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Rangers turn attention to Trade Deadline needs

Rangers turn attention to Trade Deadline needs

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Rangers turn attention to Trade Deadline needs

ARLINGTON -- A right-handed bat, bullpen help and possibly a starting pitcher are expected to be on the Rangers' shopping list as they turn their attention from the First-Year Player Draft to the July 31 Trade Deadline.

Much will depend on the Rangers' injury situation -- and there is a possibility they could have second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland back in the lineup within two weeks. But a right-handed bat is something the Rangers have talked about even before their lineup was hit hard by injuries.

The Rangers were hoping that former Royals closer Joakim Soria would be a part of their bullpen by now. But Soria, who is 14 months removed from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, is still at least 3-4 weeks away after suffering a setback in May with a strained muscle in his right shoulder.

The Rangers wouldn't mind one more power right-handed reliever to go with Tanner Scheppers late in the game. The Rangers called up right-hander Kyle McClellan on Sunday to reinforce the bullpen after Michael Kirkman went on the disabled list. McClellan has a career 3.45 ERA in 245 career relief appearances, and the Rangers are evaluating whether the former Cardinals middle reliever could be a winning piece for the bullpen.

The rotation took another hit when Alexi Ogando went on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. It's the second time he has been on the disabled list this season. Josh Lindblom was called up from Triple A Round Rock to start on Monday.

The Rangers are still planning to use Ogando as a starter when he comes off the disabled list. But if he continues to have physical issues, the Rangers may end up moving him to the bullpen. That would increase the need for a starting pitcher, unless Lindblom wins the job or the Rangers give Martin Perez another chance. Perez is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Round Rock.

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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