Catcher Bengie Molina admitted that he has been dealing with a painfully sore left elbow since early May. Molina, who was hit by a foul tip there, continues to play regularly and insisted the elbow is "not an excuse," but there is no doubt that it has affected his offense. He is hitting .238 with five home runs and 38 RBIs on the season. But the Rangers still like what they are getting from him. "He brings a calmness to the clubhouse," Washington said. "He's doing a good job with the pitchers, helping them follow the game plan and get through the game. He brings presence."
Pitcher Frank Francisco (strained rib cage muscle) is planning to start playing catch in the outfield on Monday. He has been sidelined since Aug. 28, and this is the initial step in his throwing program that he hopes will allow him to be ready for the playoffs. The Rangers are unsure if that will indeed be the case. "I don't know, maybe," Francisco said. "I'm just taking it one day at a time."