Surprise six: Friday's camp recap

March, 4, 2011
3/04/11
7:55
PM CT
PHOENIX -- Asked if he threw curveballs that A's hitters smashed for a double off the wall and a home run in a three-run first inning, Texas Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson said no.

"Meatballs," he said.

Wilson was hit hard in the first, but he rebounded with two scoreless innings and threw 57 pitches over three innings, one pitch higher than the number targeted, manager Ron Washington said. He actually threw fastballs and changeups in the first, part of a plan in which he threw different pitches in each of the three innings.

He said he was frustrated that he wasn't locating his first-inning pitches. Kurt Suzuki smacked a double off the wall and then after a two-out walk put two on for Kevin Kouzmanoff. The third baseman hit a three-run homer. Wilson, tabbed the Rangers' Opening Day starter, gave up the three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Julio Borbon had two hits, including a triple, and Mitch Moreland drove in two runs as the Rangers came back to win, 6-3.

Here are the top six items of the day:

1. The Rangers and general manager Jon Daniels agreed to a four-extension that will keep him in office through the 2015 season. Daniels is credited with rebuilding the minor-league system, which helped to make the Cliff Lee deal possible last July and has delivered young All-Stars in right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz and shortstop Elvis Andrus.

2. Would Josh Hamilton rather play center field on an everyday basis rather than left field? Well, the chances of making a spectacular play are significantly higher in center field, where Hamilton made plenty of highlight reel plays in the postseason. But, the team wants Hamilton in left, believing it will reduce his chances of slamming into the wall and diving for balls in the gap. But, Hamilton just might prefer the spectacular. Ron Washington, however, prefers the defending AL MVP healthy.

3. The Rangers have high hopes for young right-hander Tanner Scheppers, but his spring came to an aching halt Thursday when he felt something in his lower back early in his stint against the Cubs. He had an MRI Fridayand the results will be ready by Dr. Keith Meister, who will also evalute Tanner when he arrives in town Friday morning.

4. After C.J. Wilson gave up three runs in the first inning, four pitchers, led by rotation hopeful Dave Bush shut did not allow another run. Bush threw three innings, allowing just two hits and he struck out two. Arthur Rhodes pitched his second second perfect inning of the spring and Mason Tobin and Brett Tomko each pitched a scoreless inning.

5. Chris Daviswas once thought of as the Rangers' first baseman of the future. But, he couldn't get the job done when called up at varying times and now he's behind Mitch Moreland, who appears on his way to being the Opening Day first baseman. Chris Davis has been seeing plenty of time at third base and he clearly feels like he can showcase his skills there in hopes of landing a big-league job with another team.

6. Derek Holland was pleased with his spring debut on Tuesday and he's been a happy camper so far, believing he's on the right path toward landing a spot in the starting rotation. Believe it or not, but a wardrobe full of silly t-shirts has helped Holland's personality shine and helped him relax and just have fun.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182