The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH

CHICAGO -- The Texas Rangers will likely have some roster decisions to make Friday in Houston.

Catcher Geovany Soto is set to come off the 15-day disabled list from a right groin strain that day and catcher Chris Gimenez will come off the paternity list. Texas probably won't keep three catchers and current backstop Robinson Chirinos is probably not on the hot seat after starting all three games of a series against the Chicago White Sox that concluded Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Rangers also have first baseman/designated hitter J.P. Arencibia on the roster, who has an extensive catching background. That leaves Gimenez as the most likely odd man out of the mix.

"We've certainly got some decisions to make when his time is up on his paternity leave," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The way the roster is constructed, it's obvious something's got to happen. We'll be back to four guys on the bench when we get to Houston."

Assuming Gimenez departs, that leaves Soto and Chirinos to split the catching duties the rest of the way. Chirinos, who hit two homers in a 16-0 win Tuesday against the White Sox, will likely go from playing five games a week down to three.

Washington said he wants to get a good look at Soto to assess his health before giving him the bulk of starts.

"(Chirinos) will continue to play, they're just going to share time," Washington said. "We've got to see what Soto can do. I'm not going to take tremendous time away from Robinson. He's still going to get time."


MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 59-54

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Rangers (RHP Miles Mikolas, 1-4, 7.29 ERA) at Astros (RHP Scott Feldman, 5-8, 4.13 ERA)


--RHP Miles Mikolas is expected to make his seventh start of the season for the Rangers on Friday in Houston to start a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Mikolas has thrown at least seven innings and allowed two earned runs or less in two of his past three outings. His most recent outing ended in defeat, but he struck out six and allowed just two runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings. Opponents are hitting .222 (16-for-72) off Mikolas in his past three starts. The Astros roughed him up July 7 in Arlington in his lone career outing against them, scoring nine runs on 12 hits in just 3 1/3 innings against him.

--RHP Nick Tepesch earned his first win since June 27 and made his third scoreless start of the season Wednesday, throwing 5 2/3 innings in the Rangers' 3-1 win against the Chicago White Sox. Tepesch induced two big ground balls for double plays to escape trouble in the fourth and fifth innings and got second baseman Gordon Beckham to line into a double play with a runner on second in the third. "It was just trying to get a ground ball at somebody and turn a double play, and it happened a couple times," Tepesch said. "That was the approach I took with it, just trying to get a quick out, a quick ground ball at somebody."

--C Geovany Soto is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday in Houston for the start of a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Soto, who went on the DL July 22 with a right groin strain, will likely start the first two games and then ease into sharing starts behind the plate with C Robinson Chirinos.

--C Robinson Chirinos will have his playing time reduced by a game or two a week once C Geovany Soto returns to the active roster, according to Rangers manager Ron Washington. Soto is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday in Houston and will likely split time with Chirinos the rest of the season.