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Andrus' return on June 11 a stronger possibility

Shortstop, recovering from fractured elbow, cleared to swing fungo
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus, on the disabled list with a fractured right elbow, has been cleared to start swinging a fungo bat, and the possibility grows stronger that he will be able to return by June 11, when he is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list.

The Rangers are off that day, so the goal is for him to be ready for the June 12-13 series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

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ARLINGTON -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus, on the disabled list with a fractured right elbow, has been cleared to start swinging a fungo bat, and the possibility grows stronger that he will be able to return by June 11, when he is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list.

The Rangers are off that day, so the goal is for him to be ready for the June 12-13 series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

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"For sure, I believe so," Andrus said. "That's why I'm working hard on the rehab, to get back with no problems. As soon as the bone heals, the rest will come along. I have been throwing for a week, every day it has been feeling better and feeling stronger."

The plan is for Andrus to spend this week swinging with the lighter fungo bat and then start using a regular bat next week. If all goes well, he could be sent on a rehab assignment the week of June 3 and be ready to be activated after that.

"It's a buildup," he said. "The bone is together, it is about getting everything around it stronger."

Andrus may get back quicker than third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Beltre took ground balls on Tuesday, but they were hit right at him. He has yet to test the hamstring since re-injuring it on May 13 against the Astros.

This is the second time Beltre has been on the DL with a Grade 1 strain, and the Rangers will likely give him more time to recuperate. He missed 12 games the first time he was on the DL.

DeShields gets partial day off

Delino DeShields was out of the lineup on Tuesday for the first time since being activated off the DL on April 22. He entered Tuesday with two hits in his last 33 at-bats and hitting .120 in his last 13 games.

He entered the game, a 6-4 win, as a defensive replacement in the eighth and contributed a sacrifice bunt in his only plate appearance.

Video: DeShields discusses recent struggles at the plate

DeShields missed 20 games after undergoing surgery to replace a broken hamate bone in his left hand. He said he may have fallen into bad habits as the hand grew stronger and he was able to swing harder.

"Trying to swing harder instead of just squaring the ball up," DeShields said. "Missing pitches I normally would hit and chasing pitches I normally wouldn't, stuff like that. It's frustrating, but I am going to stay positive. I'll be fine. I know I can hit. I know I can play."

Lincecum getting closer

Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers received positive reports on pitcher Tim Lincecum, who threw two innings and 42 pitches against Iowa for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. He allowed one run on two hits, a walk and two strikeouts.

"Best he has thrown," Banister said. "He made some mistakes ahead in the count, but he had soft contact and swing-and-miss stuff on his changeup and slider. That made his fastball play better, and he had some defensive swings on his fastball. He kind of hit a wall at the 42-pitch mark."

Lincecum is on the 60-day DL and eligible to come off on Monday. The Rangers have not made a decision if he'll be ready, and probably won't until this weekend.

"He is making progress and throwing the ball better," Banister said. "We'll continue to allow him to be ready."

Rangers beat

• The Rangers have not announced a starter for Thursday, but the front runner is Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who is pitching for Round Rock with a 2-3 record and 3.72 ERA after eight starts.

• The Rangers honored Meg Miller, their Mother's Day honorary bat girl, before Tuesday's game. Miller, who has been free of breast cancer for the past five years, is a member of the Susan G. Komen "Voices of Hope" Survivor Choir that was at Globe Life Park to sing the national anthem.

• Left-hander Martin Perez, who is on the DL with nerve discomfort in his right arm, remains limited to flat-ground throwing, and there is no timetable for him to start throwing off a mound.

"Some days it's good, some days it's not," Perez said. "It's not the bone or muscle, it's a nerve. It's hard to get back quickly. It's going to take time -- I don't know how long. I feel better today, I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow."

Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman all hit home runs in Monday's game against the Yankees. It's only the second time three Rangers 24 years and younger hit a home run in the same game at Globe Life Park. The other time was July 30, 2003, against the Red Sox (Hank Blalock, Laynce Nix and Mark Teixeira).

• Outfielder Carlos Tocci is having his rehab assignment transferred from Double-A Frisco to Round Rock. He was 7-for-22 with Frisco over seven games.

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, Elvis Andrus, Delino DeShields, Tim Lincecum