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Notes: Rangers make Eyre starter

Notes: Rangers make Eyre starter

TORONTO -- The Rangers starting pitcher assignment for Saturday turned into a bit of a revolving door right up until game time.

Following Friday night's game against the Blue Jays, Texas announced it was putting Saturday's scheduled starter, Kameron Loe, on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his lower back. In his place, the Rangers recalled right-hander Mike Wood from Triple-A Oklahoma.

Wood was expected to be Saturday's starter, but when the lineup was announced just prior to the game, his name was noticeably absent. Instead, the Rangers decided to give the spot start to right-handed reliever Willie Eyre.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said the decision to switch starters was made because Wood had thrown 81 pitches in a start for Oklahoma on Wednesday and the Rangers didn't want him pitching for an extended period of time on such short rest.

"We didn't want him to start just after having just two days," Washington said. "We figured we could get more out of Willy starting. Then, Woody can come in and give us a few innings in between."

Eyre last pitched on Wednesday, as well, but he entered Saturday's contest with a chance to pitch deeper into the game because in that outing against the Indians, he threw just 31 pitches. Eyre was given a pitch count of 65-70 pitches, which the Rangers had hoped would get him through five innings.

Unfortunately for Texas, Eyre was roughed up by the Blue Jays in the first inning. He allowed the first five batters he faced to reach base and when he was finally able to record three outs, Toronto had already scored six runs. Eyre got through just 2 1/3 innings and finished with seven earned runs on six hits while walking two batters.

Loe isn't eligible to come off the DL for another week, but since Texas has a day off on Aug. 9 and another on Aug. 13, he won't have to miss another start. Instead, Washington has said that his regular turn in the rotation will be skipped over until he can be activated.

On Saturday, Loe said that his injured back was already starting to feel better and that he would only need to spend the minimum 15 days on the DL. He's scheduled to throw off flat ground on Sunday, with a bullpen session to follow on Monday.

Cutting it close: There are only 11 days remaining for Rangers general manager Jon Daniels to sign his 2007 First-Year Player Draft selections. Texas loses the rights to its picks if they are not signed by Aug. 15, because of a new rule in the collective bargaining agreement.

So far, 25 of Daniels' 54 picks are under contract, but that does not include the Rangers' first overall selection, right-handed pitcher Blake Beavan.

Beavan, a recent high school graduate from Irving, Texas, was taken with the 17th pick in the first round, but has yet to come to terms on a deal. He's threatened to attend Navarro Junior College in the fall and re-enter next year's Draft if he isn't offered a contract he finds suitable.

If the Rangers are unable to reach a deal with the 18-year-old, they will be awarded a first-round pick in 2008 as compensation.

While Daniels is still hopeful to get more players under contract before the deadline passes, he also realizes that since some of his picks have already sat out almost out the entire summer, they may choose to wait and re-enter the Draft next year.

"At this point, I think players and agents are sitting back and saying, 'We've waited this long,'" Daniels said, "'We've already wasted the summer and haven't played -- we might as well play it out the rest of the way.'"

Before any deals can be made official, the players involved must undergo physicals and the paperwork must be filed to the league office prior to the Aug. 15 deadline. As a result, Daniels said it's unlikely any deals will be reached at the last minute.

"It probably won't be an 11th-hour thing if something gets done," Daniels said.

Harrison's on the mend: Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison has received some good news on his injured shoulder. Harrison, who was a part of the seven-player trade for Mark Teixeira, was examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister this week and was told his shoulder should be fine after some rest.

Harrison had a case of "turf toe" that he tried to overcompensate for, which led to the shoulder issue. He's receiving treatment for his shoulder in Surprise, Ariz., and is expected to be cleared to resume throwing in approximately three weeks, once his toe is completely healed.

Wounded Cat: Texas left fielder Frank Catalanotto can't seem to catch a break. For the past week, Catalanotto has been suffering with a sore Achilles tendon in his left foot. Then, on Friday night, he was hit on the top of his right foot by a Roy Halladay fastball. The impact caused one of his right toes to become infected and he'll likely lose the toenail.

Despite now having issues with both of his feet, Catalanotto says it's not going to be something that forces him to miss any time.

"Hopefully somehow it'll get better while playing," Catalanotto said. "As long as I'm treating it -- I can manage it."

Lineup changes on the way: Washington said that Jarrod Saltalamacchia would get the start on Sunday behind the plate, while Sammy Sosa would either give Jason Botts a day off at designated hitter or would see some time in right field.

Did you know? When Ian Kinsler stole second base during the second inning of Friday night's game against Toronto, he set a career high in stolen bases with 12.

Coming up: Brandon McCarthy (5-7, 5.18 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Texas when the Rangers close out a three-game series against the Blue Jays at 12:07 p.m. CT on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Toronto will counter with right-hander Dustin McGowan (7-5, 4.36).

Gregor Chisholm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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