Hamels throws 'pen session without issues

Hamels throws 'pen session without issues

ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Cole Hamels threw 26 pitches in his bullpen session on Monday without any issues and could return to the rotation as early as Saturday, against the Angels.

Hamels was scratched from Monday's start against the Yankees because of a strained left hamstring but was able to throw off the mound in the bullpen for the first time since his most recent start, on Wednesday against the Astros.

"It went really good," pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "They wrapped [his hamstring] so it was protected, but he stayed in his lane well and got down the mound well. It went really good."

The Rangers will see how Hamels recovers on Tuesday, but the plan is for him to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday. If that goes well, he could start on Saturday.

The Rangers have not discussed putting Hamels on the disabled list because he has told them it's not a serious issue.

"When he came to me for the first time, I thought, 'Ten to 14 days, err on the side of precaution,'" Brocail said. "But if somebody knows their body, Cole knows his body better than anybody."

The Rangers did make a roster move on Monday, optioning pitcher Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Cesar Ramos, who started in place of Hamels. The Rangers made room for Ramos on the 40-man roster by moving reliever Keone Kela to the 60-day DL. Kela is expected to be out until after the All-Star break while he recovers from elbow surgery.

DeShields to ninth: Delino DeShields, after getting Sunday off, was back in the lineup on Monday, but in the ninth spot. He had been the leadoff hitter in his first 16 starts. Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara, two left-handed hitters, were at the top of the lineup against Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

Manager Jeff Banister still wants DeShields hitting before Odor and Mazara but wanted his left-handers up in the first inning against Eovaldi.

"It's not the lineup that is important but the sequence of hitters," Banister said.

Rangers beat:
• Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has been on the DL since April 9 with a strained right calf, is running on a treadmill and on Monday started hitting off both a tee and soft-toss pitching in the indoor batting cage. Choo is expected to be out four to six weeks, but he is counting on it being closer to four weeks, saying, "I'm feeling a lot better. ... I have always come back from an injury earlier than what they said."

• Catcher Chris Gimenez, on the DL because of a staph infection in his left ankle, has been assigned to Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment.

• Frisco outfielder Ryan Cordell was named the Texas League Player of the Week after hitting .429 with two home runs and nine RBIs in six games. Class A High Desert outfielder Luke Tendler was named the California League Player of the Week after hitting .440 with three doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs. He scored a run in all six games.

• Reliever Tanner Scheppers, who is recovering from surgery on his left knee, is off crutches and walking without issues. He is hoping to begin a throwing program this week with the goal of returning after the All-Star break.

• As of now, the Rangers are expected to face left-hander Hector Santiago and right-handers Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards during this weekend's three-game series against the Angels.

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.