BOSTON -- The Rangers are expected to call up pitcher Colby Lewis and have him return to their rotation on Saturday against the Astros. The Rangers haven't made an official announcement, but it's likely that Lewis will make his first start since July 18, 2012.
Lewis pitched five innings for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches. The plan is for Lewis to throw a bullpen session with Round Rock on Wednesday. If that goes well, Lewis would be on track to pitch for the Rangers on Saturday.
Lewis could elect for free agency if the Rangers don't add him to the active roster by Thursday, but that appears to no longer be a concern.
"Our intention is to bring him to Texas," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We'll see how that goes. Let him finish his work and all of his recovery, but our intention is to bring him to Texas. That's what we're waiting on."
Lewis will replace Joe Saunders in the rotation. Saunders is on the disabled list with a bruised left foot after getting hit by a line drive in last Friday's start against the Rays. Saunders is able to throw, but the bruised foot makes it difficult for him to field his position.
"Right now, it's about the agility aspect," Saunders said. "I couldn't field a bunt. The arm is not the problem. I can push off the mound and even throw in the bullpen. But agility is important. If you can't run or plant side to side, you can't pitch. But every day, it's getting better."
Lewis was 32-29 with a 3.93 ERA in 80 starts for the Rangers from 2010-12 and 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA in eight postseason starts. But he was shut down with elbow trouble midway through the 2012 season and underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on Aug. 2 of that year.
Lewis made seven starts last season in the Minor Leagues on medical rehabilitation assignment, but he was still being bothered by physical issues. The Rangers finally shut him down and he underwent hip replacement surgery on Aug. 22. Lewis had been bothered by a chronic right hip for several years and finally had the issue addressed.
Beltre sent back to Texas with left quad injury
BOSTON -- The Rangers are sending third baseman Adrian Beltre back to Texas to see if he needs to go on the disabled list with a strained left quad muscle.
Beltre came out of Tuesday's 10-7 victory over the Red Sox after five innings with what was described as tightness in the muscle. The Rangers want him examined by Dr. Keith Meister in Texas to see the extent of the injury.
"We'll just have to wait and see what Dr. Meister says," manager Ron Washington said. "We'd rather get him there sooner than later."
Beltre had tightness in the quad muscle in Spring Training and missed a week of Cactus League games. This injury is not considered to be in the same area as the problem Beltre experienced in Spring Training.
Beltre started the game at designated hitter because Washington wanted him to have a night off from playing the field to rest his legs. But Washington said there was no indication Beltre was having any problems. He was 2-for-3 at the plate before leaving the game with the Rangers leading 9-1.
"I didn't see why I should leave him in there," Washington said. "It's about doing the right thing."
Josh Wilson started at third base on Tuesday night. The Rangers will play short-handed on Wednesday and then are off on Thursday. If Beltre needs to go on the disabled list, the Rangers can call up Kevin Kouzmanoff from Triple-A Round Rock.
Beltre and Mike Schmidt are tied for fifth all-time with 2,212 games played at third base. The all-time leader is Brooks Robinson with 2,870 games played, followed by Graig Nettles with 2,412, Gary Gaetti with 2,282 and Wade Boggs with 2,215. Beltre should pass Boggs -- like Schmidt, another Hall of Famer -- on the upcoming homestand.
"It's humbling, you obviously know who those guys are and what they have accomplished," Beltre said. "To have something to do with those guys is great. It means I have been playing a long time.
Harrison goes 4 2/3 innings in rehab start
BOSTON -- Matt Harrison took another step in his medical rehab process with a strong start for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday afternoon against Arkansas. Harrison went 4 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 62 pitches, 20 more than his 42-pitch outing that was rained out last Thursday.
"That's the best I've felt so far during the rehab process," Harrison told reporters in Frisco. "I just felt better and my timing was there, for the most part. I got a little tired at the end there, arm-wise, but my body felt good. I had to make some plays out there, some [fielding] stuff, and was able to do that without any issues. It's step in the right direction."
Harrison's next outing is scheduled for Sunday, for Frisco against Little Rock. The goal for that outing is five innings and 80 pitches. Harrison will likely need two or three more starts before he is Major League-ready, but he is getting closer to being an option by April 23.
"I've still got to continue to build up my pitch count and continue to be effective, so I think that entails whether I'll be ready the 23rd," Harrison said. "It's tough, especially at this point in the season. I wanted to be out there with everybody else. Unfortunately I still need some time to get ready and some time to build up, so I'm just focusing on that."
• Rangers bullpen catcher Josh Frasier celebrated his 37th birthday on Tuesday.
• Washington said he should have won his replay challenge on Monday night in the first inning. Second-base umpire Jordan Baker ruled that shortstop Elvis Andrus lost control of the ball in the process of turning a double play. Washington said Andrus clearly caught the ball for the force and was starting to make his throw to first. Said Washington, "If he catches the ball and decides to just hold it and not throw, the guy would have been out."
• Washington said he hasn't seen Murphy play third base. But he did get to see Wilson play the position in Spring Training. That's why Wilson played third and Murphy played second when they were both in the lineup on Tuesday. Said Washington, "I know Donnie can play shortstop and third base, but I haven't seen it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.