The MRI on Ian Kinsler's strained left groin showed significant improvement, and the All-Star second baseman has been cleared to resume baseball activities. He ran today and was expected to hit in the batting cages. He will run the bases tomorrow and take groundballs.
The Rangers, though, aren't putting a timetable on Kinsler's return. They want to make sure he's at full strength before reinstating him from the disabled list. Kinsler expects that to happen before or on Sept. 1. Manager Ron Washington said that Nelson Cruz (strained left hamstring) will return before Kinsler. Cruz could leave for a rehab assignment Thursday and be back for the start of the Rangers' next road trip Aug. 30.
Frank Francisco said that he received a cortisone injection after the game Monday night in the area around his right armpit to help ease inflammation that was causing soreness in his side. Manager Ron Washington, though, said that Francisco was available to pitch Monday night and is available tonight. He continues to be the Rangers' primary eighth-inning setup man. Darren O'Day worked the eighth inning Monday because the coaching staff believed he was a better matchup.
Matt Treanor was hand-picked by Rich Harden on Monday to serve as the Rangers' catcher. Washington said that he wanted to give Harden every chance to be successful, and the right-hander responded with 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. Washington, though, said that other pitchers shouldn't expect to name their catcher going forward.
-- Jeff Wilson