Through the first month and a half of the season, the Texas Rangers were relatively healthy. Since the end of May, the injury bug has suddenly taken a bite out of the Rangers, especially to their pitching staff. The first casualty was Neftali Feliz, then Derek Holland, Koji Uehara, Alexi Ogando, Colby Lewis and Mark Lowe. This is not good for a team that has any hopes on having the best record in the league and putting themselves in the best shape to win the World Series. Fortunately for the Rangers, they have one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball that has helped them to stay afloat and currently own the best record in Major League Baseball.

The injury to Neftali Feliz appears to be the most serious of them all, at the moment, as he will be out past the All-Star break. He suffered an injury to his right elbow in May and was originally supposed to miss a month. The Rangers put Feliz on the 60-day disabled list and he is not eligible to return until July 18th. In the last couple of weeks, Feliz has been throwing off the mound without suffering any setbacks. “Every day I’m working a lot. I’m feeling better and better,” Feliz said according to cbssports.com. “I’ll try to go to Chicago and throw a bullpen. I don’t know what day it is, but I’m going to throw a bullpen in Chicago,” as Feliz continued. If Feliz comes back, he will move back to the bullpen due to the acquisition of Roy Oswalt taking his spot in the starting rotation.

Starting pitcher Derek Holland was put on the 15-day disabled list due to fatigue in his left elbow early last month. The Rangers are hoping that he will be ready to return after the All-Star break, assuming he does well in his rehab assignment down at Triple-A Round Rock. Reliever Koji Uehara hurt his back in San Francisco last month and was put on the 15-day disabled list, last week. He probably will not return to the team until after the All-Star break as the same can be said for Alexi Ogando. He suffered a muscle strain in San Francisco and was supposed to miss 4-6 weeks. Apparently, he seems to be getting healthier to the point that he can throw off the mound in the next week and be ready to return when the unofficial start to the second half of the season begins.

So you would think that if the Rangers can make it to the All-Star break without suffering any more injuries to their pitching staff, they would be okay. Unfortunately, that is not the case because now starting pitcher Colby Lewis and reliever Mark Lowe have joined the disabled list. Lewis has tendinitis in his right forearm and was put on the 15-day disabled list, but general manager Jon Daniels does not believe the injury is serious. “He
suggested it would be best for him to skip his next start,” Daniels said according to ESPN.com. “And being that he only has two scheduled starts before the break, we decided to play it safe and shut him down for this 10-day period here before the All-Star break,” as Daniels continued. Mark Lowe was put on the 15-day disabled list as well due to an injury to the muscles that form the chest wall. The Rangers do not think the injury is serious, but they want to see where he is until after the break.

So the overall theme here is none of these injuries appear to be very serious and that after the All-Star break, the Rangers are hoping they will all be back ready to help the team. Hopefully, this is as worse as it gets for the season if the Rangers want to achieve their goal.

By Martin Iheke – miheke@gmail.com

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