Notes: McCarthy resumes throwing

Notes: McCarthy resumes throwing

ANAHEIM -- Brandon McCarthy, on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade, resumed his throwing program on Sunday without problem either in the shoulder or the elbow.

McCarthy has been on the disabled list since Aug. 11 because of the shoulder, but had to shut down his throwing last week because of the elbow. He played catch on flat ground on Sunday and will continue to do that for a few days before moving up to the mound.

"No problems," McCarthy said. "Everything felt strong. I think we were just dealing with a little triceps tendinitis. Assuming we don't have any setbacks, we'll just keep building on this."

Once McCarthy gets back on the mound, he'll have two or three bullpen sessions, then a simulated game and then he hopes at least a couple of starts before the season is over.

"If I'm healthy, it's important," McCarthy said. "We don't want to rush it, but if I feel the way I did today and stay that way, it's important. The more Major League starts I make, the better. We're talking about 10-15 innings and that's 10-15 innings I don't have. Each inning I get, I learn more about myself."

McCarthy, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, is 5-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) and 94 innings.

"I'd like to hit the ground running and stop stealing paychecks from the Rangers," McCarthy said. "I feel bad. I got a paycheck the other day for zero dollars. It just said, 'Do something.' I figured it was time to get going."

Shifting Guerrero: The Rangers haven't completely shut down Vladimir Guerrero. But the drastic shift that they started employing against him earlier this season does seem to be slowing him down.

Manager Ron Washington, at bench coach Art Howe's suggestion, starting using three infielders on the left side of the infield the day after Guerrero went 4-for-4 against them in the second game of the season.

In the 13 games since then, going into Sunday's game, Guerrero was 17-for-51 with six doubles, no home runs and eight RBIs against the Rangers. He had a .414 on-base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage.

In 56 games against the Rangers prior to Washington employing the shift, Guerrero was hitting .440 with a .502 on-base percentage and an .812 slugging percentage. He also had 21 home runs in 218 at-bats. The Rangers think the shift is keeping Guerrero from trying to pull everything and he gets out of his power mode when he tries to go to the opposite field.

"I'll give him singles all day long," Washington said. "He's not driving in any runs and he's not hitting any bombs. If he wants to hit that way, we'll let him. We can't stop him, but we can slow him down."

Wright takes to the bullpen: Jamey Wright is taking to his new role in the Rangers bullpen. Wright threw three scoreless innings in a 7-6 victory over the Angels on Saturday and has a 1.38 ERA in five appearances since being dropped from the starting rotation. He had a 4.66 ERA in nine starts for the Rangers after missing two months with shoulder inflammation.

"It has been a little easier to accept," Wright said. "In the two years prior to this, I was a little bitter when I got put in the bullpen. This year, being on the disabled list for two months, that was my own fault. So I accept it more. I come in and do my job rather than think about what I could do to stay in the rotation or think about why I was not in the rotation."

Murphy congratulates Buchholz: Rangers outfielder David Murphy sent a text message to his former Red Sox Minor League teammate Clay Buchholz on Saturday night. Murphy was able to catch the last inning on television as Buchholz completed his no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in his second Major League start.

"I just said, 'Congratulations, that's unbelievable. I couldn't be happier for you,'" Murphy said. "It was fun to watch. He's a great kid."

The Rangers had numerous trade discussions with the Red Sox earlier this summer involving both first baseman Mark Teixeira and reliever Eric Gagne. The Rangers asked about Buchholz, but were turned down.

Blalock plan: Hank Blalock started at designated hitter on Sunday and Washington said he may start there on Monday against the Kansas City Royals. But Washington isn't sure how often Blalock will be able to DH because he still needs to get Jason Botts and others in there as much as possible.

"That's why I'm not committing him to DH," Washington said of Blalock. "I've got a bunch of other guys I need to get in. But I'd like to get him on the field as much as possible. It's hard to have that bat just sitting around."

Rookie watch: Kason Gabbard made his seventh start for the Rangers on Sunday, the only seven starts by a rookie pitcher on the club this year. Among American League teams, only Cleveland has had fewer starts (four) by a rookie pitcher.

He said it: "The only goal I set is we play the best baseball game we can ply. I'm not putting any goals in their minds. Just execute and play the best game they can that day." -- Washington on the final month of the season

Saturday's Minor League stars
Gold: Left-hander Kasey Kiker improved his record to 7-4 with a 2.90 ERA with five scoreless innings in Class A Clinton's 2-1 victory over Burlington.

Silver: Catcher Cristian Santana, 18, was 3-for-3 for Class A Spokane in an 8-5 loss to Boise, and he is now hitting .308 on the season.

Bronze: Outfielder K.C. Herren had a pair of run-scoring doubles for Clinton in their victory over Burlington.

Briefly: Frank Catalanotto was given an extra day to rest a strained groin muscle. Catalanotto said he's 100 percent and Washington said he expects him in the lineup on Monday. ... Catalanotto was named the Rangers Player of the Month for August after hitting .406. The other winners this year were Ian Kinsler (April), Mark Teixeira (May), Marlon Byrd (June) and C.J. Wilson (July). ... Victor Diaz, who could be called up to the Rangers in the next couple of days, hit three home runs for Triple-A Oklahoma in a 20-6 victory over Albuquerque on Sunday. Robinson Tejeda was activated off the disabled list and pitched a scoreless inning.

Up next: The Rangers return home to the Ballpark in Arlington to open a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday. Now that school has started, the Rangers are going back to the 7:05 starting times. Right-hander Kameron Loe pitches against Royals right-hander Zack Greinke.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.