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Pregame notes: Questions surround pitching staff

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The world around the Texas Rangers centered on whether Yu Darvish's MRI results from a balky right elbow would bring more doom and gloom to their season.

As the Rangers awaited the results, manager Ron Washington had to move forward.

Thursday night he moved Robbie Ross into the starting rotation to replace Darvish, who is now on the 15-day disabled list, to face the Tampa Bay Rays. When Ross was last here, he struggled as a starter, going 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine outings.

Ross was moved to the bullpen and didn't fare much better, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in 12 innings before being sent down to Triple-A Round Rock. The demotion was good for Ross because he needed to work on his mental and physical game.

"He wasn't in a very good state because he wasn't being successful," Washington said of Ross. "He couldn't figure out how to right the ship. It was something he wasn't used to, and he had to think about and do some things. I hope for Robbie's sake and our sake the time he spent down there and the adjustments that he thought he felt like he had to make, he made them and he can come back here and be successful."

Washington also has high hopes for Nick Martinez, who will face the Angels in the opening of a three-game weekend set at Glove Life Park on Friday.

Washington said Martinez has big league stuff, and if Martinez were in the minor leagues he would dominate.

"He's making strides," Washington said of Martinez, who is 2-8 with a 5.22 ERA. "It's hard to see up here."

Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux continue to ask young pitchers to get 27 outs for them on a nightly basis, and that's growing harder by the day now without Darvish.

Moreland, Profar update: Rangers first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland said he got the cast removed from his left foot and is now in a walking boot. Moreland played in just 52 games this season before undergoing surgery to rebuild his ankle. He's not sure when he'll begin baseball activities.

"I like to get back as quick as I can," Moreland said.

Also, second baseman Jurickson Profar (shoulder surgery) fielded ground balls for the first time this summer on Wednesday and made some light throws Thursday.

"Obviously you want to be on the field around your team," Profar said. "At the same time, you're using it to get stronger and everything (with) my mindset. It's hard to be a year without playing baseball. It's kind of hard, but at the same time it's about getting your mind strong (and) you want to be a stronger person."

Base Hits: The Rangers demoted reliever Nate Adcock to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Ross. In seven games, Adcock had a 4.50 ERA and opponents hit .289 against him. ... Shin-Soo Choo was in the lineup Thursday in right field for the 10th time this season. Alex Rios, the normal right fielder, was the DH for the 13th time. Both players are nursing ankle sprains and will rotate between DH and RF.