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June 12, 2012

Tuesday's Rangers notes: Ross, Kirkman unlikely to start Saturday; Nelson Cruz out

Manager Ron Washington wants to keep Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman in the bullpen, and said those two are unlikely to get the nod for Saturday's start against Houston.

Ross threw four innings and 45 pitches on Sunday, and could give the Rangers multiple innings. But with Alexi Ogando landing on the disabled list Tuesday, Washington feels Ross is too important in the bullpen to move him into the rotation.

Kirkman, meanwhile, has been stretched out as a starter of late at Triple A Round Rock, but has come in relief his past two outings with the Express. The Rangers feel Kirkman is most valuable as a lefty in the bullpen for them at this point in time.

Other candidates on the 40-man roster would include top prospects Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez, who have each been inconsistent at Triple A Round Rock this season. Double A Frisco right-hander Jake Brigham is on the 40-man, and has gone 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts for the Rough Riders.

Candidates who would require a 40-man roster move include Greg Reynolds and Derek Hankins at Round Rock, and Justin Grimm and Barret Loux at Frisco.

Here are a few other notes:

* Nelson Cruz has been sent home with a virus. It's not considered serious, as the Rangers are being more cautious than anything.

* Ron Washington said Roy Oswalt would need at least one more minor league start after tonight before joining the Rangers.

* Derek Holland hopes to be throwing at some point by the end of this week, and would need at least one rehab start before being activated off the DL.

* Neftali Feliz said his right elbow is feeling better, and he would like to start throwing again on Friday. He thinks he will need two weeks to get his arm strength back.

-- Drew Davison

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