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Surprise Six: Saturday spring recap

3/20/2010

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Here's a look at six issues from Saturday's spring training day:

1. LHP Derek Holland got another chance on Saturday. No, it wasn't flashy and if you simply look at his line -- three runs on six hits in four innings -- you'd think he really struggled. The reality is that he got some tough hops, didn't have the starting infield behind him and made two mistakes. Holland had a lead off walk and said he threw a changeup too hard to Lucas May that he hit for a double. At this point, I still think Matt Harrison and C.J. Wilson are your final two starters with Holland in Triple-A. It sure seems to be leaning strongly in that direction.

2. RHP Colby Lewis needed a good start on Saturday. Yes, he has a rotation spot. But he knows there are questions about him because he pitched in Japan the past two seasons and his last spring start wasn't a great one. He came out focused and, overall, was solid. He had trouble with some lefties the first time through the order (and with his command), but found a rhythm and ended up allowing two runs in five innings with one walks and six strikeouts. I found this comment from Lewis interesting: "I don't want to go out and get knocked around and give them second-guesses about me."

3. RHP Tommy Hunter looks like he's out for at least two weeks, which isn't surprising with the left oblique strain. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Saturday that it was "probably unlikely" Hunter would be ready for the season. That means the remaining starters not named Rich Harden, Scott Feldman and Colby Lewis are fighting for two spots. Click here for more injury news.

4. OF David Murphy played center field on Saturday and was 2-for-3 with a homer and a triple. He was hitting just .214 coming in (despite the third most at-bats on the team) and needed something. He said he found his timing in the cages and took it into the game. Washington said he'd use Murphy as an option in center field for a game or two, but if Julio Borbon was out long stretches, Josh Hamilton would slide over there.

5. RHP Brandon McCarthy said he's trying to build on the positives of how his Friday start finished, not how it started. "It was as bad as it could get," McCarthy said of his first inning. "I had lack of focus, lack of command, lack of conviction and didn't throw my changeup enough." Read more about it here.

6. The Rangers continue to look at utility infield options outside the organization. "Conversations have picked up the last few days," general manager Jon Daniels said. Joaquin Arias and Esteban German are getting some additional work from Washington. German, Ray Olmedo and Hernan Iribarren had some issues in the field late on Saturday.