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March 31, 2010

Rangers update with focus on Ian Kinsler

<>The only things keeping Ian Kinsler off the 15-day disabled list at this point are the official transaction and announcement from the club. The question is, how long will he be on it?

Texas Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine doesn't expect Kinsler's high ankle sprain to keep him out any longer than the minimum, and Kinlser would be able to return April 10. Levine said that Kinsler has made his best strides the past few days, though today he will only track pitches during live batting practice and hit in the cage. Kinsler is not expected to play any of the remaining exhibition schedule.

"With each passing day, the likelihood of him getting to start on Opening Day is diminishing," Levine said. "He's making significant progress, and there has been a breakthrough that took place a couple days ago where he has turned the corner. So, our cause of optimism is much greater today."

Kinsler would break camp with the Rangers tomorrow and continue his rehab in Arlington. He could begin a rehab assignment April 8 at Double A Frisco. Andres Blanco appears the choice to be the starting second baseman Monday against Toronto.

<>Catcher Matt Treanor did not exercise the out clause on his minor-league contract Tuesday and seems prepared to start the season at Triple A Oklahoma City. But he said he might have options once the season begins with other clubs and could opt for free agency at a later date.

"If I get to Triple A and someone wants me, they're going to inquire," said Treanor, who was acquired in a trade March 19. "No one's said anything to me. I was hoping to have talked to someone yesterday."

He could find himself in a fight for playing time at Oklahoma City with Max Ramirez and Kevin Richardson also expected to land there. But with the health of Jarrod Saltalamacchia a concern, Treanor could catch the bulk of the games and be on-call if needed by the Rangers.

The idea that Taylor Teagarden start in the minor leagues with Treanor as the backup to Saltalamacchia hasn't gained much traction. No decision has been made on how the catching duties will be shared, but club officials have indicated that Saltalamacchia could be the choice. He will play in his first A game today since suffering back spasms March 21.

<>Tommy Hunter will not fly back to Arlington with the team. The right-hander, suffering from a strained oblique muscle, will remain in Surprise to continue his rehabilitation and will go on a rehab assignment when he is deemed healthy.

<>Darren O'Day will pitch in a minor-league game today. If all goes well, he would pitch again Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against Kansas City.

-- Jeff Wilson


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