Notes: Rangers ready to head home
Spring training was extended by two weeks due to the World Baseball Classic, and games began only a few days after camp opened. The culmination of that long spring came Tuesday when the team announced a series of roster moves, as the Rangers now have identified 22 of the 25 players who will be on the Opening Day roster for Sunday night's contest in Houston.
"The spring went extremely well this year," manager Ron Washington said. "As we went deeper into the spring, we improved as a team. I thought we progressed the way I figured we'd progress. We were slow in the beginning and picked it up as we went along, but I expected it. Especially since we only had a few days before the first game. We were playing in February when we were still trying to work out the kinks."
The Rangers head back to Texas to play an exhibition game in Arlington against the Mexico City Red Devils at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday night. The scheduled game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Surprise on Thursday will feature only minor league players.
Texas then will head to San Antonio for a pair of games Friday and Saturday in the Alamodome before beginning the regular season the following night against the Astros in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Other team notes:
Washington also said the Rangers have not decided whether they will carry an extra pitcher or position player until they need to make room for a fifth starter April 9.
"I think we'll come up with that between before we head to San Antonio," Washington said. "It might be after, but somewhere in there we'll make the decision."
Washington compared Robertson's transition to a more control-oriented delivery to that of Frank Tanana, who underwent a similar transformation and extended his career with a few more successful seasons before hanging up his glove.
Robertson hasn't pitched with a big league club since 2010 and even saw time in independent baseball last season, but he sees his successful training camp as a springboard to continue his quest to return to the majors. Robertson had an option to ask for his release but instead accepted his minor league assignment.
"I haven't even gauged interest from other teams, which I think shows my desire to remain in this organization," Robertson said. "I have to weigh the other factors too if there is an opportunity to extend my career someplace else, but I'm just going to let that play out.
"I still have a desire to play this game so I'm not going home."
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