Thursday, February 28, 2013
Notes: Slow start doesn't worry Ron Washington
By Ron Matejko
The Rangers are 0-5-1 through their first six games this spring. Manager Ron Washington joked he'd probably have a heart attack if that happened during the regular season. Because this is only spring training, the winless stretch to open the Cactus League season isn't about to send him out on a ledge. But a part of him would still like to get that first "W" out of the way.
"You want to win because you are a competitor, but you understand where you are," Washington said. "I'm not going to take it home with me or lose sleep."
Dating to the end of the 2012 Cactus League season, the Rangers are winless in their last 10 spring games (0-9-1).
The Rangers aren't alone with a goose egg in the victory column, but they don't have much company. The division rival Los Angeles Angels are the only other team yet to win in 2013.
Injuries have played a part in the slow start, as both Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre have been absent from their expected middle-of-the-lineup positions.
Numerous pitchers have also been sidelined or are recovering from prior injuries. Colby Lewis and Joakim Soria won't be pitching in games for a while and Joe Nathan is being eased into live action.
The results have been a bloated 5.57 team ERA and a .228 team batting average. Both stats figure to reverse themselves dramatically during the regular season.
"I like to win, but its not bugging me because I know why (we aren't)," Washington said. "We're just not doing it offensively right now and we're not pitching, but I do know it will get better. If we peak around March 21 and get nine wins going down the stretch, that is all that matters."
Mike Olt will see his first action in right field today when he relieves Nelson Cruz. Olt has played third base exclusively to this point and has struggled defensively at times at the hot corner. His position versatility and power at the plate could lead to a roster spot once camp breaks.
Both Cruz hits have gone for extra bases (home run, double). Cruz and Leurys Garcia are tied for the team lead with three RBIs.
The Rangers have gone 7-for-29 with runners in scoring position the past two games after going 4-for-32 in the first four contests.
Rangers Hall of Famers Rusty Greer and Kenny Rogers, along with Mark McLemore, will join the team tomorrow as special instructors for a week.