Last call on Wednesday: Petit acquired; Ojeda watch; Scheppers sent down, Harrison line
The Rangers have acquired infielder Gregorio Petit from the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Edwar Ramirez.
Petit will join the Rangers on a non-roster invitation and will be looked at as a utility infielder. But he is far more likely to be the Triple A Oklahoma City shortstop now that the Rangers have traded Ray Olmedo to the Brewers.
Joaquin Arias is the Rangers leading internal candidate to be their utility infielder. Esteban Gernan is also still in camp but the Rangers just don’t see him as a viable option at shortstop. Arias is, despite the misgivings about his arm strength.
Petit has played in 25 games for the Athletics over the past two years, hitting .278 with a .304 on-base percentage. He played in 98 games at Triple A Sacramennto last year where he hit .244 with a .292 on-base percentag and a .336 slugging percentage.
Watching Ojeda: The Rangers have interest in infielder Augie Ojeda, who is being shopped by the Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks are looking for pitching, preferably starting pitching. The Rangers may be willing to part with Luis Mendoza in the right deal. He is out of options and is not likely to clear waivers if the Rangers try to outright him to the Minors.
The Pirates are willing to trade Ramon Vazquez but the Rangers aren’t interested in trading Mendoza for him.
The Rangers could have some interest in Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen and the Royals Willie Bloomquist. Both could provide adequate depth at shortstop.
Saltalamacchia plan: The Rangers are hoping catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be ready to take batting practice on Wednesday. He remains sidelined with spasms in a muscle on the left side of his neck.
If Saltalamacchia gets through batting practice without problem on Thursday, he could be used as a designated hitter in a Minor League game on Friday.
Harrison knocked around: Matt Harrison pitched 51/3 innings in a Triple A game for Oklahoma City against Omaha on Wednesday, allowing six runs, four earned, on nine hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Guillermo Moscoso pitched two scoreless innings in a Double A game.
Scheppers sent down: Pitcher Tanner Scheppers was among six players returned to the Minor Leagues on Wednesday. The other five were outfielder Brandon Boggs, infielder Herman Iribarren and pitchers Geoff Geary, Edwar Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Michawl Kirkman.
The Rangers have not decided where Scheppers will pitch but he is likely to be on a structured throwing program that will limit him to about 100 innings this season.
Injury update: Darren O’Day is going to test his arm throwing on flat ground. He is day to day with a bone bruise.
Ian Kinsler (ankle) is hitting off a tee. Hopes to play on Monday.
Pitcher Warner Madrigal has reported diminished discomfort and stiffness in his right forearm and is still on a long toss throwing program.
Catcher Toby Hall is throwing to bases but assistant general manager Thad Levine said it’s likely that May 1 is the target date for when he will be ready to play in a real game at 100 percent.
Tommy Hunter? Strained oblique muscle in left rib cage? Not good. Hunter admitted the obvious on Wednesday and said there is no way he’ll be ready for the season. Levine said he is still 2-3 weeks away.
Eric Hurley could resume throwing on Monday. He has been sidelined with a broken bone in his left wrist but the real issue remains his recovery from shoulder surgery 14 months ago. He was on a throwing program before the broken bone.
Endy Chavez, who had knee surgery last summer, is running at 50 percent but only straight ahead. He is still unlikely to be an option for another couple of months.