ROUND ROCK -- Most pitchers don't make their first Major League start before their first Triple-A outing. But that's what Justin Grimm will do this year."It's very weird," Grimm admitted. Grimm was called up from Double-A Frisco to start against the Astros June 16. He won his big league debut by giving up three runs over six innings in an 8-3 Rangers victory before giving six runs on eight hits in just one inning during a 8-2 loss to the Tigers on June 25. Grimm was sent back to Frisco last week and tossed three scoreless innings for the RoughRiders on Monday before being promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday. He is scheduled to make his Express debut on Saturday. "I'm looking forward to being in a starting role," Grimm said. "These hitters have a little more experience, obviously. It's going to be a good test. I don't think I'm going to look at stats as much as I did in Frisco. All of those numbers were pretty unreal." Grimm went 8-3 with a Texas League-best 1.80 ERA in 14 starts with Frisco, striking out 68 and walking 14. After making two starts with the Rangers, he made one relief appearance, giving up three runs in three innings during a 19-2 loss to the White Sox on July 3. He went 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in his first three Major League outings. "I went up to Arlington and the thing I learned is I can get big league hitters out," Grimm said. "I had a good outing, a terrible outing and an OK outing. I had success, for the most part. When you take away that Detroit start, it's not too shabby."
Napoli nursing bruised quad after collision
SEATTLE -- Rangers catcher Mike Napoli left Friday's 3-2 win after eight innings with a bruised quad muscle on his right leg. He is questionable for Saturday's game against the Mariners.Napoli injured the leg sliding into home plate trying to score from second on Ian Kinsler's single in the fifth inning. He was thrown out by left fielder Casper Wells as he slid hard into catcher Miquel Olivo. He stayed in the game for four more innings behind the plate before Yorvit Torrealba took over in the ninth. "I tried to stay in the game, but I couldn't take it any more," Napoli said. "I was squatting on it and putting pressure on it."
Young ready to move on from tough first half
SEATTLE -- Rangers veteran Michael Young, after getting four hits in Sunday's first-half finale, took a .270 batting average into Friday's game with the Mariners. That was his lowest batting average going into the All-Star break since 2003. His .303 on-base percentage and .353 slugging percentages were the lowest in his career at the halfway point."I'm just going to stay after it," Young said. "I feel fine. I'm just going to play hard and make good adjustments game to game like I always do, and I expect things to go my way. I don't look at the past. I look at the second half as an opportunity." Last year, Young put up impressive numbers in the second half, hitting .357 with a .409 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage. The second-half batting average and on-base percentage were career highs. "The biggest thing is I trust myself," Young said. "I trust what I do on the field, that's why I'm not worried about it. I'm excited by the opportunity in the second half. I'm looking forward to it."
Uehara may be ready by Tuesday
SEATTLE -- The Rangers expect to activate pitchers Colby Lewis and Alexi Ogando off the disabled list during their two-game set with Oakland on Tuesday and Wednesday. Manager Ron Washington said Koji Uehara could also be activated during that series.Uehara, who has been on the DL with a strained muscle in his right rib cage, threw 28 pitches of live batting practice on Thursday and is scheduled to throw an inning on a medical-rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. If all goes well, Washington suggested that Uehara could rejoin the Rangers in Oakland. "He was throwing the ball well," Washington said. "In live BP, they couldn't do anything with him. He was throwing free and easy." Ogando pitched one inning on Thursday and is scheduled to pitch two on Saturday. If he does so without any problems, the Rangers expect to activate him on Tuesday. Lewis, who hasn't pitched since June 23 because of inflammation in right forearm, is scheduled to start on Wednesday against Oakland. He threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Bakersfield, Calif., and another one on Friday. "I'll throw one more light one and then I'll be ready to go," Lewis said.
Moreland joins early workout
SEATTLE -- The Rangers held an early workout on Friday to ease back into the second half. First baseman Mitch Moreland, who is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, took part.Moreland is hoping to be playing in a game by the end of this road trip. That would be five weeks after injuring his hamstring on June 19 in San Diego. "I'm about 75 percent. ... I'm feeling good," said Moreland, who also took live batting practice against Neftali Feliz and Koji Uehara on Thursday before the team left Arlington. "It went well. It had been a little bit, but it didn't seem too far off." Moreland said the target date to return to action is July 23, but he'll likely need a rehab assignment before rejoining the Rangers. He was hitting .272 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs in 55 games before he got hurt.
Scott Littlefield, one of the Rangers' top Major League scouts, was in Milwaukee on Friday night with Zack Greinke on the mound for the Brewers. Mark Lowe, who is on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right rib cage, began his throwing program on Friday and played catch without problem. Said Lowe, "It went real good. I just need to strengthen my arm. I took two weeks off so I need to get my arm in shape and get back on the mound." Michael Kirkman said he's ready to pitch again after leaving Sunday's game with a mild strain in his left quad muscle. Said Kirkman, "It's something that has been lingering for a couple of months. I can still pitch and run within limits. It happens every year. I'm good to go." Round Rock first baseman Mike Bianucci is expected to miss five weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Bianucci was hitting .280 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs in 78 games.
Class A Spokane pitcher David Perez, who is ranked 15th in MLB.Com's Top 20 Rangers prospects, has been placed on the disabled list tendinitis in his right elbow.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.