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Feldman returns to Rangers rotation

Feldman returns to Rangers rotation

ARLINGTON -- As of early Tuesday afternoon, Brandon McCarthy had yet to have an MRI on his right middle finger. Nevertheless, Rangers manager Ron Washington already has Scott Feldman penciled in McCarthy's place in the starting rotation.

Yes, the same Feldman who has been "shut down" a handful of times the second half of the season in attempts to lessen his considerable workload. His start on Saturday in Oakland was supposed to be his last of the season.

Now, Feldman, who is 5-7 with a 5.27 ERA and has thrown a career-high 138 1/3 innings this year, is slated to start on Sunday against the Angels.

"At the time, we said, 'unless something happens.' Well, something happened," Washington said in regard to the team's latest decision on Feldman.

What happened was McCarthy made it only seven pitches into his start Monday night before leaving with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger.

While McCarthy and the club still are waiting for an official diagnosis as to how long the injury will take to heal or if surgery will be required, Washington already has decided to reinsert Feldman into the rotation.

"It's certain," Washington said. "We can't keep him in the bullpen."

And the Texas bullpen needs all the arms it can get after the toll it has taken in the last week.

In the Rangers' last seven games, despite a complete game by Matt Harrison, the bullpen has put in 25 innings of work, with 8 1/3 of those frames coming on Monday. However, Washington said Warner Madrigal, Kameron Loe, Bill White, Jamey Wright and Frank Francisco all would be available on Tuesday night.

Washington was holding out hope that Kevin Millwood would go deep enough in his start on Tuesday to prevent from taxing the bullpen again.

"We just need Millwood to get us through seven innings," Washington said. "If he does that, we can finish it."

Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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