Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez threw about 40 pitches during a bullpen session on Thursday and said he feels good.
Martinez, who strained a back muscle during batting practice a couple weeks ago in Baltimore, will throw a another session on Saturday to see how his back recovers.
If he responds well, he could make a start on either Monday or Tuesday against the Yankees in New York.
As of Friday evening, manager Ron Washington hadn’t decided on who will follow Nick Tepesch’s Sunday start.
“We just have to check the recovery. If the recovery is good he’s on his way,” Washington said.
Miles Mikolas will be one of the starters on Monday or Tuesday, Washington said. If Martinez can’t go, Scott Baker and Ryan Feierabend would be the likely options.
Martinez said he pushed himself with a few extra pitches on Thursday and feels ready to return.
“It went great. I had no issues whatsoever,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was being held back or anything. I felt pretty free and nothing was in the back of my mind.”
Colby not concerned
The last time Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis was on the mound he was allowing a record 13 runs (11 earned) against the Angels.
That was before the All-Star break and the right-handed veteran said there’s not much for him to glean from the start.
“I’m not going to make too much of what happened, in any previous start, good, bad or ugly,” said Lewis, who is 6-6 with a 6.54 ERA. “I feel like I threw the ball fine, I just got hit early.”
He’ll face right-hander Marcus Stroman (4-2, 4.05) at 12:07 p.m. Saturday.
Lewis left after allowing 13 hits in 2 1/3 innings against the Angels on July 10.
Manager Ron Washington said Lewis shouldn’t be judged on one bad start. In fact, Lewis had thrown consecutive quality starts in his previous outings. The last time another Rangers’ pitcher did that was Nick Martinez on June 15 and 21.
“You don’t judge Colby on one outing or two outings,” Washington said. “You keep judging him. The Angels lineup just didn’t give him a break that day. They just pounded everything. They have a very long lineup right now.”
Lewis, who offered to come out of the bullpen after the short stint last week to relieve the Rangers’ taxed bullpen, said his body feels great.
“I’m not going to make an excuse. I throw a lot of first-pitch strikes and fastballs and they hit a lot of them,” he said. “Every time I go out there I feel better and better.”
Word from Wash
“This is some bad turf. My body hurts and all I’ve been doing is hitting fungos.” — Rangers’ manager Ron Washington on the Rogers Centre AstroTurf, after explaining that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will only DH this weekend and that he’d also like to give third baseman Adrian Beltre a day off from playing the field.