Notes: Eight is enough in bullpen

Notes: Eight is enough in bullpen

BOSTON -- For the time being, the Rangers will stay with a 13-man pitching staff.

"I don't see anything imminent," skipper Buck Showalter said Sunday. "We'll get through today and see how we do."

The Rangers are carrying eight relievers in addition to their traditional five starters, with John Wasdin, a long man, being used as a spot starter for Sunday's second game in Boston.

"With a doubleheader today and the White Sox for four days and Arizona behind them, I would think it would be tough to do anything until that off-day [June 19]. I'm not sure what J.D's plans are," Showalter said, referring to general manager Jon Daniels.

Double-dinged: Ian Kinsler wasn't about to let a little bruise on his leg keep him from playing Sunday. The Rangers' second baseman fouled a ball off his left shin early in Saturday night's game and then did the same off his right knee in the seventh inning, just moments before lining the go-ahead single down the left-field line in the Rangers' 7-4 win.

"Jamie said when he left last night he didn't have much swelling and didn't even take an ice or a wrap home," Showalter said in relating his conversation with trainer Jamie Reed. "When he asked, 'If he'd be all right when Buck asks you to go [Sunday],' he said, 'No, I'll be ready to go two [games].' I think he'll be all right, but he got banged pretty good."

Don't look for Kinsler to be adding any protection anytime soon, though.

"He got hit by thrown balls [in the Minors]," Showalter said. "But he's one of the those guys we talked to about elbow pads and shin guards and he looks at us like, 'Nah.'"

Early return: Lefty John Koronka headed back a day early to get ready for his Monday start against the White Sox. "He's not going to pitch today," Showalter explained. "So, it was just the right thing to do."

Soccer scout: There are bigger soccer fans than the Rangers' manager. But even he is aware that the U.S. is playing their first game of the World Cup in Germany on Monday.

The U.S. team will be taking on the Czech Republic in their opener, and will face Italy and Ghana later in the group stage as they try to advance forward in the 32-team tournament. The U.S. group is thought to be one of the toughest in the field.

"I got a scouting report from Brad Wilkerson, who is kind of semi-into it. I just asked, 'Do you [follow] this?' He said, 'A little bit.'

"'Well then let me ask you, where do we rank?' He said, 'We're a little over-ranked. Brazil is the best team.'

"They have a guy who makes $32 million a year?" Showalter asked rhetorically, referring to Ronaldinho, the young Brazilian superstar.

Cheers: Curt Schilling recorded his 200th career win against Tampa Bay on May 27 at Fenway Park. As a token of his appreciation, the Red Sox right-hander has been thanking those associated with his career, including former managers. That's why when Showalter arrived Sunday at his office, there was an autographed bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, circa 1998, waiting for him.

"Thank you for being part of it," the inscription read.

Showalter managed Schilling for the last part of 2000, when the Diamondbacks traded for him from Philadelphia.

"I had him a short time," Showalter recalled. "He's the best I've ever had. Everything about him is genuine. He works as hard as anyone I've ever been around. He gets it. He knows how hard you have to work to be at your best."

Coming up: The Rangers return home Monday after their 10-game road trip to open a four-game series with the defending World Series champion White Sox at Ameriquest Field. Left-hander John Koronka (4-3, 4.69) will oppose right-hander Jose Contreras (6-0, 2.54) in a 6:05 p.m. CT start. The game is starting an hour earlier than normal to accommodate ESPN TV.

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.