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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Surprise six: Tuesday camp recap

By Jeff Caplan

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers left most of their starters at camp today and took a lineup of y0ungsters to Peoria to face the division-rival Seattle Mariners. Texas scored twice in the ninth, but couldn't complete the rally and lost, 5-4. But, there were several interesting story lines in yet another day of spring training.

Here are the six best of the day:

1. It was another optimistic day for right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb, who completed his second bullpen session in three days. He threw 46 pitches, 18 more than he did on Sunday and came out of it feeling no ill-effects. He'll throw in the pen every other day and then progress to facing a live hitter before the team can think about when he'll pitch in a spring game. But, all in all this is good progress for a guy who won 22 games in 2008 and if healthy could be an integral part of the rotation.

2. Another of the Rangers' young hopeful southpaws got on the mound today with Matt Harrison throwing two pretty innings. He got five ground-ball outs and gave up two hits, a harmless two-out single and a not-so-harmless solo home run to Adam Kennedy. Harrison said he started to rush after and got out of his nice pace from the first inning when Kennedy stayed away from three straight pitches out of the zone. The next pitch Kennedy took out of the park. Overall, however, Harrison showed well.

3. Arthur Rhodes, the Rangers' 41-year-old lefty reliever, made his spring debut, and what a debut it was. He threw nine pitches to three batters, eight were called strikes and that was all she wrote. He struck out two batters and got a fly ball for the third out. As Rangers manager Ron Washington put it: "Three pitches to three batters and he walked off the field, grabbed his jacket and went to the clubhouse."

4. The Rangers had to scratch No. 1 catcher Yorvit Torrealba before Tuesday's game because of back stiffness. He said he woke up stiff, tried to stretch it out and hoped to play, but eventually erred on the side of caution. He is not scheduled to play today and will be re-evaluated before Thursday's split squad games in which Neftali Feliz is scheduled to make his spring debut.

5. Julio Borbon continues to swing a hot bat. One of the few starters to play in this one, Borbon hit lead off and collected a pair of singles. He did get thrown out at second attempting to steal while David Murphy struck out in front of him. Borbon also made a diving grab in center to rob Chone Figgins of a hit in the third inning. It was a bit of a confidence boost for Borbon after he made an error in each of the first two games.

6. Ron Washington can be a sly dog and he's up to one of his tricks for Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angles. Mike Napoli certainly is a candidate to play some at catcher, but he's behind Torrealba and Matt Treanor in the pecking order. That won't stop Washington from giving Napoli the start behind the plate against his old club. The Angles drafted Napoli in the 17th round in 2000 and he played five seasons in Anaheim. "Sentimental reasson," Washington said for starting Napoli.