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Rangers claim Nunez; Lincecum to 60-day DL

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

HOUSTON -- The Rangers have added another potential right-handed power bat by claiming Renato Nunez off waivers from the Athletics.

The Rangers made room for Nunez on their 40-man roster by putting pitcher Tim Lincecum on the 60-day disabled list. The earliest he can be activated is May 28.

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HOUSTON -- The Rangers have added another potential right-handed power bat by claiming Renato Nunez off waivers from the Athletics.

The Rangers made room for Nunez on their 40-man roster by putting pitcher Tim Lincecum on the 60-day disabled list. The earliest he can be activated is May 28.

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Nunez is out of options and is expected to be added to the active roster when he joins the club in St. Petersburg on Monday. The Rangers would have to run him through outright waivers in order to send him to Triple-A.

The Rangers want to take a look at him. Nunez has played third base, first base and left field in the Minors.

"Our scouts have been intrigued with the power potential since he signed as a high-profile prospect out of Venezuela," assistant general manager Josh Boyd said. "We saw this as an opportunity to add a young right-handed corner bat capable of impacting the ball. We have a history of good reports on his makeup and like the way he came into camp slimmed down this spring."

Nunez started this season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and played in 17 games for the Athletics over the past two seasons. He is 6-for-30 at the plate and his one home run came off of Rangers pitcher Martin Perez on Sept. 29.

He spent most of last season at Triple-A Nashville, hitting .249 with 32 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .518 slugging percentage. He was 9-for-25 on medical rehabilitation assignment at Nashville this month before being placed on outright waivers. 

"He is a right-handed hitter with power and a decent athlete," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We are going to get a look at him."

The Rangers possibly could make a move with either Ryan Rua or Drew Robinson. Both are hitting under .200 with a slugging percentage under .300 and neither was in the lineup on Sunday.

Video: Banister on Lincecum being placed on the 60-day DL

Lincecum disappointed, but understands
Lincecum was not expecting to wait until May 28 to pitch for the Rangers, but the veteran right-hander understood the decision to put him on the disabled list. The Rangers signed Lincecum on March 7, but his return was delayed by a blister on his right middle finger. He has been throwing in the bullpen, but has yet to face hitters.

"It's frustrating, but they're protecting themselves and giving me enough time in case there are bumps in the road," Lincecum said. "It's kind of the safe play. It allievates the pressure on me and keeps them from having to play the waiting game."

Lincecum said the blister shouldn't be a problem going forward. But the Rangers don't want to rush him since he hasn't been on a Major League mound since Aug. 5, 2016.

"He's got to throw bullpens, he's got to throw batting practice, he has to have a Spring Training," Banister said. "We'll see how it plays out, but we've got an opportunity to look at this to the point where we can make out a schedule that works for him."

Rangers beat
Nomar Mazara was back in the lineup on Sunday after missing Saturday's game with stiffness in his neck. Mazara was limited to designated hitter, but that was a significant step up from not being able to play at all on Saturday.

"It was pretty bad," Mazara said. "I couldn't move it in the morning. I couldn't even get up to get breakfast."

Keone Kela ended up being the winning pitcher on Saturday and is now 17-7 in his career for a winning percentage of .708. That is the best in history by a Rangers reliever with at least 20 decisions.

Adrian Beltre's home run on Saturday was his 146th as a third baseman for the Rangers. That ties him with Dean Palmer for the most at that position in club history.

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, Renato Nunez