ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers must still decide the order of their starting rotation and the final roster spots for the playoffs. They know that C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 -- against whatever team and location. But the rest of the 4-man rotation is still a work in progress.
"The order of the starting pitchers could change based on the opponent," manager Ron Washington said. "We're waiting to see who we play before we set this up."
That makes sense. The club could opt to run all three left-handers out there against the Boston Red Sox, whose left-handed lineup didn't fare as well against them in a series earlier this month. And if the club opens up in Yankee Stadium, they'll have to decide if they'd rather have Colby Lewis make a start on the road. He has a 3.45 ERA on the road and a 5.54 ERA at home.
"I'm not going to outsmart the game if my best pitcher may be a right-hander or a left-hander," Washington said. "We'll do what we think is best for us. But I'm not going to outsmart the game making somebody pitch because it's a certain venue or this, that or the other. It just depends on what my gut says."
It's worth pointing out that Lewis hasn't pitched at Yankee Stadium this season and his one start at Fenway Park was not a good one. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Washington said Lewis is slated to start on Tuesday in Anaheim, but nothing is set in stone. The club could shorten Lewis' start to rest him a bit or he might not start. Nothing has been determined. Washington added that he'd like to get Alexi Ogando some innings in Anaheim, whether that's as a starter or reliever. (That could be dependent again on how they want to line things up or how many innings they want the starters to go.) Matt Harrison remains on track to start Wednesday and would not have to be shortened if he pitches in Game 3, since it would be on regular rest. Again, the club may shorten him if they think that's the smartest move.
As for the final playoff roster spots, they remain a bit up in the air. The Rangers have until 9 a.m. Dallas time Friday to set the playoff roster. The Rangers have been leaning toward eight relievers and two catchers, but Washington said Monday that the club is still contemplating whether to carry three catchers. But the idea of having three catchers was important when Adrian Beltre was hurt and Washington liked putting Yorvit Torrealba at DH. If Treanor is on the bench, that may make the choice of keeping Mitch Moreland on that roster tougher. Stay tuned.
* Wilson will go three innings tonight. When asked who will pitch behind Wilson, Washington said: "Everybody."
* Mark Lowe said he's been riding a stationary bike and has been on an eliptical machine. He hopes to play catch before tonight's game as well. "I don't think it's realistic to be ready for Friday, but I'm shooting for the second round," Lowe said.