OAKLAND -- Manager Ron Washington said Travis Blackley is still scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Angels. But it is tentative. Washington said pitching coach Mike Maddux is considering some other options for the rotation.
One option would be to push him back a few days. The Rangers are off on Thursday, so they could push Blackley back as far as next Tuesday against the Pirates while letting the other four starters pitch on their normal four days' rest.
Another option would be to use somebody else in the fifth spot. Right-hander Nick Tepesch and left-hander Michael Kirkman have been activated off the disabled list and are stretched out to start. Tepesch would most likely be the choice. He was 4-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 16 starts before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. He threw four scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco on Friday, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out three.
Alexi Ogando is not an option. He remains sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder. Ogando, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 13, threw a bullpen session on Monday and is expected to pitch live batting practice sometime this coming weekend in Anaheim. The Rangers will have a better idea where he stands after that.
Blackley is 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in three starts for the Rangers since being acquired from the Astros on Aug. 14. He allowed three runs in a 4-2 loss to the Twins on Sunday. He started the game with four scoreless innings before the Twins scored three on him in the fifth. The Rangers failed to turn a double play behind him, which could have allowed him to get out of the inning without giving up a run.
"He did what he was supposed to do to keep us in the ballgame," Washington said.
As far as Blackley starting on Saturday, Washington said. "As of right now, he's the one. I reserve the right to change my mind."
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.Less