Diekman eyes post-ASG return to Rangers

Reliever recovering after final surgery to cure his ulcerative colitis

June 21st, 2017
Jake Diekman is aiming to return to the mound around July 19-20, he said Wednesday. (AP)Tony Gutierrez/AP

ARLINGTON -- Jake Diekman returned to the Rangers' clubhouse Wednesday, and his season debut could be on the not-too-distant horizon.

Diekman underwent his third and final surgery to rid himself of ulcerative colitis on June 9, ridding himself of the colostomy "J-bag" and creating a bypass with his small intestine, and his doctor has said he can being throwing, although not at a game-level intensity.

"I'm going to start throwing next homestand and that'll be Week 3," Diekman said. "That will give me three weeks of throwing."

He'll eventually ramp up the intensity until six weeks after the surgery, and it shouldn't be much longer after that Diekman can get back to playing, which, according to Diekman, should come soon after the All-Star break.

"[My doctor] was like, 'You can start throwing whenever you want, but hold off on going full out until the six-week mark,'" Diekman said. "End of July. In my eyes, it's July 19-20."

Diekman said he's roughly the same weight he was before beginning the surgery process and feels fine physically. He's not running, but he has been using a stationary bike.

Diekman was 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 53 innings for the Rangers in 2016.

Beltre discusses ump West

After umpire Joe West chose as the "biggest complainer" he'd ever umpired in a recent article by USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Beltre said he heard about it and presumed West was joking, saying it was "funny."

"He has to be joking, because I don't -- how many times have you seen me complain at home?" Beltre said. "And for me to be the No. 1 complainer? I took that as a compliment. To be good at something ... but I expected him to be joking because we just had a joke moment a couple days before."

Beltre said he and West joked about Beltre saying a pitch that was right down the middle was outside when West was the home-plate umpire Saturday against the Mariners, but Beltre said he does that every time he's taking a pitch, sometimes even before it's reached the catcher's mitt.

"It was a pitch right down the middle, and I always say, 'It's outside' on every pitch that I'm taking, sometimes before the pitch gets there, so I'm kidding," Beltre said. "He did say, 'You might be a good player, but you're the worst umpire I've ever seen,' and we both laughed. Even the catcher laughed, I think it was [Mike Zunino] who was catching, so we were laughing."

Rangers beat

was out of the starting lineup Wednesday. He played in five straight games after returning from the disabled list with a strained hamstring, and the Rangers don't want to overwork him.

homered in back-to-back games entering Monday and Tuesday, giving him 30 in his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mazara was 22 years and 55 days old when hitting his 30th career homer, the third-youngest Ranger to reach that mark. Ruben Sierra in 1987 and Juan Gonzalez in 1991 were the only two to hit that mark at a younger age.

• Entering Wednesday, Beltre was averaging an RBI every 4.36 at-bats, the fourth-highest mark among American League batters with at least 70 plate appearances this season. The three with a better rate were the Indians' (3.54), the Rangers' (4.19) and the Indians' (4.24).