Rangers notes: Grimm, Tepesch look to step up in Harrison’s place

Posted Friday, Apr. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Texas Rangers pitcher Justin Grimm wasn’t pleased to hear the news that Matt Harrison will have back surgery and will be sidelined longer than expected.

“It’s a shame,” Grimm said. “He was a key piece to the pitching staff and an unbelievable guy too.”

But Grimm is also aware that Harrison’s setback gives him more of an opportunity to prove himself. Same goes for Nick Tepesch, as the two rookies are expected to stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

General manager and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said the Rangers have no plans to alter their rotation.

“This is the realities of a major league season,” Daniels said. “That’s why you need depth.”

Grimm has made one start, lasting only four innings in a no-decision April 11 at Seattle. He is scheduled to start again Sunday.

Tepesch has pitched well in his first two starts, going 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA. He makes his third start Saturday night.

“I feel like I’ve gotten a little more comfortable since I’ve been here,” Tepesch said. “Every time I take the ball I try to give the team a chance to win.”

While Harrison’s setback gives Grimm and Tepesch more time, help is coming.

Right-hander Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) threw a live batting practice Friday in Arizona and will have one or two more sessions before progressing to game action in extended spring training. Left-hander Martin Perez (broken left wrist) will begin throwing live batting practice in 7-10 days.

“It’s comforting to know they’re progressing well,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s comforting to know we’ll have Harry back before the year is over. It’s also comforting to know that these young kids we’re putting in there have been handling their business.”

Nod to Boston

The Rangers played Sweet Caroline during the middle of the fourth inning Friday night, a salute to the city of Boston.

Chuck Morgan, the PA announcer, announced the capture of Suspect No. 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings before playing the song, which is a staple during Red Sox games at Fenway Park.

It was the first game at Rangers Ballpark since the bombings took place.

More rehab updates

Reliever Joakim Soria had a pectoral strain in his chest while throwing live batting practice Friday, and could be sidelined for a few days.

Jon Daniels said more would be known Monday and didn’t know how it would affect Soria’s timetable back from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

“It has nothing to do with his arm, so that’s a good thing,” Daniels said.

Kyle McClellan, recovering from a strained right lat muscle, is expected to throw off a mound May 1. And Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) is progressing nicely and playing long toss out to 105 feet.

Berkman back

Lance Berkman returned to the lineup after sitting out the series against the Cubs.

Berkman admitted his surgically repaired right knee has been sore of late, but didn’t seem too concerned about it.

“It’s definitely worse than it was in spring training, but some of that is probably the weather conditions we’ve been playing in,” Berkman said. “Cold, wet, the barometric pressure… all of those things definitely have an impact.”

Berkman said the days off could help him in the long run, too. He missed most of last year with two right knee surgeries, and is still trying to figure out how many consecutive games he can play and how much pressure he can put on the knee.

“You certainly have to be cognizant of overuse and over-exertion,” he said.

Wire activity

As expected, the Rangers lost outfielder Julio Borbon on a waiver claim, with the Chicago Cubs taking him Friday.

Borbon was the Rangers’ Opening Day center fielder in 2010-11, but had fallen behind Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin on the depth chart. Ron Washington called Borbon to wish him the best.

“I tried to make him understand that he’s going to a big-league team and he shouldn’t go there trying to prove anything to anyone,” Washington said. “He’s already done that. He should play his game of baseball and let that talk for him.”

The Rangers made a waiver claim of their own, selecting left-hander Charlie Leesman from the White Sox. Leesman, who tore the ACL in his left knee last fall, has five days to accept or decline the assignment, or become a free agent.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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