Manager Ron Washington said he won’t set his rotation past Wednesday until Nick Tepesch successfully completes a bullpen session.
Tepesch left his last start on Saturday in the seventh inning after feeling a twinge in his left knee. He has reported no further discomfort and said he expected to make his next start, which, if he remains on schedule, would be Friday in Cleveland.
“Want to see how he does,” Washington said, and make sure he has “no issues afterward.”
Another of Texas’ young hurlers returns to the mound Tuesday on six days’ rest for the second game of a three-game set against the Yankees.
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Right-hander Nick Martinez went 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his last start, in New York, his first since coming off the disabled list. He gave up three hits and one walk but struck out three in a no-decision.
“Coming off a start like that is good,” Martinez said. “I mean, we didn’t get the win, but you know, coming off the DL and having a strong start like that definitely plays a role in this next start.”
Starts for Tepesch and Martinez double as auditions as a sort for the team’s rotation next year.
Tepesch was strong in five innings against Oakland on Saturday before giving up back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning.
“I want to see them all. I want to see as much of them as we possibly can,” Washington said of all his young pitchers.
Jeter on Elvis
Elvis Andrus over the weekend called Derek Jeter an icon. Jeter, making his last appearance at Globe Life Park in Arlington, repaid in kind to his fellow shortstop before Monday’s game.
“I’ve enjoyed getting a chance to play against him,” Jeter said. “That’s one of the things I enjoy doing. You get to know people’s personalities.”
Jeter said he most remembers playoff encounters in Arlington.
“We’ve had some battles in the postseason,” Jeter said of playoff series in 1996, 1998-99 and 2010.
There is a six degrees of separation dynamic to the Rangers’ 2007 Mark Teixeira trade that extends to Roman Mendez.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was acquired as part of the Teixeira trade with the Braves, was traded to Boston in 2010 in a deal for three minor leaguers, among them Mendez, who now appears to be a promising piece of the Rangers bullpen.
Mendez, after setting down the side in order on Sunday, has retired 33 of the 41 batters he has faced since being called up from Triple A Round Rock on July 7. He has matched Alexi Ogando for the club record by beginning his career with eight straight scoreless appearances.
“A little bit [surprised] because I was a little bit inconsistent in the minor leagues,” said Mendez, a Dominican who spoke through an interpreter. “The most important thing is to have confidence in all my pitches.”
• Jake Smolinski, on the disabled list with a bruised foot, still is not able to get on the field, Washington said.
• Robbie Ross earned his third victory with Triple A Round Rock, giving up two runs in seven innings, and is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts.
• Texas stayed with three reserves, keeping an extra pitcher in the bullpen. “More than anything else, we need to continue to protect our pitching,” Washington said.