ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, threw a bullpen session on Sunday, and the next step is another game for Double-A Frisco."I'm going to go hang out in the lazy river," Hamels said.The start is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Wednesday
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, on the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle, threw a bullpen session on Sunday, and the next step is another game for Double-A Frisco.
"I'm going to go hang out in the lazy river," Hamels said.
The start is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in Frisco, and the goal is to get up to 70-75 pitches. After that, the Rangers will decide if Hamels needs another rehab start or if he is ready to be activated.
"We'll see how far he gets stretched out," manager Jeff Banister said. "He might be able to get to the bank of pitches that stretches him out and gets him ready to go. It's all predicated on how each day goes."
Hamels threw 35 pitches over three scoreless innings for Frisco against San Antonio on Thursday night. He threw an additional 22 pitches in the bullpen once he came out of the game.
Hamels has not pitched for the Rangers since April 26. He injured the muscle warming up for a start against the Astros on May 2, and the original diagnosis was he would be out eight weeks. He is on target to hit that date, or even return slightly earlier.
"So far he has felt good through the entire process," Banister said. "That's a plus."
Napoli rests, then pinch-hits
Mike Napoli hit two home runs in Saturday's win over the Mariners in his second game back off the disabled list. On Sunday, manager Jeff Banister's original plan was to rest Napoli after he missed almost two weeks because of back spasms, but he entered in the seventh as a pinch-hitter, going 0-for-1 with a walk. The Rangers lost, 7-3.
Napoli is 3-for-9 with two home runs in his first three games back.
"I was feeling good before I got hurt," Napoli said. "I was able to keep that feeling when I started doing stuff again."
• Napoli's home runs on Saturday came in a pair of five-run innings. The last time a Rangers player hit home runs in two five-run innings was Ramon Vazquez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the record-setting 30-3 win over the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007.
• Tanner Scheppers threw two scoreless innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. Since returning from the disabled list on May 27, he has allowed just one run in 10 1/3 innings while striking out eight.
• Friday and Saturday marked the first time in franchise history the Rangers have won consecutive games by the score of 10-4.
• Pitcher Dillon Gee has cleared outright waivers and taken his free agency. He was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for pitcher Tyson Ross on the 40-man roster.
• Outfielder Peter O'Brien, who had been at Round Rock, has been claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. He was designated for assignment on Saturday.
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.