Rangers activate Hamilton, Cruz, Tateyama

Rangers activate Hamilton, Cruz, Tateyama

Rangers activate Hamilton, Cruz, Tateyama
ARLINGTON -- Outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz were activated off the disabled list on Monday. They were joined at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington by reliever Yoshinori Tateyama, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock.

To make room for those three, the Rangers optioned catcher Taylor Teagarden, pitcher Cody Eppley and first baseman Chris Davis to Round Rock.

Hamilton, the American League Most Valuable Player in 2010, will be the designated hitter and bat third on Monday. Cruz, who was sidelined with a strained right quadriceps muscle, will bat sixth and playing left field.

"It's nice ... obviously getting back to having our whole team healthy is nice," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "Getting healthy and staying healthy is two different things, but this is the first chance our team can really build some momentum offensively."

The Rangers, going into Monday's game against the White Sox, were hitting .244 with a .348 slugging percentage in their past 26 games. They were averaging 3.8 runs while losing 16 of those 26 games.

"Physically, I feel good ... I'm ready to roll," said Hamilton, who was 4-for-18 with two home runs on medical rehab assignment. "I'm sure the first couple of at-bats, I'll have to get some nervousness and anxiousness out. At the same time, my timing is good, my cage work has been good and my batting practices have been good."

With those two back in the lineup, manager Ron Washington moved Ian Kinsler back into the leadoff spot and will keep Young in the cleanup spot. Young, who started at first on Monday, is hitting .342 in 10 games since being moved into the cleanup spot.

"Michael is doing pretty good there," Washington said.

Hamilton will remain at designated hitter for the immediate future until Dr. Keith Meister and others on the Rangers' medical staff decide he's ready to return to the outfield.

"It may be four or five days, it may be three days," Washington said.

The Rangers originally considered putting outfielder Endy Chavez on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring muscle. But they reconsidered and sent Davis to Round Rock instead.

Texas felt Chavez is close to being able to play in the outfield. With Hamilton at designated hitter, the Rangers have Young, Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland who can all play first base, and they felt they needed the extra outfielder with Julio Borbon still on the disabled list.

Davis was hitting .250 with three home runs and four RBIs since being recalled from Round Rock. He was originally brought up when Hamilton went on the disabled list on April 13.

"Chris Davis has performed well and done what we've asked," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We see him going to Triple-A and continuing to do what he has been doing. He has every chance of being a productive part of our team at some point later this season."

Tateyama was called up to reinforce a bullpen that has a 4.60 ERA for May, as well as three blown saves in the past seven games. Their eight blown saves is the second most in the AL and their 10 blown saves are third most.

Tateyama was 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 relief appearances, holding opponents to a .214 batting average while striking out 26 and walking four in 21 innings.

Eppley, a rookie, pitched in 10 games for the Rangers. He allowed six runs in a third of an inning against the Yankees on May 8, but just two runs over 8 2/3 innings in his other nine outings.

"We quit finding places to use Eppley," Washington said. "He's young, he's needs to go down and get consistent work. Tateyama has been doing a great job. Hopefully he can give us a shot in the arm. He throws strikes, keeps the ball down in the zone and he has learned about expanding the strike zone. If he continues to do that, he will be effective."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.