Notes: Young gets back in the game
All-star shortstop sees first action since plunking
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Michael Young struck out but also threw out Vladimir Guerrero trying to score from first base on Garret Anderson's double.That was it before a rainstorm delayed the Rangers' game with the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday. They played 1 1/2 innings before the rain hit and the game was called after two innings. But it was the first time Young had been on the field since getting his on the left side of his head by a pitch. He was originally supposed to get his sutures out on Wednesday, but he only got half of them out. The rest will stay in for another week, but he has still been cleared to play. "If you reach up there and grab them, it will hurt," Young said. "But it's fine. It's pretty much healed. They just didn't want to run the risk of anything being pulled apart." He is able to wear a batting helmet again, so the Rangers didn't wait until Friday night to put him back in the lineup. "The only worry is getting hit in the head again, but that's not a good thing anyway," Young said. Rangers wait on Loe: Rangers manager Ron Washington said that Kameron Loe wanted to pitch on Thursday against the Angels. Loe suffered spasms in his neck and back on Wednesday while stretching and was scratched from Thursday's start. He did show improvement, but the Rangers weren't interested in pushing him. "He thought maybe he could do it, but I didn't want to mess with his progress," Washington said. "He has progressed well. To go out there and push it and hurt it even more doesn't make sense. Once he gets the soreness out of there, we'll figure out a way to get him on the mound." One possibility is Sunday against the Chicago White Sox in Tucson. That's Robinson Tejeda's day to pitch, but he's scheduled to start a Minor League game rather than make his third trip to Tucson.
Pitching update: Eric Gagne is expected to pitch on Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. It will be his second appearance in an "A" game, and he'll likely get two or three more before Opening Day. Gagne won't pitch in consecutive games before the season starts, but Washington hopes his closer will be able to do that once the season begins. Kevin Millwood, staying back in Surprise, pitched five-plus innings in a Minor League game on Thursday. Pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma against Tacoma, Millwood allowed one unearned run on two hits and two walks while striking out three. His final start of the spring will be on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres in Surprise. Washington said he still expects to open the season with a 12-man pitching staff, including seven relievers. Said Washington, "You can never have enough pitching -- especially at the start of the season, when you don't what you really have. Once you get into the season and see what you can do, you might think about it. But we're going to start off with 12." Mike Wood and Scott Feldman each pitched an inning on Thursday before the game was rained out. Wood pitched a scoreless inning, and Feldman gave up a solo home run to Shea Hillenbrand. He said it: I'll let you guys know who shot J.F.K. in five minutes. -- Young, getting grilled for the details on his ear injury Batting practice changed: Fans will have a better chance of watching the Rangers take batting practice at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers will now take batting practice after the visiting team. For night games, the visiting team will begin batting practice 2 1/2 hours before the game, and the Rangers will take batting practice 1 hour, 45 minutes before the game starts. Opening times have also changed for all gates except the Season Ticket Holder Gate, which will continue to open 2 hours, 30 minutes prior to game time. For night games, First and Third Base Gates will open 1 hour, 40 minutes prior to game time, and Home Plate and Center Field Gates will open approximately 1 hour prior to the start time. For day games, all gates will open 1 hour, 30 minutes prior to game time. The exceptions will be Opening Day, when all gates will open at 10:00 a.m. CT, and the series against the Yankees and Red Sox. Prior to Yankees and Red Sox games, First and Third Base Gates will open 2 hours prior to start time and Home Plate and Center Field Gates will open 1 hour, 30 minutes prior to the game to accommodate fans wishing to watch visiting batting practice. Up next: Left-hander Bruce Chen pitches for the Rangers at 9:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Surprise Stadium. Ben Sheets will pitch for the Brewers.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.