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Rangers exercising caution with Lincecum

Righty's Sunday bullpen session postponed as team continues to monitor finger blister
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Tim Lincecum postponed a planned bullpen session on Sunday because of continued caution over a blister on his right middle finger. Lincecum has continued his throwing with a soft rubber ball but hasn't been off a mound since Wednesday.

"Just basically treating it day by day and seeing what happens," Lincecum said. "There is no irritation, we just don't want to compound the issue. Physically I feel in shape, but I don't want to compound the finger and set myself back further."

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ARLINGTON -- Tim Lincecum postponed a planned bullpen session on Sunday because of continued caution over a blister on his right middle finger. Lincecum has continued his throwing with a soft rubber ball but hasn't been off a mound since Wednesday.

"Just basically treating it day by day and seeing what happens," Lincecum said. "There is no irritation, we just don't want to compound the issue. Physically I feel in shape, but I don't want to compound the finger and set myself back further."

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Lincecum has had blister issues in the past but admitted this one is taking longer than expected.

"This one is different, maybe because of my abbreviated Spring Training," he said.

Lincecum signed with the Rangers on March 7 and was getting close to pitching in a game at the end of Spring Training until the blister popped up. The Rangers are hoping that he can be an option at the beginning of May but that remains an unknown until the blister is completely healed.

"I don't have any expectations on him at all," manager Jeff Banister said. "When he gets out from under the medical program, that's when we'll start thinking about where he is and have a target date."

Odor becomes father
Second baseman Rougned Odor became a father on Sunday morning when his girlfriend, Liusca Criollo, gave birth to a daughter, Emma Valentina. She weighed eight pounds and measured 19 inches.

Odor has elected not to take paternity leave and was in the Rangers' lineup on Sunday as the designated hitter. Major League Baseball rules allow players to take 1-3 days of paternity leave and be replaced on the roster.

"Every guy is different," Banister said. "I respect their decisions. I gave him his options. He understands and wants to play."

Barnette on hold
The Rangers elected not to activate reliever Tony Barnette off the disabled list on Sunday even though he is just about over the tightness in his lower back. Barnette pitched back-to-back scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco on Thursday and Friday.

One problem is the Rangers don't have an opening in the bullpen since they decided to hold on to Bartolo Colon. That gives them two long relievers in Colon and Jesse Chavez. The other six spots in the bullpen appear to be set with left-handers Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio, and right-handers Keone Kela, Chris Martin, Matt Bush and Kevin Jepsen.

"I'm not going to concern myself with that," Barnette said. "I'm getting ready to pitch when I am asked to pitch. I'm a ballplayer. All of that stuff is out of my control."

Rangers beat:
? Former Rangers infielder Michael Young was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

? Bullpen catcher Josh Frasier celebrated his birthday on Sunday.

? The Rangers are leaning toward giving Mike Minor extra rest before his next start after he pitched six innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday. If the Rangers stay in rotation, Minor's next start would fall on Friday against the Astros. But with the Rangers being off on Thursday, they are leaning toward having Cole Hamels pitch on Friday against the Astros with four days rest and having Minor pitch 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.

Texas Rangers, Tim Lincecum