KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers are planning on having reliever Alexi Ogando back soon after the All-Star break. Ogando, who has been sidelined since June 10 with a strained right groin muscle, is scheduled to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment on Thursday with Triple-A Round Rock. Ogando is scheduled to pitch one inning on Thursday and two innings on Saturday. If all goes well, he will be activated on Tuesday when the Rangers open a two-game series against the Athletics in Oakland. "If he's healthy, he'll be ready," Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Tuesday's All-Star Game.
Ogando will be the first pitcher activated off the disabled list, followed by Colby Lewis. The Rangers are planning to activate Lewis next Wednesday to pitch in Oakland. Neftali Feliz is also nearly ready for a rehabilitation assignment. Feliz, who has been out since May 18 with a sprained right elbow, is scheduled to pitch live batting practice on Thursday at the Ballpark in Arlington. If that goes well, Feliz will pitch two innings for Round Rock on Sunday. After that, Feliz will continue to pitch for Round Rock while working his way back as a starter. Reliever Koji Uehara, who is on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage, is also scheduled to pitch an inning on Saturday for Round Rock. That only leaves reliever Mark Lowe, who is on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage. He is expected to resume a throwing program this weekend in Seattle. The Rangers open the second half of the season with a three-game series against the Mariners on Friday. They follow that with two games against Oakland and three against the Angels in Anaheim to finish up an eight-game road trip within their division. "I'm looking forward to us coming out hard," Washington said. "We're coming out in our own division, so we better." The Rangers are enjoying the All-Star break with a four-game lead in the American League West. It's the fourth time in club history the Rangers have had at least a four-game lead in their division at the break. The others were in 1996, 1999 and 2010, and they ended up winning the division title in each season. They had a 1 1/2-game lead last season.
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.