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Sunday, March 30, 2014
A glance at the Rangers' Opening Day roster

By Richard Durrett

Adrian Beltre
There are many new faces, but Adrian Beltre is still key to the Rangers' infield and lineup.

SAN ANTONIO -- The Texas Rangers set their 25-man roster Saturday as they get set to begin the season. Here’s a quick look at that roster:

INFIELDERS (5)
1B Prince Fielder
2B Donnie Murphy
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Adrian Beltre
INF Josh Wilson

The biggest question late in camp was how the Rangers would approach second base with Jurickson Profar out 10 to 12 weeks with a torn muscle in his shoulder. Murphy was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and in three games in a Rangers’ uniform has hit well. Wilson has more experience and has been with the club longer in camp. Manager Ron Washington also likes Wilson’s defense. ... Fielder has to feel good entering the season after a solid spring training. He seems comfortable around this team and appears primed for a big year. ... Andrus says he’s fine and ready to go for the season after arm issues this spring. ... Lost in all the infield activity is Beltre, still the key, to me, for this infield and lineup. The Rangers need him to stay healthy.

CATCHERS (3)
J.P. Arencibia
Robinson Chirinos
Chris Gimenez

With Geovany Soto out 10 to 12 weeks following surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Washington must figure out how to deploy his catchers. ... Arencibia did not hit the ball well this spring, though he showed slight improvement late. ... The 29-year-old Chirinos had a productive spring and appeared in 13 games for Texas last season after playing in 20 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.

OUTFIELDERS (6)
LF Shin-Soo Choo
CF Leonys Martin
RF Alex Rios
OF Michael Choice
OF Jim Adduci
DH Mitch Moreland

Adduci impressed the Rangers at camp and his left-handed bat joins the bench over Kevin Kouzmanoff, who had a good spring, too. Adduci has options and speed, too, giving him the edge. Kouzmanoff will start in minors, but roster could change plenty in first few weeks. Adduci made his big league debut last year after 10 seasons and 889 games in the minors. ... Martin didn’t hit well for much of spring, but hit a HR on Saturday and is healthy. There are too many Rangers who can’t say the same. ... Choice was the offensive star of spring training. Now he gets the chance to show he can do it when the games count.

STARTERS (4)
RHP Tanner Scheppers
LHP Martin Perez
LHP Robbie Ross
LHP Joe Saunders

It’s not the group anyone figured would start the season when possibilities were discussed two months ago, but injuries and struggles by others -- see Alexi Ogando and Tommy Hanson -- have left the club with this quartet. ... It will be interesting to see what happens and who is moved when Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish return. Lewis and Darvish could be back very soon and Harrison could be ready by the end of the month. So this rotation is going to change dramatically soon, barring any setbacks. ... Nick Martinez isn’t on the roster, but will be by Saturday for his start in Tampa.

RELIEVERS (7)
RHP Joakim Soria
LHP Neal Cotts
RHP Alexi Ogando
RHP Jason Frasor
LHP Pedro Figueroa
RHP Seth Rosin
RHP Shawn Tolleson

The names not in the bullpen are the most surprising, but Neftali Feliz couldn’t get his velocity high enough or his command good enough to make the team and is in the minors. Because Ogando struggled as a starter, he’s back in the pen. And Scheppers and Ross find themselves as starters. ... Soria gets the closer’s job, a role he had in Kansas City a few years back. He was an All-Star doing that, too. ... Washington must figure out if he wants Cotts or Ogando as the primary eighth-inning setup arm. He may mix and match that to get the game to Soria.

DISABLED LIST
2B Jurickson Profar
C Geovany Soto
OF Engel Beltre
LHP Matt Harrison
RHP Yu Darvish
RHP Colby Lewis

That’s an impressive list of guys who didn’t quite make it to Opening Day. But some in this group should be back soon, including Lewis, Darvish and Harrison. Stay tuned.