ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish will be on the mound for the Rangers on Tuesday night when they host Japan America Friendship Night.
Several hundred participants from the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit are expected to be in attendance for the event, which has been organized by the Rangers with the assistance of several local Japanese organizations, including the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth.
"It's going to be good," Darvish said. "I'm hoping we can do something like this once a year."
A 16-member youth baseball team from Ishinomaki, Japan, will be at the game. They are from a city that was significantly damaged during the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.The Ishinomaki team will also participate in a variety of other educational activities and will play four games against Jr. RBI teams from Arlington and Dallas during their weeklong stay in North Texas.
Special guests at Tuesday's game will include Ichiro Fujisaki, who is Japan's ambassador to the United States, and former United States Ambassador to Japan Tom Schieffer, the former Rangers club president who is also the chairman of the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit Steering Committee. They will be part of a pregame ceremony in which the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation will present a $75,000 check to the Ishinomaki baseball team.
Rangers drop infielder Hernandez
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers took utility infielder Luis Hernandez off the 40-man roster as they designated him for assignment Monday. The Rangers did so to make room for the return of Michael Young from paternity leave.
The move also leaves the Rangers without a second utility infielder on their 40-man roster. Alberto Gonzalez, who was their utility infielder for most of the season, was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock earlier this month.
By designating Hernandez for assignment, the Rangers open up a spot on the 40-man roster. They could use that in one of three ways when the rosters are expanded Saturday.
They could bring back Gonzalez, who is 11-for-29 (.379) in eight games since being sent to Round Rock. He would have been called up Friday when Young went on paternity leave except he had been hit in the hand by a pitch and missed two games over the weekend for Round Rock. He returned to the lineup Sunday.
The Rangers could call up Jurickson Profar, their top Minor League prospect who is currently at Double-A Frisco. The Rangers have discussed the possibility at length. Profar is hitting .284 with 76 runs scored, 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for Frisco. He has a .369 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage.
The Rangers could also acquire an infielder by trade before Saturday. Friday is the next trade deadline; a player must be in the organization by Friday in order to be eligible for postseason.
Young returns to Rangers from paternity leave
ARLINGTON -- Michael Young was back in the lineup Monday after missing three games due to paternity leave. Young last played Thursday night, leaving the game to be with his wife, Cristina, as she gave birth to a son, Antonio.
"I left the game in the fourth inning and the baby came in the sixth inning," Young said. "The game was on in the delivery room so I was able to keep up with it. Everybody is good, everybody is fine. The cavalry [his family] came in from California to help out so everything is good."
Young was also able to get three days of rest as the Rangers head down the stretch, although he said he didn't need it. He was 9-for-30 with two doubles, one home run, five RBIs and eight runs scored in his last eight games.
"I don't like to draw a correlation between my family life and my baseball job but I feel fine physically," Young said. "Once you get to this point in the season, any rest can only help, but I feel good."
Napoli's return from leg injury delayed
ARLINGTON -- Catcher Mike Napoli, on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps muscle, tested his leg with some baserunning drills Monday and is not ready to go on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
"It's not quite ready," said Napoli, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 11.
The Rangers were hoping that Napoli could be activated by Saturday, when the rosters expand to as many as 40 players. But they still want him to get at-bats on a rehab assignment before he is activated.
Triple-A Round Rock's season ends Monday. Double A Frisco's regular season also ends that day, but the RoughRiders are in the playoffs.
The Rangers have extended their working agreement with Class A Spokane of the Northwest League through 2014. Spokane is owned by Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett and his brothers Bobby and J.B.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux turned 51 on Monday and infielder Mike Olt turned 24.
Rangers manager Ron Washington still makes his offseason home in New Orleans in the same house that was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina seven years ago. Now tropical storm Isaac is headed to New Orleans, but Washington is not concerned. Said Washington, "This is not Katrina. There is only one Katrina. She was a ... This is Isaac. He might be a punk."
Former University of Texas-Pan American right-hander Mike Zouzalik was signed to a 2013 Minor League contract by the Rangers. Zouzalik, 22, was signed out of the Rangers' open tryout held Wednesday at Triple-A Round Rock's Dell Diamond. Zouzalik was 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 15 starts and seven relief appearances for UT-Pan American over two seasons.
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.