The Rangers made six cuts on Wednesday, sending infielders Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor, and pitchers Wilmer Font, Ben Rowen, Lisalverto Bonilla and Armando Rodriguez to the Minor Leagues. The Rangers also announced pitcher Nate Adcock will undergo surgery on Thursday for Thoracic outlet syndrome. Adcock has been reassigned to Minor League camp.
Rowen was limited by tendinitis this spring and is currently on a throwing program.
With Geovany Soto out and J.P. Arencibia struggling at the plate, Robinson Chirinos is getting a chance to play and is making the most of it. He was 2-for-2 with a walk against the White Sox on Tuesday and has reached base in seven straight plate appearances.
“He’s the hottest hitter in the Cactus League,” manager Ron Washington said.
Chirinos has only been used at catcher this spring but he is a right-handed hitter who can play first and third if needed. He was originally signed by the Cubs as an infielder before moving to catcher seven years after making his professional debut.
– Mitch Moreland started in right field for the Rangers on Tuesday and dropped a routine fly ball off the bat of Paul Konerko in the second inning. It would have been the third out but Joe Saunders had to pitch to three more batters and it led to an unearned run.
Washington said the play had nothing to do with Moreland being able to play the outfield.
“He just missed it,” Washington said.
Moreland had an interesting day at the plate. He was hit by a pitch and walked in his first two plate appearances, but both times was doubled off base on hit-and-run line drives. In his third plate appearance, he doubled home a run before being lifted by a pinch-runner.
– Tuesday’s game was 6-6 going into the ninth at Camelback Ranch. The Rangers got a rally going in the ninth when Brent Lillibridge singled and Kevin Kouzmanoff walked. That brought up veteran utility infielder Adam Rosales in a bunting situation. Instead he grounded into a rally-killing double play.
“He was supposed to bunt,” manager Ron Washington said. “He missed the sign. You expect one of these young guys to miss it but not him.”
He said it
“It’s only in the off-season when you see that. In the off-season, I grow my hair. When the Rangers signed me, I didn’t have time for a haircut. So I had a perm.”
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo
Matt Harrison threw one scoreless inning without any issues against the Royals on Tuesday morning. He allowed one single but only needed 11 pitches against some of the Royals front line players. Alcides Escobar fouled out, Mike Moustakas singled, Eric Hosmer hit into a force with a grounder to first and Danny Valencia flied to right.
Rangers outfielder Shin-So Choo is dealing with a sore left elbow and is not in the lineup against the White Sox on Tuesday. Choo said he is expecting to play tomorrow. He said the elbow often bothers him in Spring Training but is not a big concern.
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.
Adrian Beltre was ejected first for yelling at the umpires from the dugout too. When that happened, Washington went out and told the umpires to quit listening to what was going on in the dugout. He was tossed as well.
“I lost my mind,” Washington said. “Beltre was yelling from the dugout, ‘it was outside,’ you know how he does. And the umpire threw him out of the game because he told Beltre to stop and Beltre didn’t stop.
“And then I went out there and argued with him and I said something I shouldn’t have said. Well, I said something I wanted to say, it’s not that I shouldn’t have said. I wanted to tell him that. And he rang me. No big deal. Not only did he ring me, I got fined because I didn’t leave the dugout. So I got double hit.”
Washington was fined $200 by Bob Watson, a friend who was a Vice-President with the Commissioner’s Office. Washington retaliated by paying the entire fine in pennies.
“I sent them $200 in pennies,” Washington said. “Bob called me up and I said, ‘Well, Bob, I didn’t have my checkbook.’ I wasn’t trying to be funny. ‘Now go to the bank and put that in the machine and get your $200.
“I took a big box to the bank and got $200 in pennies. Took the wrappers, ripped them off and put them all in the box. Cost about $45 to mail.”
– The Rangers decided first-round draft pick Alex Gonzalez was entitled to an inning in a Cactus League game. So Gonzalez, who made 14 starts after signing with the Rangers last season, pitched the eighth inning on Sunday against the Mariners.
Gonzalez took over with the Rangers leading 8-3. But he allowed three of four batters to reach base before being replaced by Cory Burns. The Mariners rallied for six runs and a 9-8 victory.
– Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor combined for two scoreless innings and struck out five of six batters faced.
– Rangers farm director Mike Daly said field coordinator Jayce Tingler came up with the idea of having college softball pitching legend Monica Abbott visit Minor League camp. Abbott put on a pitching exhibition Saturday.
– Said Daly, “Jayce’s Dad is a college softball coach in Kansas City and knew how good she is. Our entire organization benefited from having her out (Saturday). An easy going and affable person with tremendous talent and our players and staff enjoyed watching her pitch and were amazed by her ability.”
He said it
“I think he’ll hit even better at Rangers Ballpark than he did in Comerica. Comerica’s a big ballpark. From an offensive standpoint, he will definitely make them better. Look at his history. Check the book, his track record. It is what it is, and he’s going to do it every year.”
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon on Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder
Neftali Feliz made his third appearance in a Cactus League game on Saturday. He allowed a walk and single but did not allow a run. He has now had two scoreless appearances after allowing four runs in his first game and the intrasquad game.
His velocity was around 92-93 miles per hour although he hit 95 a couple of times.
“He’s throwing the ball well,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s staying on top of the ball. His velocity will pick up. He’s healthy, now he has to build back up.”
Feliz opened the inning by walking Scott Schebler, an outfielder who was in Class A last year. Adrian Gonzalez, a more experienced hitter, worked the count full and lined out hard to left.
Andre Either then blooped a breaking ball into left field for a single with Schebler stopping at second. Feliz came back to get A.J. Ellis and Miguel Olivo on fly balls to right to end the inning.
“His velocity is up,” catcher J.P. Arencibia said. “The velocity is better and the ball is getting to me better. The arm strength is getting there little by little.”
– Robbie Ross is now Robbie Ross Jr. There is no great story behind it other than his father is also Robert Charles Ross. But dad goes by the name of Chuck while junior is Robbie. He just now wants getting the Jr. part out in public more: in the media guide and on the nameplate over his locker.
“I’ve always signed my name that way and I always wanted to go by Jr.,” Ross said. “I thought it would be cool to have my full name like that. It’s not a big deal.”
– Derek Holland is in camp. He showed up Saturday and opted to miss out on the Stars game on Saturday night when the club is retiring Mike Modano’s jersey. Holland is friends with Modano but he is off crutches and ready to be in Spring Training.
“For Modano’s game, I obviously wasn’t going to stay,” Holland said. “I wanted to be with my teammates, but I sent him a text message saying, ‘Congratulations, you had a heck of a career.’ He was a role model both on and off the ice. What he did in his career was outstanding and it’s something that people like myself want to do.”
He said it:
“I feel very comfortable. I’ve said this many times, I feel like I have been playing here for two or three years. This is my first year but I feel I have played with these guys for a long time. There is a lot of talking and joking going on.”
Shin-Soo Choo on his new teammates