Griffin frontrunner for Friday's start vs. Boston

Rangers right-hander set to throw bullpen session on Tuesday

Griffin frontrunner for Friday's start vs. Boston

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has not officially named a starting pitcher for Friday night's game against the Red Sox, but right-hander A.J. Griffin seems to be the leading candidate.

Griffin is scheduled to throw a bullpen session before Tuesday's game against the Reds. Banister said how Griffin feels afterward will be a big factor in whether he will get the start on Friday. But Banister was pleased with Griffin's results following his third rehab start at Double-A Frisco on Sunday, where he was able to go five innings and strike out seven, while giving up two runs (one earned).

"I think he's still the lead horse right now," Banister said. "He threw 77 pitches. That puts him right about 90 pitches. That's about what we got in the tank in that spot anyways for that starter. If he feels all right [after the bullpen], we'll see where he's at."

Griffin said the Rangers had not conveyed their plans to him before Monday's game against the Orioles. He feels like he's "just pitching" now without worrying about the right shoulder stiffness that placed him on the 15-day disabled list on May 8.

"I feel good. I like the results and the execution," he said.

The Rangers' other options for Friday's starter consist of right-hander Nick Martinez and left-hander Cesar Ramos. Martinez threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up three runs as the starter in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Cardinals. Ramos threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in that game.

"We still got to figure out how those guys get used out of the bullpen, also," Banister said.

Stubbs' toe injury lingers
When Rangers outfielder Drew Stubbs was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left toe sprain on May 23, he thought he would be ready to return to action around the time he was eligible on June 7.

Stubbs took most of last week off to give the toe a rest after it was still hampering him during his rehab. He did some light running and took some batting practice before Monday's game and will see how the toe responds.

"When it first happened, I thought it was going to be a two-week deal, but now we're four weeks in and I'm still in the same place," Stubbs said. "There's no definitive timeline, which is the toughest part."

Banister was not surprised that the injury was taking longer to heal than Stubbs had projected.

"We don't get to choose how long the injury takes," he said. " ... It's a tough deal for him. We'd love to have him back, and he'd love to be back."

Beasley returns
Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley was back with the team on Monday and will be on the bench for the six-game homestand after receiving treatment earlier in June for rectal cancer. Beasley was all smiles in the clubhouse and said that he was feeling good. He is scheduled to have surgery in August.

"Tony's in great shape, no real side effects," Banister said.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.