The Rangers are without the defensive version of switch-hitting outfielder Danny Santana because of a strained right forearm and he was out of the lineup for the third straight game on Saturday against the Giants.
The Rangers are also limiting his offensive duties to being a left-handed pinch-hitter off the bench. The Rangers have discussed the possibility of putting Santana on the injured list but are not ready to make that move.
“Probably going to keep him out for the next couple of days,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He's available to pinch-hit and run. I'm just trying to keep him from starting. Obviously not going to play the outfield or throw at all the next couple days. I don't know how long. ... He’s not going to throw for maybe a week or so. We're just going to take it day by day for now, see how he feels.”
Santana is also off to a 1-for-17 start at the plate with eight strikeouts. Woodward said because the injury is to the right forearm, it impacts Santana more when he swings right-handed.
“That’s where the follow-through is, similar to a throwing motion,” Woodward said. “Hitting left-handed shouldn’t be an issue so that’s why we are keeping him as a left-handed hitter.”
Nick Solak made his first career start in center field on Friday. Scott Heineman, who has far more Minor League experience in center than Solak, was there on Saturday night.
Heineman was in the Rangers lineup on the same night his older brother Tyler was starting at catcher for the Giants. It marks the first time the two have played in a Major League game together, although they faced off on different teams in the Minors.
“We are each other’s best friends,” Scott Heineman said. “Obviously playing against each other now, he’s the enemy if you want to call him that. We’re out here to win; he’s not my brother when he’s out on the field. We always like to jaw back and forth, keep it competitive, keep it fun. It’s going to be really exciting to just see him on the field.”
Allard limited for first start
Kolby Allard makes his first start on Sunday and will be limited to how far he can go. Allard made the team as a long reliever and was thrust into a starting assignment when Corey Kluber went on the injured list.
Allard’s last outing was on July 22 in an exhibition game against the Rockies when he threw just one inning. He pitched a total of 9 2/3 innings over three intrasquad games during Summer Camp.
"I'm not expecting much more than 60, 70 pitches,” Woodward said. “I'm looking at three, four innings, tops. If he happens to have a low pitch count or he's throwing the ball really well, we'll keep a close eye on him, and just see how his stuff looks and gauge the situation. I don't see him going more than 80 pitches.”
• Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning of Friday’s game by Giants starter Logan Webb. It’s the 151st time Choo has been hit by a pitch in his career, the most by an active player. He entered Saturday one ahead of Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
• Rob Refsnyder started at designated hitter and batted ninth for the Rangers on Saturday. The last time the Rangers had a designated hitter batting that low was Robinson Chirinos on June 20, 2017, against the Blue Jays.
• The last time the Rangers had a player face his brother in a game was on Sept. 8, 2010, when Bengie Molina was their catcher and Jose Molina was behind the plate for the Blue Jays. Prior to that, it was July 22, 1997, with Billy Ripken playing third base for the Rangers against brother Cal Ripken Jr. for the Orioles.