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July 07, 2011

Thursday's pregame Rangers notes

Not a ton of news out there, though it appears as though Alexi Ogando could very well end up making the All-Star team as a replacement for one of the starting pitchers who is working Sunday and by rule must be replaced for the Tuesday game.

Not only are Justin Verlander, James Shields and Felix Hernandez pitching Sunday, but so are possible replacements C.C. Sabathia, Trevor Cahill and Dan Haren.

MLB only released the top five starters in player voting. Ogando's position isn't known, but it's believed to be high enough to get close enough to an All-Star spot. Of course, a game-postponing rain storm would change everything.

Michael Young could be chosen by manager Ron Washington as the one player on the AL team who can re-enter the game after leaving. All-Star rules allow for one player to be designated as a utility player and come back should he be needed.

The Rangers face Rich Harden tonight. Harden, for those who have successfully had his 2010 season removed from their brains, made 18 starts for the Rangers last year, going 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA. He had a few DL stints, which is about the norm for him. He won his only start of this season July 1, allowing two runs in six innings, after spending the first three months on the DL. Most impressively, he didn't walk anyone. He walked 62 in 92 innings last year. Coming up Saturday: Brandon McCarthy.

Ian Kinsler has reached in the first inning in four straight games. He's the only AL leadoff man with double-digit homers (12) and stolen bases (19). He also has a baseball-best 48 walks from the leadoff spot -- 12 more than second place.

-- Jeff Wilson




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