The Morning Nine from Surprise


1. Bench coach Jackie Moore after the Rangers 11-7 loss to the Athletics on Thursday: “We swung the bats better, we just couldn’t hold them. It was good to see the A team…they looked life they had some life in them.”

2. The Rangers try again today against the Dodgers with Greg Reynolds on the mound. Colby Lewis is pitching in a Triple A game.

3. Just in case you are wondering, there are no discussions currently going on between Josh Hamilton and the Rangers on a long-term contract extension.

4. The Rangers are 3-8-1, having won just one of their last eight games. They have the second worst record in the American League this spring. The White Sox are 3-9.

5. The Rangers have hit eight home run this spring, tied for the second fewest in Arizona. If you had Yangervis Solarte in the office home run pool you’re looking good. He leads the club with two home runs. Nobody else has more than one. That’s Solarte in a photo from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

6. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine on Vicente Padilla, the former Rangers pitcher who is one of the leading candidates to be the fifth starter: “He’s a strike-thrower. He’s probably the best strike-thrower we have. I’m not sure that we’re going to think of him of being a strikeout pitcher. We’re going to think about him as being a strike pitcher, and strikes usually get hit. The key is to not have them get hit real far. He keeps the ball in the park.”

7. Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, to MLB.Com reporter Brittany Ghiroli, on his time with the Rangers and playing in front of Justin Smoak: “I felt like they had a lot invested in him and I was always holding the position down until he came and took over. And once he got [to the big leagues], then I was going to be moved — to third base, to outfield, to Triple-A, whatever. That may not have been the case, but that’s how I saw it.”

8. By the way, former Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden is having back troubles in the Orioles camp and may start the season on the disabled list. Tommy Hunter, another ex-Ranger in Baltimore, has been dealing with back issues as well but is expected to start for the Orioles on Friday.

9. Angels outfielder Torii Hunter told MLB.Com’s Michael Bauman: “Nothing has happened yet, but on paper, and just knowing my team, this team, this is top-notch, this is one of the best I’ve been part of…This team is something special. There is the balance, the addition of Pujols. But the pitching rotation is No. 1 for me. We didn’t really have that in the past. We’ve got four legitimate starters, four No. 1 and No. 2 starters throughout. And that’s what I like the most. Out of all the things we have, the starting rotation is the thing. And the defense. Our outfield was No. 1 in defense in baseball last year, and nobody really talks about that.

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