Last call from the Desert…Feiererabend, Tanaka

Left-handed pitcher Ryan Feirerabend has quietly been an interesting story in camp. He’s a long shot to make the team but he has impressed manager Ron Washington with his ability to get left-handed hitters out.

He is also the latest in a long line of pitchers who have benefitted from the work of Triple A pitching coach Brad Holman. Fiererabend needed just six pitches to retire the side in order in the sixth inning of the Rangers 8-2 victory over the Reds on Monday.

“He knows how to pitch,” Washington said.

Fiererabend was with the Mariners organization from 2003-08 and made 19 starts for them in 2006-08. He then missed all of 2009 because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and has been with four organizations since then trying to get back to the Major Leagues.

The Rangers signed him last season because they were desperate for pitching depth in the farm system. He was 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts at Frisco and then 6-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 24 games at Round Rock where he worked with Holman. The two had also been together in the Mariners organization earlier in his career.

“He has been vital in helping me physically and mentally,” said Feirerabend, who was a Minor League free agent this off-season. “This is where I wanted to come back this winter when it came time to talking with other clubs because of Brad. So far it has been going pretty good. I’m pitching with a lot of confidence.”

Fiererabend has been a starter for much of his career but, with the help of Holman, he may get new life as a reliever either with the Rangers or somebody else.

— Ouch. Kensuke Tanaka had to leave Monday’s game with three broken teeth after getting hit by Brayan Pena’s helmet in the seventh inning. Tanaka was playing second base and took a pickoff throw from Joakim Soria as Pena was diving back to the bag. The bill of Pena’s helmet hit Tanaka right in the teeth.
He stayed in the game and even batted in the bottom of the seventh, reaching on an error. He was replaced by a pinch-runner.

“That’s a big helmet to run into,” Washington said. “He showed how tough he was. He went up to have an at-bat and then went to the dentist.”

He said it

“I take that as an RBI situation. Saving a run. I love that.”

Centerfielder Leonys Martin, throwing out a runner at home plate for the second straight game.

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