Notes: Mike Olt hungry to learn 1B

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
11:20
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers prospect Mike Olt smiled when asked about his Cactus League debut at first base Sunday.

Olt, 23, turned heads with his bat and glove at third base in 2011. But with Adrian Beltre clearly the club's third baseman for the foreseeable future, Olt was asked to move to first base. He welcomed the opportunity. And Sunday, he got a taste of some of the challenges of playing a new position for the first time.

"It was a little more difficult than I thought," Olt said. "I didn't feel as comfortable as I thought. But that's OK. I'll get more comfortable."

Olt quickly referenced his error in the eighth, when a throw to first on a potential double play went off his glove.

"I thought it was going to bounce and that I was in the right spot, but I wasn't," Olt said. "That's part of learning. I didn't go out and get it and should have. I just have to keep playing."

Olt said he thought he did a nice job of getting to the bag early enough, but that he's still thinking about where his feet need to be once he gets there.

"The more I play, the easier that will get," Olt said. "I had fun, though. I really enjoyed it and I want to get better."

Other notes:

* The Arizona Diamondbacks (Tuesday) and the San Diego Padres (Wednesday) have agreed to use the DH against the Rangers, which means Yu Darvish won't get any chances to hit. The Rangers called both teams and requested using the DH. This early in spring, that's usually not a problem. Later in the spring, some NL clubs may want the pitchers to hit.

* Josh Hamilton will play center field today. Manager Ron Washington said he'd play Hamilton in left and center this spring, just as he will during the regular season.

* Joe Nathan threw to live hitters Monday morning and continues to feel good. He's more than 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery and hasn't been limited at all. "He's bouncing around like a 22-year-old kid," Washington said.

* RHP Scott Feldman was pleased with his cutter and sinker in his two innings of work Sunday. "I was getting ground balls and that's what I have to do," Feldman said. "Even when I didn't throw a changeup where I wanted it, it was hit on the ground."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
3 1.86 20 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAL. Martin .315
HRR. Chirinos 2
RBIL. Martin 9
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .827
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23