Alex Rios is returning to the Rangers lineup. He is at designated hitter for the Rangers game with the Royals. Michael Choice is in center and Mitch Moreland is in right field. Kensuke Tanaka is at second base with Alexi Ogando on the mound.
The webcast can be heard on texasrangers.com with Matt Hicks and Richard Durrett doing the game.
– 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.
“He’s good good crazy stuff. He’s got real good stuff. If he can pitch the way he’s pitching, he’s got some of the best stuff I’ve ever caught.”
Perez is trying to add a cut fastball to his arsenal. Perez already has an excellent changeup that dives down and away to right-handed hitters. A cut fastball thrown inside and moving in on right-handed hitters can keep them from leaning outside on the changeup.
– Other items from an intrasquad game that ended in a 4-4 tie between teams managed by Steve Buechele and Tim Bogar.
Neftali Feliz gave up two runs on three hits, including a home run to Brett Nicholas. Said pitching coach Mike Maddux: “It can be better. He threw a couple of decent changeups but the changeup plays off the fastball. We’ve got to get the fastball up to speed.”
Neal Cotts gave up three runs on a three-run double to Leonys Martin – lefty vs. lefty – but the bases were loaded with the help of a couple infield hits.
Kevin Kouzmanoff started at first base. He been a third baseman his entire career but being able to play first base would add to his versatility.
Nomar Manzara, Lewis Brinson and Joey Gallo were a combined 3-for-4 as reserves.
Shin-Soo Choo got hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance. He led the Majors getting hit with 26 pitches last season.
Jose Contreras hit Choo and walked two batters in his inning of work. He threw 20 pitches and the inning was called with the bases loaded and two outs.
Matt West needed just seven pitches in his scoreless inning of work. He pitched in just one inning last year while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.
Luis Sardinas had the only two-hit game of the day.
He said it
“I was feeling good about it before I got there and this reaffirmed that nothing is going on. I’m going to ease back in. I took a week off so I’m not going to throw a bullpen tomorrow.”
Matt Harrison, back in camp after getting a clean bill of health on his back from Dr. Drew Dossett.