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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Surprise Six: Thursday spring training recap

By Richard Durrett

We'll try, as often as possible, to bring you six items of note at the end of each spring training day. Here's our Surprise Six from Thursday:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
After a season mired in injury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia looks to "earn the No. 1 spot."

1. Catcher should be an interesting battle this spring. While Jarrod Saltalamacchia goes in as the favorite, he'll get some competition from Taylor Teagarden. I still think this is Saltalamacchia's job should he stay healthy, but Teagarden is focused and will get an opportunity. I think that's good for Saltalamacchia, who has had the job in the past, in part, because of lack of viable options. His attitude today was that he wants to seize the job. He didn't seem to be taking anything for granted. I think that's good. BTW, several bloggers weighed in on the catching situation: the DMN blog, Foul Territory and Lone Star Ball and TexasRangers.com are some of them.

2. All pitchers and catchers reported to camp. That's 31 pitchers and six catchers. The first official workout will be Friday morning. Read more about the staff and pitching coach Mike Maddux's thoughts here.

3. Some position players are also already here. David Murphy, Chris Davis, Justin Smoak, Brandon Boggs, Craig Gentry and Mitch Moreland were hitting in the cages today. I saw Davis throwing a football as part of his work on loosening up his arm. The first full squad workout is Feb. 24 (next Wednesday).

4. Maddux was pleased with how his pitchers looked today in terms of their offseason conditioning. They haven't had a full workout yet, but Maddux could tell they had been lifting weights and were ready to go.

5. The Rangers promoted Mike Daly to Director of International Scouting. Daly will be in charge of the daily operations of the club's Dominican Republic academy and work on broadening the Rangers' presence in Latin America. Daly has been a big part of the academy's success.

6. The Rangers are wearing new batting practice hats for spring training. What do you think?