Rangers making many pitching moves

Rangers making many pitching moves

DETROIT -- Kason Gabbard is going on the disabled list, Scott Feldman is getting another spot start, Eddie Guardado is still on hold and Jason Jennings is getting extra rest.

Those were the pitching decisions made by the Rangers on Wednesday after several rounds of discussions. The final result is Feldman is now starting on Thursday against the Tigers and Jennings is being pushed back to Saturday against the Twins.

The biggest concern is Gabbard, who played catch on Wednesday but did not throw off a mound. He is still experiencing stiffness and discomfort in his back and it became obvious to the Rangers that he would not be able to make his next start.

"I want to pitch," Gabbard said. "I don't want to go on the DL, but I want to take care of this now rather than have it linger. It's still really stiff. It didn't look good for Saturday."

Gabbard, who won't officially be placed on the disabled list until Thursday, strained a muscle in his back in Monday's start against the Red Sox when he caught his cleats on the mound. His next start was scheduled for Saturday, but now he won't take the mound again until May 7 against the Mariners at the earliest.

The Rangers used his situation to juggle the rotation. Jennings was supposed to pitch on Thursday, but the Rangers are giving him two days of extra rest and pushing him back to Saturday. Jennings underwent surgery on Aug. 30 last year to repair a torn flexor tendon and the Rangers are trying to give him extra rest whenever possible.

"It gives him more time to get the soreness out of his body," manager Ron Washington said. "He's carrying a load he hasn't carried in a year."

Feldman is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts at Double-A Frisco and will be making his second start for the Rangers this season. He made a spot start against the Blue Jays on April 13 and turned in a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings. The Rangers still ended up losing in extra innings.

"He certainly threw the ball well the last time he was up here," Washington said. "He's got that sinker, he gets groundballs and he works quickly. He came up and did a great job and we told him if another opportunity came up, we would give him that opportunity."

Guardado was supposed to come off the disabled list on Wednesday, but that has been pushed back until Friday. The Rangers did not want to make a roster move with their bullpen on Wednesday. Instead, they'll wait until Friday. They'll let Feldman start against the Twins, then return him to Frisco and activate Guardado.

That will give the Rangers four starters and eight relievers and, with an off-day on Monday, they'll stay in that configuration until May 3 against Oakland. That's when they'll need a fifth starter again.

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