Rangers unsure of timetable for Beltre's return

Cashner's camp work on display in first start

Rangers unsure of timetable for Beltre's return

OAKLAND -- The Rangers played their 15th game on Wednesday, and they still don't know when third baseman Adrian Beltre will be ready.

Beltre remains on the disabled list with a strained right calf muscle, and he is not close to running full speed. He did some light running and gentle turns before Wednesday's game, but he did not come close to game speed.

The Rangers are off to a 5-9 start, but manager Jeff Banister refused to say that missing Beltre is part of the problem.

"I'm not going to put anything on Adrian being out of the lineup," Banister said. "We have been without Yu Darvish, without Derek Holland, without Adrian, been without a number of key players both the past two seasons. Do we want Adrian back? Yes, we need Adrian in the lineup. But if you start looking at that, it creates a mindset that, hey [the losing] is OK, we don't have Adrian."

Joey Gallo started for the 15th straight game on Wednesday, and he began the day hitless in his past 11 at-bats. Prior to that, he was on a run with two doubles, a triple and two homers.

"I think he has done a stellar job handling it physically and mentally," Banister said. "He was here early today, going out there and working. That shows me the energy is still there. I haven't seen any reaction other than he is engaged and ready to play."

Cashner shows improved mechanics

Andrew Cashner made his first start with the Rangers on Saturday, and he showed he was healthy by throwing 5 1/3 innings and 85 pitches against the Mariners. Cashner, who started the season on the disabled list with right biceps soreness, pitched five scoreless innings before the Mariners scored four off him in the sixth.

Cashner, who starts on Thursday against the Royals, also showed that he has made significant progress with pitching coach Doug Brocail on his delivery. That was a goal in Spring Training before the injury. Brocail wanted to slightly increase Cashner's stride so the starter could get more extension with his arm and be more on top of his pitches.

Cashner induces double play

"We're still working on it," Cashner said. "It's not a huge mechanical adjustment. It's something I've done before. On all my pitches, I need to get over the top on them. My sinker is flat if I don't. I'm getting a lot better extension. I can feel the difference."

Rangers beat 

• The Rangers have signed veteran infielder Josh Wilson to a Minor League contract, and they have assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. He was with the Rangers for 24 games in 2014, and he has eight years of Major League experience. He was with the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League this past year.

• The Rangers remain without utility infielder Hanser Alberto, who has been sidelined since the beginning of the season with a sore right shoulder. His return is unknown. Alberto was on a throwing program in Arizona, but he was recently shut down by continued discomfort in his shoulder.

Sam Dyson, on the disabled list with a contusion on his right hand, has continued to throw in Oakland, and he could be assigned to Round Rock on a medical rehabilitation assignment this weekend.

• The Rangers made room on their 40-man roster by outrighting pitcher Tyler Wagner to Round Rock. He was already there, but he cleared waivers.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.