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
Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison said he is back to full strength after a week of dealing with some back stiffness. But the Rangers are still sending him back to Dr. Drew Dossett for examination. The Rangers still want to make Harrison is good to go after having two surgeries on his back last year. Once he gets cleared by Dossett, Harrison will likely start throwing again.
Harrison said he thinks his problems were caused by sleeping in a bad bed. He has since changed beds.
Catcher Geovany Soto underwent surgery on Saturday morning to have a bone removed from his left ankle. It was arthoscopic surgery and he is expected to be out for three weeks. The Rangers are expecting him to be ready for Opening Day but this may affect his workload. The bone was putting pressure on a tendon in his ankle and causing the discomfort he has been experiencing lately. The bone was the Os Trignum.
Elvis Andrus couldn’t stop talking Friday about his team’s victory over Adrian Beltre’s squad in the first situational hitting contest held Thursday afternoon. The two sides have two more contests between them but the loser will have to buy lunch for the entire camp.
“We’re really good,” Andrus said. “We’re going to continue to dominate.”
There are six players on a team and each hitter gets points for executing a situational-hitting fundamental. Thursday’s contest emphasized hit-and-run and getting runners over. Andrus dominated the event, helping his team to an eight-point lead. Apparently that’s not an overwhelming margin.
“The game is not over,” Beltre said. “We’ve got them exactly where we want them. They are in trouble.”
The two squads are made up of the infielders. There is also a team of outfielders and one for the catchers. But the big bet is only between the infield teams. Andrus said there’s no use waging a bet with the outfielders or the catchers.
“That would be too easy,” Andrus said.
“We’re making it fun,” Beltre said. “We’ve got to get this done so we’re making a game of it.”
– Alex Rios on Adrian Beltre: “He’s a leader, someone we appreciate a lot. But we don’t have one leader, we have a bunch of people who can step up when leadership is needed. One of things this team has is a bunch of leaders who can help the team move forward without being stuck on something. But he’s someone we definitely appreciate.”
– The Rangers will have three Spring Training games on the MLB Network: March 6 against the Padres; March 7 against the Dodgers and March 19 against the Brewers.
He said it
“We have a good group of guys. It’s a lot different than it used to be. It’s weird not seeing the usual faces out there but it’s great. It will be fun seeing how it goes this season.”
Pitcher Robbie Ross on the massive turnover in personnel the past two seasons.
Matt Harrison had an MRI and it didn’t show anything serious. Harrison is still going to be examined by Dr. Drew Dossett in Dallas next week but the Rangers are hopeful that his latest back issues are minor. Harrison said he felt much better on Friday after sleeping on the floor.
Geovany Soto is flying back to Dallas to be examined by a specialist. He is dealing with inflammation in his left ankle and the Rangers want to make sure it’s nothing serious.
Alex Rios is day to day with a sore big toe on his left foot.
Jurickson Profar is swinging again but still limited in his throwing because of tendinitis in his shoulder.
“Absolutely it pumped me up,” Hanson said. “I was ready to go right there and play somebody. It was probably the best clubhouse speech I’ve ever heard.”
So what did Washington say?
“It went well,” Washington said. “It was just about health, staying healthy, execution of fundamentals and being serious about baseball.
“This one was quite easy. I had a chance to explain what Texas Rangers baseball is like: execution, situational hitting, do what the game asks you to do and being a family. If execution was easy, everybody would do it. It’s not that easy so you have to stay on top of it
“I think he’s just cool, he’s down to earth and he just lets you be yourself,” Prince Fielder said. “All he wants you to do is play hard. Anytime a manager does that, it’s always easy, and he lets you kind of police yourself and go out there and play hard every day, it’s really that easy.”
– Shin-Soo Choo is expected to address the media for the first time on Friday. Both the South Korean and Japanese media have a sizable presence here in camp for Choo and Yu Darvish.
– The Rangers have intrasquad games scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
– Weather? Partly cloudy and highs in the 80′s for the next nine days.
He said it
“I knew he had a little fun. I wasn’t around him a lot, played against him a lot. When you get to see a guy every day, you learn more about him. He’s funny,I like him. So it’s cool so far”
Prince Fielder on new teammate Adrian Beltre