Saltalamacchia says he is pain free; Washington on a few subjects
Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has been sidelined for a week with muscle spasms on the left side of his neck, took batting practice on Thursday morning without any pain or discomfort.
Saltalamacchia’s plan is to be used at designated hitter in a Minor League game on Friday and then play in a Cactus League game on Saturday. The Rangers discussed the possibility of Saltalamacchia playing in a Minor League game on Thursday but he decided to wait.
“Everything feels good but I want to give it one more day and make sure I have no setbacks,” Saltalamacchia said. “This is the first day I haven’t felt anything.”
If Saltalamacchia plays on Saturday, he will have eight games to get ready for the season although he won’t play in all eight.
“Spring Training is so long as it is,” Saltalamacchia said. “My swing feels good, my catching feels great. I have plenty of time.”
Minor League lines:
Colby Lewis pitched in a Minor League game on Thursday back in camp. He was pitching for Double A Frisco against the Dodgers AA team and allowed two runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out ten.
Frank Francisco pitched for Triple A Oklahoma City and pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out two against the Dodgers AAA team.
Manager Ron Washington on…
Julio Borbon in center: “Certainly it has been a big surprise how far he has progressed defensively, He’s taking charge out there. He’s catching on how to play out there quicker than we thought. It’s been a pleasant surprise.”
On the Angels being the team to beat: “Without a doubt. They are winners. Until you take them down, they are the team to beat. They have an atmosphere conducive to winning and they know how to win. You just have to out-play them.”
Kinsler, O’Day to be examined: Second baseman Ian Kinsler, sidelined with a sprained right ankle, will be examined by Dr. Keith Meister on Friday and get a better idea of where he stands on his injury.
Kinsler reported considerably improvement on Thursday but is still limited to light baseball activities that including hitting off a tee.
Darren O’Day is also scheduled to be examined by Meister. He is sidelined with inflammation in his right elbow but is throwing on flat ground.
By the way: Friday is an important date. If a player starts the season on the disabled list, a club can back-date the move nine days. That would be Friday. But not if he’s played in a Cactus League game. In that case, he could only be backdated to his last Cactus League game.
Example: The Rangers decide to put Ian Kinsler on the disabled list to start the season. They can backdate it to March 26, which is Friday. That means he would only miss the first six days of the season.
But, if he plays in a Cactus League game on Tuesday, he can only be backdated to that date.
Ball Four in Tempe: Tempe Diablo Stadium is the home of the Angels. Forty years ago it was the home of the Seattle Pilots.
That was the 1969 American League expansion team that was made famous by Jim Bouton in his best seller Ball Four.
A year later, Jackie Moore was given his first Major League coaching job as first base coach of the Pilots.
“I came to camp as a Seattle Pilot and left as a Milwaukee Brewer,” Moore said.
That was the camp that the Pilots went into bankruptcy and were sold to a group from Milwaukee right before the season started.
“The equipment truck left camp and was supposed to stop at a certain point, call back and find out if it was Seattle or Milwaukee,” Moore said. “We ended up going to Milwaukee. It didn’t matter to me because I was in the big leagues.”