return to the lineup on Monday, when the Rangers open a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego."I'm good," Hamilton said before Sunday's game with the Astros. "I'm not going to do any baseball stuff today -- one more day of rest and play tomorrow in San Diego. It's cooler, less taxing on the body. The last thing I want to do is wear myself out and have a setback." Hamilton had to come out of Thursday's game against the D-backs in the late innings with a stomach ache and then had to be hospitalized on Friday because of the virus. "He looks better," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We'll see tomorrow. I'll check with him and see how he is tomorrow. If he says he's ready to play, I'll put him in there. If he says he'll need more time, he'll get more time." The Rangers' starting outfield on Sunday had Nelson Cruz in left, Craig Gentry in center and Brandon Snyder in right. Cruz normally plays right, but Snyder is just learning to play the outfield and told Washington he feels more comfortable playing right field. "Cruz has no problems in left," Washington said.
Grimm's rise a credit to Rangers' strong system
ARLINGTON -- Justin Grimm, who made his Major League debut on Saturday and beat the Astros, is the latest product of the Myrtle Beach-Frisco pitching pipeline. He follows Robbie Ross, Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland as pitchers who have flourished at those two levels over the past two years. Barret Loux is another.That's the result of the work of Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach pitching coach Brad Holman, Double-A Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews and Minor League pitching coordinator Danny Clark. "Those guys are great coaches," Ross said. "They are great guys to be around. We all learned a lot of things from them and it's nice to be able to apply it at a high scale. They didn't put a lot of pressure on us, they were always there when we needed them, encouraging us and pushing in the right direction. The biggest thing is they gave us stuff we're going to need for our entire careers -- mechanics, situational pitching, things like that." Grimm, 23, ranked 20th among the team's top prospects, pitched six innings on Saturday to get the victory as the Rangers beat the Astros, 8-3. Ross pitched a scoreless inning and then Mike Adams worked the eighth. The Rangers acquired Adams from the Padres at the Trade Deadline last year for Wieland and Erlin. There is more pitching at Frisco and Myrtle Beach. Going into Sunday's games, Frisco ranked second in team pitching in the Texas League with a 3.50 ERA while Myrtle Beach led the Carolina League with a 2.99 ERA.
Oswalt, Grimm factor into rotation decisions
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, with many things still unknown, have not made a decision about their rotation beyond their three-game series with the Padres that starts Monday in San Diego. Manager Ron Washington said he hasn't conferred with pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins about the rotation beyond that.Right now, Justin Grimm is in the rotation and his turn would fall on Friday. But the Rangers, who have a day off on Thursday, haven't committed to that yet. "We're going to wait and see how Mike and Hawk want to run it off the break," Washington said. The Rangers have multiple factors to consider, most notably Roy Oswalt. He was scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday night, and it will be his fourth start in the Minors since signing with the Rangers as a free agent. He was scheduled to throw approximately 100 pitches. Oswalt has a 7.71 ERA in his first three starts, opponents have hit .341 off him and he has yet to pitch more than four innings in a start. But if he pitches well on Sunday night, the Rangers could insert him into the rotation on Friday. The other option would be to start Grimm on Friday against the Rockies and give Oswalt at least one more start in the Minors. The Rangers have Matt Harrison, Scott Feldman and Yu Darvish scheduled to pitch in the three-game series against the Padres. Feldman is 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA and the Rangers could decide to replace him in the rotation with either Grimm or Oswalt.
Feliz feels good, set to start throwing program
ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz, who has been sidelined for a month with a sprained right elbow, is scheduled to begin a throwing program on Monday. Feliz is traveling with the Rangers to San Diego and will start off by playing catch on Monday."I feel good," Feliz said. "I haven't felt anything bad. I'm ready to go." Feliz is on the 60-day disabled list and not eligible to be activated until July 18. He will start off playing catch and then graduate to long toss later in the week. There is no timetable as to when he'll start throwing off a mound. Derek Holland has not started throwing off a mound either. He has been on the disabled list since June 6 because of a stomach virus and is eligible to come off Friday. But right now he is being limited to playing catch and throwing long toss. He could start throwing off a mound later this week and will likely need at least one start on a rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues before he returns.
Justin Grimm joined Yu Darvish in getting the victory in his Major League debut and his first start. The last time the Rangers had two pitchers get the win as a starter in their Major League debuts was in 1986 with Kevin Brown and Mike Lloynd. Grimm was credited with a quality start while striking out seven. He did not walk a batter. The last American League pitcher to meet all three criteria in his Major League debut was Rich Beck for the Yankees against the Senators in 1965. The Rangers have clinched the Silver Boot for the sixth straight year. That means manager Ron Washington has never had a losing record in a season against the Astros. Said Washington, "I'm just concerned about winning ballgames. If a boot is included, I'll take it." Washington on the Astros: "They have young talent, they are just learning about winning. They stay together long enough, they will. Right now sometimes they beat themselves. Youth gets excited. They're young so you try to keep the pressure on them. Pretty soon they're going to hold their own if they stay together and keep getting young arms. They have to get experience and learn to play together and play nine innings. If they do that, they will be fine. They are a pretty exciting young club."
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.