Last Call From the Desert…Randy Wells, Joe Nathan

“I think he’s quietly making a very solid case for a tough decision to be made. He’s commanding all of his pitches. He commands a very good fastball. He has command of all of his pitches.”

Second baseman Ian Kinsler on rookie pitcher Nick Tepesch

The Rangers could have their first rainout on Friday. Rain is forecast for the Valley of the Sun and that could wipe out the Rangers game with the Brewers in Maryvale.desert

Veteran pitcher Randy Wells, a candidate for the fifth starter spot, does not overpower hitters. He has to rely on keeping the ball down, changing speeds and “making pitches.” His best pitch is his changeup and that has been erratic this Spring.

That was the case on Thursday when he allowed three runs on six hits in four innings in an 11-11 tie with the Dodgers.

“It’s Spring Training,” Wells said. “Everything is magnified because everybody is competing for that one spot. But it’s still Spring Training. I’m still working on some stuff. Keep getting better is the name of the game. I don’t know a whole lot of guys who come out in the first three outings and are in mid-season form. You’ve got to remember it’s still March 7. I feel good and I’m healthy. I’m really happy with my fastball command. The last two pitches are the last to come: the good slider and the good changeup.”

Wells said he was able to use his changeup to get ahead of hitters on Thursday. But he wasn’t effective with it putting hitters away.

“When it came time to put hitters away, the mental effort was off,” Wells said. “Maybe I needed to bounce one rather than put one right there.”

Rangers closer Joe Nathan got some extra work on Thursday. He was scheduled to pitch the bottom of the fifth so he began warming up in the top of the inning. The Rangers ended up scoring five runs that inning and Nathan left a little something in the bullpen.

“It was a good workout, I was sharp in the bullpen,” Nathan said. “But when I got on the mound, I left a couple pitches up. I like it when we score a lot of runs but I’m not a guy who likes to sit down and then get back up again. I like to keep throwing. I did slow it down a little. But everything was pretty sharp down there.”

It was Nathan’s second outing of the Spring and he allowed two runs on three hits.


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