Leading off: Blanco puts glove first
“I’m in the lineup, hitting leadoff?” Blanco repeated when he heard the news in the Rangers clubhouse Sunday morning. “Wow!”
Blanco comes with a sterling reputation as a defensive shortstop.
“The coaches say I’m here for my defense and anything I do with my bat is just extra,” Blanco said.
He did have a good winter season and was hitting well for the Cubs this spring. But he was out of options and the Cubs knew he wouldn’t get through waivers.
Gregorio Petit, another new middle infielder acquired from Oakland, is starting at second today.
Touching base on other Rangers developments Sunday:
*Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught four innings in a minor league game Saturday and will catch for Oklahoma City again today. The Rangers have told him he will start in the team’s A game on Monday.
*Julio Borbon is getting the day off today and Josh Hamilton will start in center. Chris Davis is back in the lineup at first, well-rested and saying, “I feel like I’m 10 years old again.”
*On the injury front: Reliever Darren O’Day will throw off flat ground Monday and the Rangers are still projecting him to be on the Opening Day roster, assuming he has no more setbacks with a bone bruise near his right elbow. Pitcher Eric Hurley, recovering from surgery to his left (non-pitching) wrist, will throw from 75 feet later today. Ian Kinsler will test his ankle sprain/bone bruise by hitting in the cage today.
*Quote of the Day: Pitching coach Mike Maddox on Darren Oliver’s 0.00 ERA this spring: “Economical work. He ain’t getting paid by the hour."
*Former Cowboys’ quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington when the Rangers take on the Toronto Blue Jays.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.