Rangers notes: Joakim Soria set back by strained muscle in chest

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Texas Rangers pitchers can’t seem to escape harm, even when they aren’t actually with the club.

The latest member of the pitching staff to be slowed is Joakim Soria, who suffered a strained pectoral muscle while rehabbing at extended spring training and won’t throw for two or three weeks.

His debut with the Rangers, expected to be in late May or early June after completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery last year, is now targeted for July 1.

The silver lining, said general manager Jon Daniels, is that Soria’s elbow is structurally sound and will get a couple more weeks before it is pressed into a major-league game.

“We were hoping for May 15 to June 1 timeframe,” Daniels said. “It’s completely unrelated to the arm and the elbow. It’s kind of one of those freak deals. It was his fourth or fifth live BP.”

Though the Rangers’ bullpen has performed well, with an American League-best 1.96 ERA so far this season, having to wait an extra month on Soria is considered a blow.

“I feel it,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s another issue we’ve got to deal with.”

The Rangers announced on Friday that Matt Harrison would have surgery Tuesday to fix a herniated disk. He isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break, by which time fellow left-hander Martin Perez (broken forearm) and righty Colby Lewis (torn flexor tendon) should have made their returns.

Perez and Lewis are expected back next month. Perez could begin a rehab assignment next week if he clears a session of live batting practice Tuesday and an outing in an extended-spring game Saturday without issue.

Lewis is scheduled to throw live batting practice twice this week and pitch in at least one extended game next week before beginning his rehab assignment.

Perez and Lewis can be on assignment for 30 days before the Rangers have to make a roster move with them.

Tepesch all set

Nick Tepesch declared himself ready to start Thursday at Minnesota after avoiding a serious injury when he was struck in the right forearm by a line drive Saturday against Seattle.

The rookie had worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings when Jesus Montero sent a liner back to the mound that struck Tepesch and continued into the outfield. He left the game with a bruise and a large scrape.

But Tepesch threw his normal between-starts bullpen session at Angel Stadium after being reassured that the arm was OK after playing catch Sunday. While he said that he wasn’t thinking about the worst-case scenario, he knows he was fortunate.

“It feels pretty normal,” said Tepesch, who is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. “It could have been a lot worse. After throwing those warm-up pitches, I felt like I could have continued. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”


• The Rangers expect to know Tuesday if they will make up last week’s washed-out game at Wrigley Field on May 6 or May 9. The Chicago Cubs also have off those days but would have to vote to approve playing May 6 after playing 20 games in 20 days. The Rangers are off each day and play a two-game series at nearby Milwaukee May 7-8.

• The Rangers are the only team in the majors yet to lose back-to-back games this season. They were vying for their fourth straight win late Monday, a feat they hadn’t accomplished since Aug. 22-25.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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