Kinsler goes on DL with leg injury
Kinsler missed five straight starts and said before the game that the injury hadn't improved, but hadn't gotten worse either. Then, 10 minutes before the game's first pitch against Seattle, the team announced that Kinsler was headed to the DL retroactive to July 29.
The Rangers also activated reliever Frank Francisco from the 15-day DL prior to Sunday night's game against the Seattle Mariners. Francisco is recovering from the flu and a mild case of pneumonia, and manager Ron Washington said the right-hander won't reclaim his role as Texas' closer right away.
The Rangers also purchased the contract of prized right-handed pitching prospect Neftali Feliz from Triple-A Oklahoma City and will use him out of the bullpen to replace right-hander Jason Grilli, who went on the 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation.
Left-hander C.J. Wilson has thrived in the closer's role while Francisco spent his third stint in the DL this season and missed the previous 17 games. Wilson has earned saves in his last five appearances.
"We'll work [Francisco] back slow," Washington said. "We'll get him some innings and see where it goes. He'll pitch wherever we need him."
Francisco threw batting practice for the Rangers last week and pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco on Friday night. Entering Sunday night, Francisco was 2-1 with 15 saves and a 2.28 ERA in 28 games this season.
"I've been waiting to get back," Francisco said. "My strength is good, my velocity is good."
Right-hander Warner Madrigal was optioned to Oklahoma City to make room for Francisco as Madrigal completed his fourth stay with the Rangers this season. He has a 9.31 ERA in 10 games for Texas.
Rangers right-hander Kevin Millwood, recovering from a strained gluteus muscle, has been penciled in for a start Saturday night at the Los Angeles Angels. Washington said Millwood could be moved up if he shows improvement during the week.
Millwood, tied with Scott Feldman for the team lead with nine victories, hasn't pitched since he left his last start after two innings on July 26.
"He feels good, but when he comes back, we want him to finish the season," Washington said. "We don't want to rush him back and something happens, so we're going to be very, very cautious with him."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press