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Holland, Kirkman give Rangers dubious record of 61 players used during injury-filled season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This was not the kind of record-setting season Rangers manager Ron Washington envisioned.

When left-hander Derek Holland took the mound against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, he became the 60th player that Texas has used this year, breaking a tie with three other teams for the most in a single season in major league history.

Relief pitcher Michael Kirkman extended that record in the eighth inning, becoming the 61st to play for the Rangers. Kirkman wound up allowing the go-ahead run in a 2-1 loss.

The Indians and Padres each used 59 players in 2002, as did the Padres in 2008.

"You have to put nine guys on the field every day," Washington said before the game, "and you have to put them out there and believe they can get the job done. We chose everything we thought could come up here and not melt down, so we've seen everything."

That turnover is a big reason why the Rangers, three years removed from back-to-back World Series trips, are just 53-85, the fewest wins in the majors.

At times, Washington said, the Texas clubhouse has looked like Grand Central Terminal. New players are walking through the door as others are walking out. There are days when it's hard to remember who is still on the roster, who he can call on in the bullpen to get a key out.

In fact, the Rangers also broke the record Tuesday night for the most pitchers used in a major league season with 38, a dubious distinction they had also shared with the 2002 Padres.

"You never want to be in this situation," Washington said, "believe me."

To put those numbers into perspective, the New York Yankees had used the next-most players at 53 entering their game Tuesday night. The Milwaukee Brewers had used the fewest at just 35.

"Well, you know, it all just started with injuries," Washington explained, "and then we had to start moving bodies around, and it started giving opportunities to players because of what happened to us. It's been happening all year. It just happened to be an exorbitant amount."

The Rangers have used the disabled list a league-leading 26 times, and currently have 14 on it — also the most in the majors. Many are big names that the Rangers were counting on to contend this year, including star pitcher Yu Darvish and veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.

Texas could put their new records far out of reach, too.

The club recalled Lisalverto Bonilla from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, and young right-hander Spencer Patton could join the club Thursday. Neither has pitched for Texas this season.

"I know a lot more players in our organization than I would have," Washington said with a wry grin. "I mean, I knew some of them, but a lot of them came from far down in the system."

Asked whether he could list the 60 who have played for him this season, Washington balked.

"I would have to sit down here and just go deep into what's left up here," he said, tapping the side of his head, "and I probably still wouldn't come up with all of them."

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