ARLINGTON -- Catcher Mike Napoli, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a strained left quad muscle, is on schedule to be activated on Saturday.
Napoli caught 15 innings over two games for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday and Wednesday without any problems. He was 1-for-6 at the plate, but hit a home run in his last at-bat on Wednesday.Napoli worked out with the Rangers on Thursday and is scheduled to be used at designated hitter for Frisco on Friday. The Roughriders lost the first two games of the Texas League championship series, with Game 3 scheduled for Friday in Frisco. "I feel good enough," Napoli said. "I'll go get some at-bats tomorrow and be ready to go. I don't think I'm running at full speed, but I'm able to run around the bases at a decent pace and I feel good catching. I tried to do everything I could to test it and it felt good. The big thing was being behind the plate. Everything is good." Napoli was the Rangers' catcher in the World Series last year. Now he finds himself in the Texas League finals. He understands this is not the usual rehabilitation assignment. "I know what it means to those guys," Napoli said. "They want to win and I'm trying to do my best to help them win. I'm taking it seriously, and at the same time, trying to get myself in shape."
Hamilton sits out, Beltre talks way into lineup
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre was not supposed to be in the Rangers' lineup on Thursday because of some inflammation in his left shoulder. Josh Hamilton was out after getting an anti-inflammation injection in his left knee and Beltre was supposed to miss the game, as well.But Beltre was able to talk his way in there at least at designated hitter. "We had a nice conversation," Beltre said of him and manager Ron Washington. "I don't want to be sitting on the bench when I'm good enough to play." Beltre had to come out of Wednesday's game when he banged his shoulder while making a terrific diving stop in the second inning. He came out after four innings, and an MRI exam revealed only slight inflammation and no structural damage. Washington originally had Jurickson Profar at second base, Ian Kinsler at DH and Michael Young at third base. But Beltre said he felt good enough to play after taking batting practice, and said an extra day off wasn't needed. "What's one day?" Beltre said. "I took a half-day off last night. I only played four innings." Washington was just glad that Beltre's injury wasn't serious. "I didn't know how bad it was, but there's no damage," Washington said. "He certainly made it known he could play. He never wants to come out of a game. That's the pride Beltre plays with. I wish I had 25 guys like him." Hamilton came out of Wednesday's game in the eighth inning because of soreness in his knee. He had an injection after the game and needs a day to let it take effect. He is expected to play on Friday. "He gets those injections every now and then," Washington said. "He should be fine." Both Hamilton and Beltre hit home runs on Wednesday, giving them a combined 73 on the season. That's the most by any tandem in the Major Leagues. Beltre has 32, including 13 in his last 20 games.
Plantar fasciitis to sideline Olt 10-14 days
ARLINGTON -- Rangers infielder Mike Olt will be sidelined for 10-14 days with plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation in his right heel. Olt has been bothered by the condition for the past few weeks, and he aggravated the injury running out an infield hit in the seventh inning on Wednesday night.The Rangers aren't sure if there will be enough time for Olt to be ready for the playoffs if Texas advances to postseason. "Everybody's healing process is different," manager Ron Washington said. "I don't know how his body heals." Olt was called up from Double-A Frisco on Aug. 2, and had been playing mainly against left-handers. Olt is 5-for-32, and has played in just four games since Aug. 23 while dealing with the inflammation.
Oswalt ailing, Adams held back, Ross back soon
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt, who is sidelined with a strained right forearm, played catch on Thursday and experienced more discomfort in his arm. It's the first time he tried to throw since his two-inning start against the Rays on Sunday, and he won't throw for a few more days. At some point this weekend, he will be re-evaluated, but this is a setback of some degree.Reliever Mike Adams, who is sidelined with a strained trapezius muscle in his right shoulder, did not do any throwing on Thursday and remains unavailable out of the bullpen. He felt the muscle tighten up on him while pitching in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. The Rangers should get Robbie Ross back this weekend. He has been on the disabled list since Aug. 30 with tightness in his left forearm, but threw in the bullpen on Wednesday without any problems. He will have another bullpen session on Friday and could be activated as early as Saturday. "We'll get it up to full speed," Ross said. "Yesterday it was about 75 percent. But it feels good. I feel like I'll be ready to go pretty soon." Ross originally felt he could have pitched through the injury, but admitted the time off has been helpful. "It's been nice," Ross said. "At first I didn't think I needed it, but I think it's done some good. I think I needed it in the long run. It's a long season and it would be over if I was in the Minor Leagues. It's a lot different here, and the workload is different in the bullpen than in the rotation when I was in the Minors."
Rangers pass three million in attendance
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have drawn more than three million fans for the first time in club history.The Rangers moved over the three-million mark when the official attendance for Thursday's game was announced at 36,102. That leaves Texas with a season attendance of 3,003,143. On Wednesday, the Rangers surpassed last year's club record of 2,946,949, and they still have 10 home games left in the season. The Rangers are expecting sellout crowds for this weekend's series against the Mariners. The Rangers have approximately 1,000 tickets remaining for Friday and Saturday, while Sunday is down to scattered singles, standing room only and obstructed view. The Rangers are the third team to reach three million in attendance this season, joining the Yankees and Phillies.
Michael Young, David Murphy and Elvis Andrus have taped a series of public service announcements designed to encourage students to stop bullying and to be positive influences in school. The tapes are being distributed to area school districts. Murphy and Young taped the messages in English, while Andrus filmed a Spanish version. Young and his wife, Cristina Barbosa, are hosting their second annual Celebrity BaseBOWL Tournament, benefiting Heroes for Children and the Michael Young Family Foundation. The event begins at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday at 300 Dallas bowling alley in Addison. The event will consist of two games, featuring athletes, sports personalities and entertainers, teamed with lane sponsors made up of executives from local corporations. A silent auction will take place throughout the event and close prior to the end of the second game.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.