Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Surprise Six: Wednesday recap
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Here's a look at six issues from Wednesday at spring training for the Rangers.
1. Chuck Greenberg said his group isn't likely to assume control of the team by Opening Day. But he also isn't surprised or worried about that. This is a complicated deal involving 40 lenders and it takes time to get everything in place. Greenberg says this won't impact his ownership. The timeframe looks like mid-April.
2. The club traded for infielder Gregorio Petit, sending RHP Edwar Ramirez to the A's to get him. Petit gives the club some more depth as they search for a utility infielder. The club is looking at other external options, but hasn't found anything that is better than what they already have in Joaquin Arias or Esteban German. Petit will get about 10 days to impress the Rangers. He appeared in 25 games the last two seasons with the A's. That utility infield position is an important one, especially considering Ian Kinsler is still not back to playing games yet. He expects to be back, but injuries pop up in the infield and it's critical to have someone ready to go that is reliable.
3. Some injury news: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (muscle spasms in neck/back) will take some swings in batting practice on Thursday and, if all goes well, could DH in a minor league game on Friday. 2B Ian Kinsler is targeting Monday for a return to game action. He tested the ankle some on Wednesday, but hasn't run on it yet. He is swinging a bat off a tee. The Rangers are not concerned about his availability for Opening Day at this point. I talked with Kinsler on video today.
4. The bullpen was a topic of conversation today. Without C.J. Wilson in the bullpen (the Rangers have lined up their rotation for the season and that includes Wilson at this point), it alters things. Click here for a look at the bullpen, including a video I did with Chris Ray on Wednesday. BTW, Darren O'Day (bone bruse) threw on flat ground on Wednesday and will throw longer and with more intensity on Thursday. He said he usually finds his command pretty quickly in spring training, so he doesn't think it would take him too many innings to be ready for the season once he's cleared to get on a mound.
5. RHP Brandon McCarthy struggled again on Wednesday. He threw 45 pitches in a first inning where he gave up four runs. He ended up lasting just 3 1/3 innings and surrendered eight hits to go along with four walks and a strikeout. Manager Ron Washington said the club has not looked at McCarthy as a reliever, saying that McCarthy needs his routine. "I'm not going to say totally no to it, but it's not anything we've discussed," Washington said. The club could try to trade McCarthy or send him to the minors. He would have to clear waivers.
6. Check out Jim Reeves' column here on ESPNDallas.com about the Rangers catching situation. Reeves says it could be this club's Achilles' heel this season.