KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers are scratching Vicente Padilla from his start against the Angels on Friday because of recurring problems with a muscle joint in the right side of his neck. Rangers pitching coach Andy Hawkins said Dustin Nippert will take Padilla's start. The Rangers are hoping Padilla will miss just one start and be ready to pitch against the Mariners on Wednesday. There are no plans to put him on the disabled list. "It's frustrating because we want to win as many games as possible," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We need him in there. Nippert has thrown us some good games and we're hoping he can keep us in the ballgame."
Nippert started for Padilla on Aug. 17 against the Rays and allowed seven runs on eight hits in four innings. Prior to that, Nippert had a 4.35 ERA in eight relief appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma on July 5. This is the third time that Padilla has had to miss a start because of his neck. He was placed on the disabled list right before the All-Star break and activated on July 20. He made five straight starts, then had to wait 10 days before taking the mound again because the inflammation returned. Padilla had a cortisone shot on Aug. 11 that the Rangers hoped would alleviate the problem. But that hasn't been the case. Padilla has made two starts since receiving the cortisone shot and has been shut down again. Padilla has been the Rangers' top starter for most of the summer. He is 12-7 with a 4.98 ERA, leading the team in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.