Rangers' Tuesday starter up in the air

Rangers' Tuesday starter up in the air

ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Matt Harrison could start in place of Dustin Nippert in Tuesday's game against the Angels.

It would be Nippert's scheduled turn in the rotation, but manager Ron Washington said he has preferred to throw left-handers against the Angels.

"Lefties do a good job against them. All of that will be discussed," Washington said. "In the past, we've always tried to throw our lefties against them."

Harrison began the season as a starter before being injured and picked up his first Major League save on Wednesday by pitching three innings with three strikeouts while giving up a run.

Since Nippert entered the rotation due to injuries to Rich Harden and Derek Holland, he hasn't pitched past the third inning in either of his starts.

In Wednesday's 13-3 win over the Pirates, Nippert struck out seven batters in just three innings of work. But three two-out walks and several foul balls by Pirates hitters kept Nippert from a quality start, as he threw 40 pitches in the third inning.

"In the third inning, he got the first two outs quick," Washington said. "He threw 40-something pitches, he lost his fastball. It was hot out there. It just took it out of him. When he got the first two outs, I thought, 'Geez, he might get five.'"

As a result, Harrison or Nippert could start. Should the Rangers choose go to the Minors, Guillermo Moscoso would be the candidate. Tanner Scheppers and Blake Beavan are not candidates.

The Rangers could skip the fifth starter spot because they have an off-day on Monday. Washington said, however, that the Rangers would prefer not to do that. He said the Rangers still want to use the off-day to give all their starters an extra day of rest. But the Rangers are considering the possibility of changing their minds and skipping the fifth starter.