Last call from the Desert….The Cactus League Opener
— The Rangers opened the Cactus League with an 11-7 victory over the Royals. There were nine errors in the game, including five by the Rangers. Utility infield candidate Josh Wilson, who has a reputation for being solid defensively, committed two errors at shortstop as did third baseman Alex Castellanos.
“It was a good game offensively but we certainly have some work to do defensively,” manager Ron Washington said.
– Yu Darvish gave up two hits but struck out four of eight batters in two scoreless innings. Tommy Hanson gave up an unearned run in 11/3 innings.
– Brent Lillibridge, another utility infield candidate, hit a two-run home run and also made a nice diving stop defensively at second base.
– Outfielder Brad Snyder had a two-run double and is 4-for-6 with three walks in two intrasquad games plus the Cactus League opener.
– Adrian Beltre had a double and a walk in his first two plate appearances.
– Jurickson Profar is not ready to play the field but was 1-for-3 at the plate as the backup designated hitter.
– The Rangers were 7-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
– Washington on what he expects from Mitch Moreland this year: “Consistency, that’s it. Just consistency, use the whole field. Don’t get locked into one way, just use the whole field. That’s when Mitch is at his best, when he can hit the ball everywhere, and he’s proven he can do that, and that’s what he has to do. If he can do that, then Mitch will be fine. It’s just a matter of him trusting his approach and doing what Mitch can do, and let that happen. Don’t get caught up with trying to compare himself to anyone. Just be Mitch Moreland, and everything is going to be fine. “
– Yu Darvish on getting more runs early from his teammates: “This is baseball, so if we score early I think it’s going to be advantageous for us, but I don’t want to put any pressure on our hitters. I’m going to stay with my pitches and do the best job that I can.”
He said it
“I just got lucky. He threw it where my bat was going.”
Prince Fielder on his first home run of the spring.