The only significance the Texas Rangers’ game Monday and the one Tuesday will hold for Ron Washington is that they were two more opportunities to win a ballgame.
But the record book will show that Washington has caught and passed Bobby Valentine for the most games managed in club history. Washington tied the mark of 1,186 during the opener of a four-game series against Minnesota, and, barring something totally unexpected, will assume the top spot Tuesday.
“I think I’ll make it through the day,” Washington said. “It means longevity. I had some great players that gave me an opportunity to be here eight years.”
The Rangers hired Washington after the 2006 season, replacing Buck Showalter, and he passed Valentine for most managerial wins last season.
Washington was at the helm for the franchise’s only two trips to the World Series, in 2010 and 2011.
Right-hander Tanner Scheppers will make three more rehab appearances before the Rangers consider activating him from the disabled list.
Scheppers, out with elbow inflammation, is scheduled to pitch an inning for Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday after making his rehab debut May 24. He worked one inning for Double A Frisco, allowing an unearned run.
Though he was the Rangers’ starter on Opening Day, Scheppers will return as a reliever, and the plan is for him to eventually assume the key eighth-inning role he held down last season.
“We’ll use him when we feel it’s necessary, and he’ll work his way back to that point,” Washington said.
Left-hander Derek Holland continues to throw only bullpen sessions and work on strengthening his left knee in the weight room. His main issue is being able to stop quickly after running.
“We haven’t really tested it,” he said. “I think by the end of the week, we’re going to be trying for the whole stopping thing.”
Washington hopes to have Shin-Soo Choo back in left field after a second straight day of nursing his sore left ankle as the designated hitter.
Choo hopes that he won’t be nursing the injury all season, and hopes the All-Star break will provide the necessary rest. The ankle, sprained April 22 at Oakland, isn’t much of an issue hitting.
“Base running is the worst,” said Choo, who scored from first on Elvis Andrus’ fifth-inning double.
Michael Choice again replaced Choo in left field. Choice homered Sunday against Justin Verlander and doubled home a run in the second inning Monday. Though stuck in a 5-for-41 slide, Choice has hits in four of the five games on the Rangers’ road trip.
“He’s going to have his issues. We knew that,” Washington said. “We’ve got confidence in him, and I’m going to keep putting him out there.”