Rangers catcher Pierzynski heads to DL with strained oblique

Posted Wednesday, May. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Catcher A.J. Pierzynski will be placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Texas Rangers before Friday’s game at Houston after an MRI exam Wednesday morning revealed a minor strain to his right oblique muscle.

The Rangers will recall Robinson Chirinos from Triple A to take Pierzynski’s roster spot. Chirinos, a better offensive player than fellow Round Rock catcher Eli Whiteside, is on the 40-man roster and can play multiple positions.

The move is retroactive to Monday, and Pierzynski is hopeful that he will be reinstated the first possible day, May 21, even though an oblique strain typically requires two to four weeks to heal.

“I can’t see the future, but I’m planning on that,” said Pierzynski, who will hit the DL for only the second time in his career.

Pierzynski suffered the injury two weeks ago. He missed a third straight game Wednesday and his fifth since April 30, but had played four straight before sitting out Monday.

He said that the discomfort was its worst Sunday, when he struck out four times against Boston, but he noted improvement after being scratched from the lineup Tuesday.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Pierzynski said after the Rangers’ 4-1 victory over Milwaukee. “I’m mad. I’m disappointed with myself that I can’t play through this. It’s just not getting any better. We don’t want this to become something that turns into a month or six weeks.”

Manager Ron Washington said that Geovany Soto will catch the majority of the games while Pierzynski is out. The Rangers are 5-5 when Soto starts at catcher.

Pitch counts for 200, please

Much has been made about Yu Darvish throwing a career-high 127 pitches Sunday, a byproduct of striking out 14 batters, but the right-hander doesn’t have any concerns about his pitch counts going forward.

And, he said, he’s definitely not going to change the way he pitches simply in an effort to keep his pitch count down.

“I know the manager and the pitching coach are concerned about my pitch count because I have too many strikeouts,” Darvish said. “As long as I have four days to recover fully between games, I really don’t care how many pitches I throw.”

Ron Washington said that he would stop Darvish at 130 pitches. Darvish, though, believes he can throw more.

“Up to 200,” he said, though only semi-jokingly.

Bailing them out

Left-hander Robbie Ross entered Wednesday having stranded all 14 runners he has inherited this season, a number that also made him the major league leader in inherited runners stranded without allowing one score.

That’s a point of pride for the second-year reliever, who wants to finish the job of whoever he is replacing because he knows at some point they have probably cleaned up on of his jams.

“When I have other guys’ runners on the base, I get more intense,” he said. “I don’t want to give up their runs. You want the guy who comes in behind you to get you out of it. You want to be known as the guy who’s going to help someone out.”

Ross also has the third-lowest ERA among American League relievers at 0.61. He has logged 10 consecutive scoreless innings and is off to a better start than as a rookie during an eye-opening first half of the 2012 season.

“I just try to go out there and throw strikes,” said Ross, who had a 0.95 ERA at the All-Star break last year before finishing at 2.22. “I guess it’s more of a thing of not putting too much pressure on myself.”

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

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