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May 20, 2013

Rangers notes: Ron Washington on the difficult decision to let Derek Lowe go

It's never easy to let a player go, but manager Ron Washington got a little emotional when talking about the Texas Rangers decision to designate veteran right-hander Derek Lowe for assignment.

Lowe, 39, joined the Rangers in the middle of spring training and won the bullpen's long man job. But he had a 9.00 ERA over nine appearances and the Rangers had to clear a roster spot for tonight's starter Josh Lindblom.

"That was a tough conversation, it wans't an easy conversation," Washington said. "It came down to numbers and sometimes this game just doesn't work for you. But he's a pro. He's certainly been big in that clubhouse with our young pitchers. The value he brings, you can't buy.

"It hurts because of his presence and he brings value, something that you just can’t buy. But we had to make a decision and not all of them are cut and dried, so we’re moving on."

Ironically, Lowe was influential in the new approach Lindblom took to starting.

The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Lowe to the minor leagues. They will pay Lowe's full salary of $1.25 million.

Washington said the Rangers wanted to keep right-hander Cory Burns, and weren't ready to option one of their young relievers, such as Joseph Ortiz, back to the minor leagues.

That means Michael Kirkman becomes the longman for the Rangers.

 Here are a few other pregame notes:

* Washington said he would try to get Leury Garcia and Jurickson Profar playing time with Ian Kinsler on the disabled list. Profar is starting tonight, but Washington isn't putting any additional pressure on the top prospect in the game.

* Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is expected to rejoin the Rangers on Tuesday and start. Geovany Soto has played well as the everyday catcher, but will resume a backup role. Washington said Pierzynski's injury won't dictate how he uses his backstops going forward, saying Pierzynski is his starting catcher.

-- Drew Davison


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