The Texas Rangers were without center fielder Leonys Martin once again last night due to his sprained right ankle, but he's hopeful that he'll be able to rejoin the starting lineup tonight. Texas is also close to activating Neftali Feliz from the disabled list, with Lance Berkman slated to join the roster early next month, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
Martin suffered his injury over the weekend when he collided with fellow outfielder David Murphy. He's been sidelined since, but he told reporters yesterday that he's now running much better on the ailing ankle. Craig Gentry has started in Martin's place, but the 25-year-old was hopeful that he'd return to the lineup tonight.
Speaking of returns, the Rangers are hoping to insert Feliz into their bullpen by this weekend. The right-hander hasn't pitched for Texas this season, as he's been recovering from Tommy John surgery since going under the knife in August of 2012. Feliz is working his way through the minors on rehab, and general manager Jon Daniels told reporters that the former closer is showing improvement.
"Feliz is continuing to improve," Texas general
manager Jon Daniels said. "He got through two innings without issue.
Report is that he pounded the zone with his fastball and had a very good
changeup. The velocity is ticking up, though we may not fully see it right
When he rejoins the 'pen, Feliz is expected to be used in a limited setup role behind Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor, who all have handled the eighth inning in from of closer Joe Nathan.
Feliz should join the Rangers prior to September call-ups, but the team will wait until next month to activate Berkman from the DL. The veteran has said that he's ready now, but the team doesn't want to have to free up a roster spot for him. Once Sept. 1 hits, they won't have to.
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