Leading off: Blanco puts glove first


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The glove that was Andres Blanco’s ticket to the majors and the primary reason he is now a Texas Ranger is a two-tone Rawlings. Word is, there’s magic in that glove and the Rangers want to see it, which is why Sunday’s lineup against the White Sox has him playing shortstop and leading off.

“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.