Ross progressing; Alberto shut down again

Ross progressing; Alberto shut down again

ARLINGTON -- Pitcher Tyson Ross is getting ready to throw in a game again with the possibility of being an option for the Rangers' rotation by the first week of June.

Ross is scheduled to pitch three innings and 45 pitches in an extended Spring Training game on Saturday in Arizona. The plan is for Ross to pitch another game in extended Spring Training on May 18, throwing 60 pitches over four innings.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail said the Rangers want Ross' next two outings to be under controlled conditions. After that, the Rangers likely will send him to the Minor Leagues for two starts on a medical rehabilitation assignment.

That could put Ross in line to join the rotation at the beginning of June. Ross is coming back from offseason shoulder surgery and threw 30 pitches in a simulated game Monday in San Diego.

"He was good," Brocail said. "He threw strikes using all his pitches, and his velocity was up."

Alberto shut down

The mystery of injured infielder Hanser Alberto only grows deeper.

Alberto has been shut down again from throwing because of persistent pain in his right shoulder. He hasn't been on the field since a March 12 game against the White Sox in Spring Training because of his chronic shoulder issues.

"I didn't think it was going to be this long," Alberto said.

The Rangers didn't either. Alberto was originally shut down with soreness in the shoulder and started the season on the disabled list. Every time he begins a throwing program and gets close to resuming full baseball activities, the shoulder starts bothering him again.

Rangers beat

• The Rangers held a moment of silence before Wednesday's game for Celeste Williams, the longtime sports editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram who passed away Monday. Williams was with the Star-Telegram in that position since 1999, presiding over an award-winning sports section that carried national respect.

• Right-handed pitcher Jose Leclerc, who is on the disabled list with a bruised index finger on his right hand, is keeping his arm warm by playing catch, throwing only changeups. Leclerc does not use the index finger when throwing his changeup.

• Pitcher A.J. Griffin is 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his past four starts, and all have been on the road. Griffin is the first pitcher to win four straight starts, all on the road, with an ERA that low since Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner in July 2010. He was 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

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.