OAKLAND, Calif. — Manny Ramirez continues to not be viewed as a serious option to help the Texas Rangers this season, but the club isn’t planning to let him loose from his minor league contract.Ramirez, 41, is playing regularly for Triple A Round Rock, where he has hits in six of his past seven games to lift his average to .280 (23 for 80) in 22 games.But he has only five extra-base hits and hasn’t homered since July 14, and his bat is seen as too slow to be effective against major league pitching.Ramirez, though, continues to be happy in the minor leagues, and the Rangers seem content to let him be.“We’ve always kept it on the back burner, and we’ve continued to progress as if we weren’t going to have his services,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said Saturday. “I think that’s still our approach with him.”While the reports on his ability haven’t been overwhelming, the reports on his attitude continue to make a favorable impression. Ramirez, who doesn’t have an out in the minor-league deal he signed last month, hasn’t been pushing the Rangers for a decision.“He’s been terrific in that regard,” Levine said. “He’s down there playing. He’s not having daily, weekly conversations with us or his agent. They understand that if his performance demands a promotion, it’s going to happen. If not, he understands the onus is on him to prove his worth to the big league team.”Ross searchingLeft-hander Robbie Ross knows that his numbers aren’t good against left-handers, who are hitting .333 against him. But he’s trying to keep it positive.“Oh, I’m very aware of it,” Ross said. “I got one last night, on a missile. I’ll take it.”Of late, though, Ross isn’t enjoying the success he has had much of the past two seasons. He has allowed 48 hits in 47 1/3 innings, and he got only two outs Friday night in the fifth inning before Jason Frasor wiggled out of the bases-loaded jam.Ross is working on everything, from the mental side of pitching to harnessing his command.“It’s tough right now,” he said. “Physically, I feel great. It’s not like it’s been a big bump in the road, but I’ve been having games here and there, and it’s snowballed a little bit. I’ve just got to overcome it.”Ogando’s strugglesAlexi Ogando is scheduled to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday in Anaheim after again struggling with his command on Friday in a no-decision against Oakland.The right-hander walked five and threw 92 pitches over four innings in his third start since coming off the disabled list on July 23. He left with a 6-3 lead, but he understood the hook because of his heavy workload.Only 48 of his pitches were strikes. Ogando says that he is still trying to work off some DL rust, and the only way to get over that is to keep facing hitters.“He’s not hurt, so now it’s a matter of getting his command,” manager Ron Washington said. “As long as nothing is wrong, we feel things will work themselves out.”Ogando made only one start from May 15 to July 22.Briefly• Michael Kirkman will continue to work as a starter during his rehab assignment after hitting the DL to receive treatment for skin cancer. He allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings on Friday in his first rehab start for Round Rock.• Neftali Feliz will work as a reliever while returning from Tommy John surgery. He walked one and struck out two, hitting 94 mph, in his first rehab outing on Friday in the Arizona League.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson