ARLINGTON -- The Rangers called up left-hander Neal Cotts on Tuesday from Triple-A Round Rock, almost four years to the day when he last pitched in the Major Leagues. Cotts was 3-1 with a 0.78 ERA in 15 games for Round Rock, holding opponents to a .171 batting average. He had not allowed a hit to a left-handed hitter in 23 innings.
"I'm really excited, definitely a lot of ups and downs," Cotts said. "There was a period of time where I didn't think I would play again. This organization gave me another chance. I'm happy I was able to make it back up here."
Cotts, who pitched for the White Sox on their 2005 World Series championship team, last appeared in a Major League game on May 25, 2009, while with the Cubs. His career has since been derailed by Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, plus a series of hip operations.
The Rangers signed the 33-year-old to a Minor League contract on Feb. 20, 2012, and brought him to Spring Training. Cotts was close to making the team before he strained a muscle in his left ribcage. He ended up spending 2012 in Round Rock, but tried again this past spring with another Minor League contract.
"The organization did a good job sticking with him, and he did a good job sticking with us," manager Ron Washington said. "The guy has pitched in a World Series, he's got big league [experience] and is a proven left-hander."
Said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who worked with Cotts in Chicago: "When we had him with the White Sox, he was one of the better left-handers in baseball. He did a great job in Round Rock -- hopefully he can continue to do that here."
The Rangers now have four left-handers in their bullpen, but they also have to make a roster move on Wednesday to add pitcher Ross Wolf. Joseph Ortiz has options and could be the odd man out right now. Cotts replaced Josh Lindblom, who was optioned to Round Rock after Monday's game.
Tepesch to miss Wednesday start with blister
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have scratched pitcher Nick Tepesch from Wednesday's start with a blister on his right middle finger. The club is planning to recall right-hander Ross Wolf from Triple-A Round Rock to start against the Athletics.
Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA in six starts for Round Rock while holding opponents to a .223 batting average. In 34 innings, he has allowed 27 hits, nine walks and struck out 25.
The Rangers signed the 30-year-old as a free agent on April 27, 2012, after he was released by the Orioles. The Rangers are his fifth organization and he has pitched in 25 Major League games as a reliever. He pitched in 14 games for the Marlins in 2007 and 11 with the Athletics in '10. This will be his first Major League start.
"He is throwing the ball well," general manager Jon Daniels said.
The Rangers considered promoting left-hander Martin Perez, but he has made just three starts since returning from a broken arm and is 0-2 with a 9.49 ERA.
"We want Martin to have more time and be as ready as he can be," Daniels said. "Wolf was the recommendation."
Tepesch developed the blister in his last start against the Tigers on Friday night. The Rangers are not expecting it to be serious, and they are hoping Tepesch can pitch on Sunday against the Mariners.
"It's something we have to put behind us and get better," Tepesch said. "It popped up the other day. It's one of those things you have to take care to get ready so it doesn't come back.
"I've had a couple in the past, but I wouldn't really have a problem with them. It just has to get better and I'll be fine after that. It's one of those things you can't do a whole lot for. You just got to wait for it to heal, basically."
Weather permitting, Wolf will start on Wednesday, with Justin Grimm and Derek Holland scheduled to pitch the first two games against the Mariners on Friday and Saturday in Seattle. Tepesch would pitch on Sunday, meaning Yu Darvish will likely get an extra day of rest before his next start.
Darvish is expected to pitch one game of Monday's doubleheader against the D-backs in Arizona. Wolf is a candidate to pitch the second game, or the Rangers could recall either Josh Lindblom or Perez if needed. Right now, the Texas pitching staff remains unsettled with Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando still on the disabled list.
"Everybody goes through it," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll battle through it and get back on track."
Pierzynski activated from DL, back in lineup
ARLINGTON -- A.J. Pierzynski was activated off the disabled list on Tuesday after missing two weeks with a strained oblique muscle in his right ribcage. The catcher went right into the starting lineup on Tuesday night vs. the A's.
The Rangers' biggest concern is keeping the muscle from becoming a recurring problem. At this point, they are hoping the two weeks off allowed Pierzynski to put the problem behind him.
"Right now, it's not in there anymore," Pierzynski said. "There has been no pain or lingering effects. The whole key was to do the rehab work and make sure there are no lingering effects. It's good.
"I'm not going to change anything. It's one of those things that happened. It's not something that I can control. I didn't go out and do anything crazy. The trainers did a great job, so hopefully it's behind me."
To make room for Pierzynski, the Rangers optioned catcher Robinson Chirinos to Triple-A Round Rock.
Sundberg, Pudge to represent Rangers at Draft
ARLINGTON -- Former catchers Jim Sundberg and Ivan Rodriguez, who won 19 Gold Gloves between them in their careers, will represent the Rangers at the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. They will be in attendance on June 6 at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.
Sundberg has been in the Rangers' front office since 2004 and is currently senior executive vice president. Rodriguez, after retiring last year, works for the Rangers as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels. This is the second straight year the two Gold Glove catchers will represent the Rangers at the Draft. Texas will have the 23rd and 30th overall picks.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 11:30 a.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at noon.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
• Ogando, who is on the disabled list with a triceps inflammation in his right arm, has been playing catch and said everything is feeling better. But Ogando said he is only throwing around "40 percent," and added, "I don't know when they'll let me throw hard."
• The Rangers promoted pitcher Nick McBride from Class A Myrtle Beach to Triple-A Round Rock. McBride was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft from Ragsdale (N.C.) High who was 0-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 12 appearances for Myrtle Beach.
• Jurickson Profar drove in two runs with a groundout and a sacrifice fly in Monday's 9-2 loss to the Athletics. He is the fifth player in Rangers history to drive in multiple runs from the ninth spot in the order without the benefit of a hit. The others were Sundberg in 1976, Jerry Browne in 1988, Ruben Rivera in 2002 and D'Angelo Jimenez in '06.
• The Rangers are promoting pitcher Kyle McClellan from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock. McClellan, signed as a free agent in the offseason, pitched in 261 games with the Cardinals over the past five seasons and is trying to come back from a strained shoulder injury sustained in Spring Training.
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.