Texas Rangers

Rangers leaning toward giving Cashner start Saturday

Manager Jeff Banister called right-hander Andrew Cashner the front-runner to start Saturday at Seattle, where the Texas Rangers will need a fifth starter for the first time, but won’t make it official until Friday.

Banister wants to make sure that Cashner, who is on the disabled list because of biceps soreness from early in spring training, doesn’t have any setbacks before the start. If he does, Nick Martinez would face the Mariners.

“Those are the two guys we have available to us,” Banister said. “I trust that Cashner is healthy and ready to go. If all things are equal and go right, I would say Cashner is the front-runner to be that guy. I want to make sure that each day he’s healthy and ready to go.”

Cashner tossed five scoreless innings Monday, throwing 76 pitches, in an extended spring game against San Diego Padres minor-leaguers in Peoria, Ariz. He said that he could tell that his pitches were sharp enough to compete in a big-league game.

Martinez was recalled Wednesday from Triple A Round Rock to help reinforce the bullpen and to be available in case the decision was made to send Cashner out for another rehab start.