Rangers’ Nick Tepesch rested, ready for start vs. Twins

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Nick Tepesch and his scraped right forearm were dispatched to Minnesota on Wednesday so that the Texas Rangers’ starting pitcher Thursday wouldn’t have to endure an overnight, time-zone-jumping charter flight.

He potentially had enough to worry about the past week after getting hit by a line drive Saturday night. But all was well shortly after he left the game, and no problems were reported Monday after his between-starts bullpen session.

The only potential problem he could have Thursday, besides Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, would be chilly weather. But not even that will be a big deal for the seemingly unflappable rookie from Blue Springs, Mo.

“I grew up playing in weather like that,” Tepesch said. “It’s nothing I haven’t pitched in before.”

Tepesch had tossed 12/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts against Seattle before he was forced to exit early. He agreed that he had found something that could be useful against the Twins.

“Anytime you feel good like that, you just try to build on that into your next start,” said Tepesch, who threw about 45 pitches in his bullpen session. “It felt good. It felt strong, and I feel comfortable out there.”

May 6 is official

The Rangers and Cubs announced that their makeup game for the April 17 rainout has been rescheduled for 7:05 p.m. May 6 at Wrigley Field.

Rangers players were hoping for a day game, even though their annual Triple Play fundraiser is scheduled for the evening of May 5 after a home game with Boston. Their charter flight will get to Chicago late that night.

The makeup game will kick off a nine-game trip to four cities. The Rangers, who also wanted to preserve an open date May 9, play at Milwaukee on May 7-8, at Houston on May 10-12 and at Oakland on May 13-15.

Baker by Friday?

X-rays on the bruised right knee of Jeff Baker were negative, and the Rangers’ utility man hopes to be back by Friday and Saturday for two Minnesota left-handed pitchers.

Baker said that he initially feared a more significant injury while making a sliding catch in near the stands in left field because his knee banged into the sliver of wall that isn’t padded.

He was stiff and sore a day later, but feeling better.

“When I hit it, it shocked me,” he said. “I was kind of fortunate with it.”

The Rangers are also hopeful that Lance Berkman will play much of the Twins series. Weather at Target Field is expected to be mild Friday through Sunday, though temperatures could be in the 40s Thursday.

Manager Ron Washington said that there will be fewer concerns about Berkman’s bothersome knee if warm weather prevails.

All-Star vote begins

Ballots for the 2013 All-Star Game are out, and balloting is under way at www.mlb.com. Ballots can also be had at Rangers Ballpark beginning Tuesday.

The Rangers have nine players on the ballot. They are: A.J. Pierzynski, catcher; Mitch Moreland, first base; Ian Kinsler, second base; Adrian Beltre, third base; Elvis Andrus, shortstop; David Murphy, Leonys Martin and Nelson Cruz, outfield; and Lance Berkman, designated hitter.

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

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