Right-hander Brandon McCarthy (stress fracture in right scapula) allowed only two hits and three walks in six scoreless innings for Triple A Oklahoma City on Thursday night in his fifth rehab start. He missed the chance for a victory as Warner Madrigal blew a save in the seventh inning and the RedHawks lost 2-1 to Iowa in the second game of a double header.
McCarthy, who struck out seven and threw only 74 pitches, seems to be a lock to start one of the two Rangers games Tuesday as they face Toronto in a double header. He would have to be activated from the 60-day disabled list, which isn't a problem because the Rangers have an opening on the 40-man roster. Getting him activated by Monday so that he's eligible for the postseason might be a little trickier, but it's doable.
Could/should McCarthy unseat Dustin Nippert in the starting rotation? The Rangers indicated earlier in the week that a McCarthy-or-Nippert conversation hasn't taken place. That was before Nippert walked seven in 3 2/3 innings Thursday as the Rangers beat the Yankees 7-2.
Third baseman Michael Young said that while Nippert wasn't as sharp as he has been, he never backed down against a Yankees lineup that leads the major leagues in home runs. Nippert, though, has more experience in the bullpen than McCarthy and could transition into a relief role with more ease.
They will likely both pitch Tuesday against the Blue Jays, but after that, one will be in the bullpen the next time that spot comes up in the rotation.
-- Jeff Wilson