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Despite struggles, Feldman in line for next start

Despite struggles, Feldman in line for next start

Despite struggles, Feldman in line for next start
OAKLAND -- The Rangers have batted around a few ideas of what they might do with their starting rotation.

But for now, they are planning on Scott Feldman starting Saturday against the Giants at AT&T Park.

"At this point ... it is what it is," manager Ron Washington said before Tuesday's game against the Athletics.

Feldman is filling in for Neftali Feliz, who is on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow. But he is 0-4 with an 8.80 ERA in his last four starts. The Rangers also signed Roy Oswalt last week with the intention of putting him in the rotation when he is ready.

He is not there yet, and the Rangers are not going to accelerate his program. Oswalt has said he is ready to pitch at least five innings, but the Rangers aren't going to let him right now. Oswalt threw two scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday and is scheduled to throw approximately 50 pitches on Thursday against Omaha.

"We want Oswalt for the rest of the season, so we want him to get everything he needs so he can come up here and compete at the level we need him at," Washington said. "When he gets here, we don't want him feeling his way or on a pitch count. We want him to be Oswalt. That's why we're going to give him the time he needs."

Robbie Ross, who threw 34 pitches in relief on Monday and has been a starter in the Minors, is one possible alternative. But the Rangers are reluctant to take him out of the bullpen just like they were with Alexi Ogando.

Craig Gentry is not an option. The Rangers are hoping that Gentry's appearance on the mound Monday night was a one-time deal. Gentry did get through his Major League pitching debut without any physical problems and was back in center field on Tuesday night.

"My back is a little sore but my arm is fine," Gentry said.

Gentry was the fourth position player in Rangers history to pitch in a Major League. He gave up two runs in the eighth inning.

"My family thought it was funny -- they were joking around a lot," Gentry said. "People were asking why I didn't throw hard or throw off-speed stuff. I said I didn't want to get hurt. I was excited I only walked one guy."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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