Buzz: Rangers roll on despite injuries

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alexi Ogando's trip to the 15-day disabled list Thursday means that 60 percent of the originally planned starting rotation is sidelined.

Ogando, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis are all on the DL.

Yet the Rangers grind on with the American League's best record at 26-14 entering Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers.

Ogando is down for now and right-hander Josh Lindblom is set to make his first major league start Monday against Oakland. Already Nick Tepesch has made his big league debut and Justin Grimm has jumped into the rotation this season. Lindblom has appeared in relief for 101 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadephia Philles.

"It means we have pretty good depth around here," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Drama is something that those guys in the clubhouse are used to. Adversity is something that those guys in the clubhouse are used to. It happened, and the expectation is someone else just has to step up. And if you can't step up, we'll get someone else to step up."

The Rangers turn to right-hander reliever Cory Burns at an interesting time. Washington acknowledged that the Rangers could use another right-handed arm out of the bullpen with three lefties currently out there -- Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman and Joseph Ortiz.

The 25-year-old Burns, who pitched in 17 games for San Diego last season, has been good so far for Triple-A Round Rock with eight saves and a 1.38 ERA. He relies on his changeup.

"He can spot the baseball and he has an out pitch," Washington said.

Lindblom, acquired from Philadelphia in the Michael Young trade, is off to strong start too with Round Rock, posting a 4-0 record, a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander struggled with his command in spring training, but he has only 11 walks in 43 1/3 innings for the Express.

The velocity with his fastball has picked up since Lindblom was placed in the Round Rock rotation.

"When we decided to start him, things began to work better for him," Washington said.

Other notes:

Pierzynski still on track: The Rangers and catcher A.J. Pierzynski remain optimistic that he will be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday against Oakland. Pierzynski, coming back from a right oblique strain, will go on a short rehab stint Sunday and Monday.

Washington said he won't sit Pierzynski for a day after he comes back from his rehab, partly so he'll stay out of his office.

"He's telling us everything right now," Washington said. "If I don't play him when he was ready to play, it would probably be a miserable day for me. He's ready to play."

Travel delays: The Rangers' flight home Wednesday was held up by the bad storms and tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, forcing their plane to go back to Albuquerque, New Mexico. After an hour-and-half stop there, the Rangers finally arrived home at 1:30 a.m. Texas time.

One funny story -- first baseman Mitch Moreland was so engrossed in TV shows he was watching that he called to tell his wife Susannah that the team flight had landed. Only it was in Albuquerque.

Injured players around: Injured starter Matt Harrison (lower back surgery) was walking around the clubhouse Friday and reported that he has no more pain in his left leg from the inflamed nerve that was ailing him. He has not began a throwing schedule yet.

Also, Colby Lewis, who has been dealing with triceps tendinitis as he comes back from elbow surgery, was back with the Rangers on Monday working out. Lewis, who could throw a bullpen this week, is still out until June.

McClellan activated: Right-hander Kyle McClellan was activated from the Round Rock disabled list and will pitch an inning Thursday night. Right-hander Justin Miller, a 16th-round pick in 2008, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday.