Buzz: Tepesch looks good for next start

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch had good range of motion in his pitching arm Sunday morning and still expects to make his next start Thursday at Minnesota.

Tepesch was hit in the right wrist by a line drive off the bat of Seattle's Jesus Montero with two outs in the second inning. The ball scraped off of his elbow and left a visible cut. But fortunately it didn't catch him flush and x-rays were negative.

Tepesch was scheduled to be re-evaluated by Dr. Keith Meister. Tepesch was going to play catch before Sunday's game. He'll throw a bullpen Monday in Anaheim and if all goes well, he'll start Thursday.

"It feels pretty good," Tepesch said.

It's not the first time Tepesch has been hit in the pitching arm by a line drive. He was hit on the right elbow in college at Missouri, but said he made his next start.

Other Rangers notes:

Frasor's role: Right-hander reliever Jason Frasor has mostly come in with the Rangers behind this season with Tanner Scheppers getting the eighth inning work. But manager Ron Washington said Sunday that bullpen roles still haven't been defined and Frasor could assume a more important role.

"We have to get Frasor out there and get him going," Washington said. "When we get him going things will pick up for him."

Frasor has made six appearances this season, five of them scoreless. He has appeared twice in the last three games after having six days off.

Bullpen is good: Manager Ron Washington said his bullpen is in good shape for Sunday's game, even after long man Derek Lowe went four innings in relief. Joe Ortiz, Tanner Scheppers and Jason Frasor finished Sunday's game after start Nick Tepesch came out in the second inning.

Berkman in lineup: Washington considered giving Lance Berkman a day off Sunday, but the Rangers' DH wanted to be in the lineup. He missed four games on the recent seven-game road trip and didn't want to be out of the lineup another day.

"I went to Berkman and he said he wanted to play," Washington said. "I didn't ask any more questions."

With cold weather expected in Minnesota next Thursday-Sunday, Berkman will likely get to rest his surgically-repaired right knee.

Quirky schedule: The Rangers are in the midst of a strange schedule where they've played in Seattle and Chicago, come home for three games in Texas, and now go to Anaheim to play the Angels and then to Minnesota, where it's expected to be cold.

"I'm just concerned with the cold weather," Washington said. "We don't want to get any doubleheaders."

Tracking Lindblom: Right-hander Josh Lindblom, who came to the Rangers in the Michael Young trade with Philadelphia, is likely the guy to watch as the next starting pitcher in waiting.

Lindblom went five innings in an 8-7 victory for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday night, allowing an earned run. He threw 95 pitches, 64 for strikes. Lindblom had seven strikeouts. He has 18 strikeouts in 17 innings as a starter with a .161 opponent's batting average.