Rangers manager Ron Washington told Yu Darvish on Tuesday that he is the Opening Day starter. Washington first announced that at FanFest last month but told Darvish officially on Tuesday. The Rangers open on March 31 against the Phillies.
RHP Nick Tepesch will not pitch in today’s intrasquad game. He has some soreness in his back, the Rangers do not think it is serious but they are being cautious – he is listed as day to day.
More on the website later.
A team managed by Steve Buechele won today’s intrasquad game in Surprise, 7-4 over a team managed by Tim Bogar. Yu Darvish threw 13 pitches in a scoreless inning, the only blemish being his own error on a would-be inning-ending play at first base. Tommy Hanson whiffed 2 of 3 batters faced in his first outing in a Texas uniform.
Engel Beltre went 2-for-3 with 2 runs, joining Jim Adduci, Brent Lillibridge, Brad Snyder, and 19-year-old minor leaguer Ronald Guzman as players with multi-hit games. Alex Castellanos doubled for the Bogar team’s lone extra-base hit.
After the Bogar squad took a 4-1 lead in the 5th inning with 4 consecutive hits off of Pedro Figueroa, Team Buechele answered with a 5-run 6th to put the game away against Miles Mikolas. Adduci, minor leaguer Nomar Mazara, and Bryan Petersen all had ground rule doubles for Team Buechele in that frame. Mazara’s pinch double drove in the first 2 runs of the inning.
Shawn Tolleson, who missed most of last season after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk, pitched the only 1-2-3 inning besides Hanson.
– Manager Ron Washington on rookie second baseman Rougned Odor: “I like his game. He can play. He’s not afraid. He’s a young kid out of lower baseball and he’s full of tee tee and vinegar and we’ve got to get him to slow that down. We’ve got to get him to play just a little under control. And before this camp is over, we’ll get him under control.
“He’s got quick-twitch muscles. Like most young kids, they turn a double play or they start a double play and all they’ve got on their minds is rushing and getting it there and there’s timing. If the timing is right, there’s no rushing involved. We need to get him to develop a clock.”
– Teammates have a nickname for pitcher Jose Contreras. They call him “Pedro Serrano” from the movie Major League. Contreras does have the same shaved head and powerful build even at 42.
He said it
“We’re going to miss Joe Nathan. He did a great job for us for a couple of years and was a great teammate. But we have some great arms down in the bullpen that can do the job.”
Reliever Neal Cotts.
Pitcher Matt Harrison has been given a clean bill of health in his lower back after an examination by Dr. Drew Dossett. He did get an injection for stiffness in his neck but otherwise he is expected to begin a throwing program later this week. The Rangers do not expect him ready to be in the Opening Day rotation but they do believe he should be ready to pitch at some point early in the season.
The Rangers have extended manager Ron Washington’s contract for 1 year, through the 2015 season.
Stay tuned for more details.
Alex Rios, who has missed three straight days with a sore big toe on his left foot, has been cleared to begin baseball activities.
Ben Rowen remains sidelined with biceps tendinitis and won’t start a throwing program for another week at least.
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has been scratched from Monday’s intra-squad with a sore back and is day-to-day.
No word yet on Matt Harrison.
The Red Sox won the World Series last year. Pitcher Nick Tepesch could have been a part of it. The Red Sox took him in the 28th round of the 2007 draft. Tepesch didn’t sign. Instead he went to the University of Missouri and was drafted by the Rangers in the 14th round in 2010.
“I wanted to go to school,” Tepesch said. “I thought that was best for me. I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything. Once I make a decision, I don’t try and look back and say, ‘What if?’”
– Prince Fielder was the seventh overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Brewers. That’s the highest any current player in camp was drafted. The Rangers have five other former first round picks in camp: Michael Choice (10th overall, 2010, Oakland), Brad Snyder (18th, 2003, Indians), Alex Rios (19th, 1999, Blue Jays), J.P. Arencibia (21st, 2007, Blue Jays) and Daniel Bard (28th, 2006, Red Sox).
The Rangers don’t have any of their own first round picks in camp but they do have two compensation picks: pitchers Colby Lewis (38th overall, 1999) and Tanner Scheppers (44th, 2009).
Latest round draft pick in camp? Outfielder Jim Adduci was a 42nd round pick by the Marlins in 2003. Pitcher Jason Frasor was a 33rd round pick in 1999 by the Tigers.
– Manager Ron Washington on outfielder Michael Choice: “Barrels the ball up, right center, left center, good approach. He’s getting better in the outfield with Gary (Pettis) too so he’s been doing well. Do it as Michael Choice, don’t try to do it as being an impressionist. The game just doesn’t come together when you try to do that. Do it like Michael Choice and everything will be fine.”
– Washington on the Rangers situational hitting: “Our weakness the past couple of years going down the stretch has been situational hittng. Having runners in scoring position with less than two and not being able to get them home. Having runners at second base with nobody out and haven’t been able to move them. Having runners with the infield in and not being able to get the ball to the outfield. Having the infield back and not being able to play pepper with the middle of the infield. Those are the little things that killed us the past two years.
“Yeah, our offense went stale, but if we could have executed in those situations, it would have made a big difference, especially against the Oakland Athletics. Look back at the games we played against Oakland and the opportunities we had just to execute. I’m not talking about getting doubles and triples, just to execute that we didn’t and we left runners out on the bag when the game was over made a difference. Look.”
He said it
“I was never big on Spring Training. I always liked Spring Training for the golf.”
Former pitcher Darren Oliver