ARLINGTON -- Hank Blalock is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, shortstop Michael Young is back in the lineup despite a small fracture in the ring finger on his right hand and infielder Ryan Roberts was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma. Those were the latest developments on Tuesday concerning the Rangers infield on a day that started out with Chris Davis preparing to start at third base against the Mariners. That proved unnecessary when Young told manager Ron Washington that he was able to start at shortstop despite his injury. Instead Ramon Vazquez, who was going to start at shortstop, moved back to third base and is going to be there for awhile. Blalock's future with the Rangers has once again become murky after more shoulder problems flared up over the weekend in Oakland.
"Obviously it's a concern, the issues that he's faced," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's not from a lack of effort. ... We'll let him see the doctor, let him get the treatment he needs and go from there." Blalock underwent surgery on the shoulder on May 21 last year, spending over three months on the disabled list, and did not play third base when he returned in September. This year, he has been dealing with a torn left hamstring, surgery on his right wrist and now, the shoulder has become an issue again. "My arm started bothering me on Friday in Oakland," Blalock said. "I thought it was a little shoulder soreness, but by Sunday, I was having a hard time getting through the game. On Monday, I tried to get through batting practice, but it hurt so much I couldn't go." Blalock was scratched from Monday's lineup an hour before the game. The Rangers announced it was because of an "upset stomach," but club officials admitted Tuesday that was not the reason. The shoulder was the problem but the Rangers, who had been talking with other clubs about Blalock in trade discussions, thought it would be just a one-day deal and attempted to pass it off as an upset stomach. Daniels apologized for the attempted deception and Washington said he was at fault. "I erred in judgment in trying to protect one of my players," Washington said. "I didn't want to put it out there that he had shoulder trouble. I thought he would be better today. I erred. I take the responsibility for it." Daniels has had to put off trade discussions with two other teams about Blalock. The question right now, though, is if Blalock will be ready to play again this season and if he'll be ready to play third base again. "I don't know," Washington said. "I just don't know." Blalock's shoulder problems are why he was willing to move to first base. That was the plan when he was coming off the disabled list at the All-Star break, but that was scratched because of the way Davis has been playing since being called up from Triple-A. The Rangers thought Young would miss 5-7 days after fracturing his finger diving back into first base on a pickoff play in the first inning of Monday's game. He came out after the second inning, but tested the finger in batting practice before Tuesday's game and pronounced himself ready to go. "I was able to get my hand around the bat and cut it loose," Young said. "I didn't have to favor it. It's time to play. If I felt I was going to hurt the team, I wouldn't play. If I felt I was going to hurt myself, I wouldn't play."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.