Saunders heads to DL with bruised left foot
Lefty was hit by line drive in last start; McCutchen recalled from Double-A
BOSTON -- The Rangers have put pitcher Joe Saunders on the disabled list with a bruised left foot, and the club has recalled pitcher Daniel McCutchen from Double-A Frisco.
Saunders was hit by a line drive in his last start, Friday against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Rangers have not announced who will replace Saunders in the rotation, but it could be Colby Lewis.
Lewis pitched five innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, allowing four runs, and threw 92 pitches. He can elect to become a free agent if he is not added to the big league roster by Thursday.
McCutchen is returning to the Rangers after being optioned on Saturday. He pitched 2 1/3 innings on Friday against the Rays in relief of Saunders.
Rangers to determine what's next for Lewis
BOSTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels joined the team at Fenway Park on Monday night and will meet with manager Ron Washington, pitching coach Mike Maddux and others to determine what's next for pitcher Colby Lewis.
There is a possibility Lewis could rejoin the Rangers rotation as early as Saturday against the Astros to replace Joe Saunders, who went on the disabled list Monday with a bruised left ankle. But the Rangers have not announced their rotation beyond the Red Sox series and Yu Darvish pitching on Friday night against the Astros.
Lewis pitched five innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches on a wet, cold and windy day.
"The reports on Colby have been pretty positive," Daniels said. "He threw well for the first four innings. The fifth inning went a little long. It was not optimum conditions. We talked to him in Spring Training and he felt he was ready to go. We wanted him to make one or two starts [in the Minors] and now he's made two. We'll meet, make a decision and talk to Colby about it."
Lewis hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since July 18, 2012. He had surgery in 2012 to repair a torn flexor tendon and had hip replacement last August. He came to Spring Training on a Minor League contract and has a provision that allows him to become a free agent if he's not added to the Major League roster by April 10. That is Thursday.
"That's something to consider, but we'll bring him back when he's ready to win games," Daniels said.
Maddux watched the video of Lewis' performance and talked to Round Rock pitching coach Brad Holman.
"Brad said there are some things that need to be tightened up but Colby is Colby," Maddux said. "The bright lights could tighten that up. I think if Colby is healthy, he's ready. My bet is on Colby."
Because the Rangers are off on Thursday, they could insert Lewis or another fifth starter into the rotation at any point between Saturday and Tuesday. They are looking for somebody to replace Saunders, who is still recovering from getting hit by a line drive in Friday's start against the Rays.
"I just tried to run on it and it hurts," Saunders said Monday afternoon. "It needs time to heal. It was getting better every day, but today I tried to push it and it bit me a little bit."
Rangers encouraged by Ogando's outing vs. Rays
BOSTON -- The Rangers were encouraged by what they saw from Alexi Ogando in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against the Rays. Ogando allowed two of four batters to reach base and Neal Cotts had to get the Rangers out of the inning.
But Ogando is coming over the top more on his delivery rather than dropping his arm. By doing so, it creates more velocity and helps Ogando get the ball down in the zone. When he does that, Ogando is at his best.
"He's better, he just needs to be consistent with his delivery," manager Ron Washington said.
"I have been working on the angle of my arm and it's been a lot better," Ogando said. "It's just about feeling comfortable throwing and I feel more comfortable over the top. There is less stress on my shoulder."
If Ogando can get the power back in his pitches and keep the ball down in the zone, he could emerge as the Rangers eighth-inning power reliever while Tanner Scheppers is in the rotation.
Rangers won't rush Feliz; McCutchen called up
BOSTON -- The Rangers called up pitcher Daniel McCutchen from Double-A Frisco to replace Joe Saunders on the roster. McCutchen will pitch out of the bullpen until the Rangers need a fifth starter.
The Rangers did not consider Neftali Feliz, who was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock at the end of Spring Training. He has pitched two scoreless innings for the Express, but the Rangers still want him to build up endurance and velocity, and work on some mechanical changes in his delivery with pitching coach Brad Holman and Minor League coordinator Danny Clark.
"He's making progress," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I've seen some video on what they're working on mechanically and he looks better. We knew it would be a process. We want to make sure he gets it right. If that means additional time, we want to make sure he gets it right. He could probably come up here now and compete and get people out.
"But he can be a dominating back end of the bullpen piece and we want to make sure he gets it right."
Feliz was the Rangers closer in 2010-11 when they went to the World Series but underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 after he was switched to the rotation. He is still not all the way back to where he was before the surgery.
Harrison tries again Tuesday
BOSTON -- Matt Harrison will make his next start for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday night against Arkansas. Harrison is scheduled to throw four innings and 65 pitches. That was the plan last Thursday, but rain washed out the game after two innings. Harrison ended up throwing just 42 pitches.
Harrison, who began the season on the disabled list while completing his recovery from two back operations a year ago, is still scheduled to make at least four more starts on medical rehabilitation assignment.
That would take him through April 23 if there are no setbacks. But he would still have more time on his 30-day medical rehab assignment if the Rangers feel he needs it. The rehab assignment started last Thursday even though the game ended up being rained out.
"He is about where you would expect," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He just started his rehab assignment. We said he should be built up by April 23, but it's not a deadline. He can go as long as he needs until he's ready. He is coming off multiple back surgeries and we want to make sure he's ready to compete. We want to make sure he's 100 percent and ready to go."
• Donnie Murphy started for the second straight game at second base on Monday. Manager Ron Washington said Josh Wilson will likely get two consecutive starts on Tuesday and Wednesday as he tries to keep both players engaged.
• Murphy and Wilson were a combined 8-for-19 through six games. That's a .421 batting average that was the second highest in the Majors by second basemen for one team. The Phillies' second basemen -- Chase Utley -- were 12-for-23 for a .542 average.
• Adrian Beltre turned 35 on Monday. He celebrated by playing his 2,212th game at third base, tying Mike Schmidt for fifth most in Major League history. The all-time leader is Brooks Robinson with 2,870.
• Nick Martinez pitched well in his Major League debut on Saturday, but the Rangers still decided to have him go back to Double-A Frisco rather than Triple-A Round Rock. Said general manager Jon Daniels, "If he had stayed up a month, we might have gone in that direction. But it was a spot start and we had him lined up for Frisco. That's how we'll start."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.