ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers utility infielder Andres Blanco doesn't really have an explanation as to why he can't swing a bat left-handed without feeling pain in his back.
"Whoever heard of that?" said Blanco, a switch hitter. "But I can swing right-handed. I'll have to do that."
Blanco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with lower back inflammation. He said it feels better, but hasn't healed enough to let him bat left-handed.
"I feel fine defensively," Blanco said. "No problems."
So he's going out on a rehab assignment on Monday with third baseman Adrian Beltre. The two will join Triple-A Round Rock in Omaha to get some games in. Blanco said both players are on different schedules, noting that he's likely to stay longer with Round Rock than Beltre will.
Blanco, by the way, is hitting .211 as a right-handed hitter and .204 as a left-handed hitter this season. He has many more at-bats as a lefty though, with 49 on that side as opposed to 19 as a righty. In his career, Blanco is a .258 hitter right-handed and .252 left-handed.
Rosters expand on Thursday, so Blanco could rejoin the club with no necessary moves any time on or after that day.
* Beltre is set for his rehab assignment, though the length is uncertain. He's said all along that he didn't think he needed but a few games. The Rangers normally like rehabbing players to get at last 20 at-bats. With rosters expanding on Thursday, the club could decide to just let him play up until then, but they'll see how it goes on Monday first before plotting things out.
* Nelson Cruz said he will probably hit without batting gloves again, but that it wasn't automatic. "I'll see how I feel hitting today," Cruz said.
* Tonight's game is sold out. There are 5,500 tickets avaiable for Sunday's game.