Last Call from the Desert…David Murphy, Jeff Baker

When things are going easy, everybody looks good. But when things get hairy, that’s when you show what you are made of. He stuck to his guns and never gave in. I thought it was a pretty good outing. I like the way he throws…a four-pitch mix. He keeps the ball down and is kind of a flat-liner out there. Doesn’t show a lot of emotion.”

Pitching coach Mike Maddux on Nick Tepesch’s outing against the Athletics.desert

 Spring Training is halfway over and the Rangers have yet to approach David Murphy about a contract extension. He can be a free agent after the season is over. The Rangers said before the start of Spring Training that there would be some conversations with his agent while they were here but that hasn’t happened yet.

Jeff Baker was 3-for-3 in the Rangers 5-2 victory over the Padres in Peoria while Mike Olt was 0-for-3. They are both competing for the same spot as a potential reserve and Baker is winning the battle. He is hitting .481 on the Spring and Olt is hitting .136. Baker is a seven-year veteran who understands the role of a part-time player and Olt is a top prospect who probably needs to play every day at Triple A Round Rock.

“I’m just trying to play and enjoy the game,” Baker said. “I don’t worry about all that other stuff, it’s for other people to make the decision.”

The Rangers beat the Athletics, 4-3, in Surprise. Colin Balester was the winning pitcher and the save went to Lisalverto Bonilla. He was one of two players acquired from the Phillies for Michael Young.

Left-handers Joe Ortiz has now pitched six scoreless innings in relief and Nate Robertson has pitched five. Two other left-handers – Jeff Beliveau and Michael Kirkman – have also not allowed a run.

Neal Cotts allowed four runs in his first four appearances and got into trouble on Saturday against the Athletics. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with nobody out. But Cotts struck out Scott Sizemore and got Derek Norris to hit into an inning-ending double play grounder to third.

You have to be feeling good if you have pitcher Johan Yan on your Spring Training Fantasy Team. He picked up his second save on Saturday in Peoria.




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