Smolinski has been playing sparingly and went into Monday's game hitting .140 (7-for-50) with one home run and five RBIs. He also has options so he is the leading candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday when Mitch Moreland is activated.
The Rangers have also begun to have Kyle Blanks work in the outfield. He has been playing first base since Moreland went down, but Blanks has played 169 games in the outfield in the Major Leagues.
Worth noting • Outfielder Ryan Rua, on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right foot, began baseball activities on Monday by taking swings off a tee. He is also playing catch with some vigor rather than just a light toss.
• Nick Tepesch, on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, began his throwing program on Monday by playing catch. It is the first time he has thrown since the end of Spring Training.
• The Rangers have placed pitcher Jake Thompson on the temporary inactive list at Double-A Frisco. Thompson, who is ranked as the No. 80 prospect overall by MLB.com, allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning in his last start. But the move is considered temporary and he is expected to make his next start.