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Fister nearing his return to Rangers' rotation

Right-hander feeling good following Friday's bullpen session
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Doug Fister, on the disabled list with a strained right hip muscle, said he felt good throwing 58 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday night.

"Little stiff, little sore today, but that is to be expected," Fister said before Saturday night's game against the Mariners.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-hander Doug Fister, on the disabled list with a strained right hip muscle, said he felt good throwing 58 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday night.

"Little stiff, little sore today, but that is to be expected," Fister said before Saturday night's game against the Mariners.

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Fister's return to the rotation could be as early as Wednesday against the Athletics. Right now, Mike Minor is scheduled to pitch that day, but it would be on four days' rest. The Rangers have been trying to get Minor extra rest between starts since he missed all of 2015 and '16 because of injury. He pitched in relief last year with the Royals.

Minor threw 102 pitches while holding the Mariners to one run in 5 1/3 innings on Friday night.

"We knew there were going to be times when he would go on regular [four days'] rest," manager Jeff Banister said. "We are not going to force any issues. Part of the decision to take him out last night was the pitch count, and the idea of bringing him back on four days' rest."

The Rangers also have a full rotation right now with Bartolo Colon being the one who replaced Fister in a rotation that also includes Minor, Cole Hamels, Matt Moore and Martin Perez. Colon may not necessarily be the one coming out when Fister is ready to return.

"We have six quality arms we feel good about competing with," Banister said. "How they all fit together, we have had conversations about that. We have multiple options. All of this is predicated on when Fister is ready to go and no other factors force us to make a decision."

Perez tired of emotional narrative
Perez said a flaw in his delivery may be responsible for two bad starts in a row. He said it has nothing to do with not being able to handle his emotions.

Perez has carried a reputation of falling apart emotionally on the mound when things go bad and he is not able to limit the damage in a big inning. Perez is tired of hearing it.

Video: TEX@TB: Perez rings up Field with changeup

"I'm not a little kid," Perez said. "I've grown up. If they want to say that, I don't care. I want to do my job. If they get me, they get me. I'm a man, not a little kid."

Perez, scheduled to start on Sunday against the Mariners, has allowed 16 runs over seven innings in his previous two starts. He said it's because his arm slot was too low and coming from the side rather than over the top. Perez said he worked to correct that in a bullpen session between starts.

"Tomorrow will be a good game for me," Perez said.

Rangers beat
• Reliever Tony Barnette, on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation, threw a 21-pitch bullpen session on Saturday without any issues. He is hoping to throw another one on Monday.

Delino DeShields is back in Double-A Frisco on Saturday to be used as designated hitter. DeShields, who is recovering from left wrist surgery, was 3-for-6 with two bunt singles in his first two games there on Thursday and Friday. He is still working through some soreness in the wrist, but he is close to being activated off the disabled list.

Video: DeShields on recovering well from wrist injury

• Banister said the Rangers need to be better with first-pitch strikes, especially his relievers. The club's pitchers entered Saturday's game having thrown first-pitch strikes 58.4 percent of the time. That was the sixth lowest ratio in the American League.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Tony Barnette, Delino DeShields, Doug Fister, Mike Minor, Martin Perez