Texas Rangers: brad mills

ARLINGTON, Texas -- So what can the Texas Rangers' front office do about the starting rotation now that Matt Harrison is out until probably just after the All-Star break? Well, maybe not much right now.

It's mid-April, and teams aren't exactly ready to start talking trades for starting pitchers, at least ones that would be an upgrade to the current staff. And that's the biggest question for the Rangers: What can they do to improve the rotation over the young arms already in it? If they can't find a pitcher that is obviously a better option than Nick Tepesch or Justin Grimm, they're better off letting their young pitchers pitch and see what happens.

The Rangers are in this spot because they didn't have enough depth to overcome a few injuries before the season started. Martin Perez, likely on his way to earning the No. 5 spot in the rotation, was hit by a line drive in the forearm and is out until May. Colby Lewis is still rehabbing from surgery, and the club has put June 1 as the official date for his return. Beyond Tepesch and Grimm, they could look at Triple-A Round Rock and give Josh Lindblom (a reliever who is now starting) or Brad Mills (picked up off waivers in March from the Angels) a chance. Lindblom, acquired in the Michael Young trade, is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA but has made just two starts as he builds up arm strength. Mills has won all three of his starts and has a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings with 14 strikeouts and four walks.

There don't appear to be many external possibilities. The Houston Astros will want a high price in prospects for Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell, if they considered moving them. Ted Lilly, once a trade candidate, will join the Dodgers rotation next week after Chris Capuano aggravated his calf injury. Roy Oswalt is still out there. I'm kidding, folks. So is Carlos Zambrano. Again, not a better option than what the Rangers have currently.

It seems like, at this point, Texas must ride this out. With Perez and Lewis on schedule to return in the next month or two (Neftali Feliz, likely a bullpen candidate, probably wouldn't be back before the All-Star break), the Rangers hope the young arms can do the job until those reinforcements arrive.

Joe Ortiz, Tanner Scheppers earn bullpen spots

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
5:32
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joe Ortiz and Tanner Scheppers will open the season in the Rangers' bullpen, a decision manager Ron Washington conveyed to both pitchers before Thursday's exhibition game against the Mexico City Rojas Diablos.

For the 22-year-old Ortiz, who came out of nowhere this spring to make the club, it was an emotional moment.

"If we had kept him in that room a little longer, he might have started crying," Washington said of the moments immediately after Ortiz learned he had made the team.

Washington admits he knew nothing about Ortiz going into the spring, only what scouts and minor league coaches told him. Ortiz has allowed one run in 11 innings. He has 11 strikeouts and only one walk.

"He got outs," Washington said. "He got outs by attacking. He wasn't afraid of the strike zone. He wasn't afraid of the hitters that walked up."

Ortiz makes it two years in a row that a shorter-than-6-foot left-handed reliever has surprised everyone by making the Opening Day roster. Last season it was Robbie Ross, who also is back in the bullpen. This year it is Ortiz, who admitted to getting misty-eyed when Washington broke the news to him.

"There were some tears in my eyes when he told me the news," Ortiz said. "No one expected this, especially here in Arlington. It's special news for me. My father was especially waiting for this day. He is happy for me."

Scheppers, who appeared in 39 games last season for the Rangers, came on strong at the end of the spring after dealing with a tight right hamstring early in camp. Scheppers didn't allow a run in his final five spring outings.

"When it mattered, he showed up," Washington said. "He earned his way on, too."

Scheppers, who fought inconsistency last season, is the Rangers' power arm out of the bullpen. With what is basically a new bullpen with no roles defined yet -- Washington made it clear Thursday that no one has been "anointed to a bullpen role" -- Scheppers has a chance to pitch his way into a late-inning spot.

"God blessed me with a power arm," Scheppers said. "I have to get outs. The roles will be defined as the year goes on."

Other team notes:

  • Washington said he will decide by Saturday who will start in center field in Sunday's opener against Houston with Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin exceeding expectations this spring.

    Houston is starting right-hander Bud Norris in the opener, so the start points in the left-handed hitting Martin's direction. But Gentry has more experience, having played in 121 games last season. Gentry also started Thursday's exhibition game against Mexico City against right-handed starter David Reyes.

    "There's no clear-cut guy," Washington said. "Both guys have shown improvement. Both guys have showed they can help us win ballgames."

  • The final roster spot will come down to outfielder Julio Borbon and relievers Josh Lindblom and Cory Burns. The decision will come down to whether the Rangers go with seven or eight relievers to start the season.

  • Left-hander Brad Mills cleared waivers Thursday and was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. That gives the Rangers 38 players on the 40-man roster, clearing spots for infielder Jeff Baker and veteran pitcher Derek Lowe, both of whom have made the team.

  • Catcher Eli Whiteside has temporarily left the team to attend to a family matter and will miss Thursday's game.

  • The Rangers' players made March Madness a part of their Thursday with the South Regional taking place in Arlington. Pitchers Derek Lowe, who is from Dearborn, Mich., and Derek Holland, from Newark, Ohio, went to Michigan's practice. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who went to high school in Orlando, Fla., attended Florida's practice.
  • Rapid Reaction: Angels 6, Rangers 3

    March, 27, 2013
    3/27/13
    5:45
    PM CT
    TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (15-16-2) saw their losing streak extend to three games after dropping a 6-3 decision to the Los Angeles Angels (9-18-4) on Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

    What it means: Texas dropped below .500 and lost three in a row (not counting split-squad games) for the first time since Feb. 25-27.

    Rotation rounds out: Manager Ron Washington announced after Wednesday's game that Alexi Ogando is his No. 3 starter and Derek Holland is the No. 4. Holland will start the home opener April 5 against the Angels, but Washington said that did not play into his decision at all.

    Mills thrills: Newcomer Brad Mills pitched well in his Rangers debut, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and one strikeout in four innings against his former team. The left-hander was added Sunday as a waiver claim from the Angels.

    Life after Hamilton: Washington had a good quote today when asked about the Rangers' future without Josh Hamilton, who left the team as a free agent during the offseason.

    "Reggie Jackson left the New York Yankees, and they went on to win a World Series. Roger Clemens left Boston, and they went on to win a World Series," Washington said. "Hamilton is in Jackson's class for what he did for us and with what Clemens did for the Red Sox. This [Hamilton's departure] doesn't stop what we have to do between the lines."

    Tepesch outing: Fifth starter Nick Tepesch pitched well in a minor league game for Round Rock (Triple-A) against Tucson (Padres Triple-A) today in Surprise. In six innings, Tepesch allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts, and threw 92 pitches. He gave up a home run to lead off the game; the other run scored after an error in the second inning. Tepesch handled being named the Rangers' fifth starter with the same poise he showed all spring. "It feels good, but I've still got a lot of hard work ahead of me," Tepesch said. "I still have a couple more starts to do my thing. It's just the beginning of the hard work. I've got to keep after it."

    Speed threat: A.J. Pierzynski put up a good outing in his final Arizona spring game of 2013 by going 2-for-2 with a single and double. He added a stolen base, which is a rarity for the catcher. During his 15-year MLB career (12 full seasons), Pierzynski has 13 career stolen bases. His last one came during the 2010 season when he tied a career high with three.

    Rule 5 updates: RHP Coty Woods, whom the Rangers acquired in the Rule 5 draft Dec. 6, was returned to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Texas had a 72-hour window beginning Tuesday to work out a trade with Colorado to keep him but couldn't get a deal done. Woods owned a 2.61 ERA (3 ER in 10 1/3 IP) with 10 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances.

    The Cleveland Indians returned first baseman Chris McGuiness to Texas on Wednesday after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft in December. McGuiness has been assigned outright to Round Rock (Triple-A). Both players had to be on the major league Opening Day roster of the drafting teams or be offered back to their former organizations.

    Kirkman update: RHP Michael Kirkman, who was the original starter for today's game, pitched just one inning of relief after allowing three runs on three hits and walking one. He was slated to go two or three innings but compiled a high pitch count after facing seven batters during the sixth inning.

    Texas red: Forbes released its annual list of valuations for Major League Baseball's franchises. The report also listed the six teams believed to have lost money, including the Rangers. They join the New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays. If teams such as Texas, Toronto and Los Angeles, which all have lucrative local television deals, are losing money, the rest of the league is sunk. Of course, the report should be looked at with a wary eye, as creative accounting is always a consideration.

    Baker is back: Utility man Jeff Baker returned after missing three games with a sinus infection. Baker, who earned a bench spot with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee, went 1-for-3.

    Najera first pitch: Former NBA forward Eduardo Najera will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Thursday’s exhibition game between the Rangers and the Mexico City Red Devils of the Triple-A Mexican League at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

    Najera was just the second native of Mexico to ever play in the NBA when he made his debut with the Mavericks in 2000. He played from 2000 to '12 with five teams, including two stints with the Mavericks (2000-04; 2010). Najera currently is the coach of the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.

    What's next? Texas has a pair of games scheduled for Thursday. One contest will see the Rangers play the Arizona Diamondbacks at 3:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1st A outing) will start for Texas. RHP Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.63 ERA) will start for Arizona. Texas will play only minor leaguers in the game.

    In the other game, Texas will host the Mexico City Red Devils for an exhibition contest at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at 7:05 p.m. CT. RHP Yu Darvish (1-1, 1.98) will start for Texas. RHP David Reyes will take the mound for Mexico City.

    Texas will wrap up its spring training schedule with games Friday and Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

    Notes: Rangers ready to head home

    March, 27, 2013
    3/27/13
    2:25
    PM CT
    TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers will leave Arizona immediately after today's game in Tempe against the Los Angeles Angels, wrapping up another slate of Cactus League games and workouts at their facility in Surprise.

    Spring training was extended by two weeks due to the World Baseball Classic, and games began only a few days after camp opened. The culmination of that long spring came Tuesday when the team announced a series of roster moves, as the Rangers now have identified 22 of the 25 players who will be on the Opening Day roster for Sunday night's contest in Houston.

    "The spring went extremely well this year," manager Ron Washington said. "As we went deeper into the spring, we improved as a team. I thought we progressed the way I figured we'd progress. We were slow in the beginning and picked it up as we went along, but I expected it. Especially since we only had a few days before the first game. We were playing in February when we were still trying to work out the kinks."

    The Rangers head back to Texas to play an exhibition game in Arlington against the Mexico City Red Devils at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday night. The scheduled game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Surprise on Thursday will feature only minor league players.

    Texas then will head to San Antonio for a pair of games Friday and Saturday in the Alamodome before beginning the regular season the following night against the Astros in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.

    Other team notes:

  • Washington said he thinks his initial choice for an eighth-inning reliever would be either Robbie Ross or Michael Kirkman. He also said that won't preclude others such as Jason Frasor from seeing time in the eighth, but Ross and Kirkman likely will be his first options out of the chute.

  • The official announcement of the No. 3 and No. 4 starters to open the season is expected today. The projected order is Alexi Ogando at No. 3 with Derek Holland pitching the home opener April 5.

    Washington also said the Rangers have not decided whether they will carry an extra pitcher or position player until they need to make room for a fifth starter April 9.

    "I think we'll come up with that between before we head to San Antonio," Washington said. "It might be after, but somewhere in there we'll make the decision."

  • Nate Robertson is taking his reassignment to Round Rock (Triple-A) in stride. The big left-hander had a very good spring that saw him reinvent his delivery. The results paid off, as he allowed just two runs in 11 innings, good for a 1.64 ERA.

    Washington compared Robertson's transition to a more control-oriented delivery to that of Frank Tanana, who underwent a similar transformation and extended his career with a few more successful seasons before hanging up his glove.

    Robertson hasn't pitched with a big league club since 2010 and even saw time in independent baseball last season, but he sees his successful training camp as a springboard to continue his quest to return to the majors. Robertson had an option to ask for his release but instead accepted his minor league assignment.

    "I haven't even gauged interest from other teams, which I think shows my desire to remain in this organization," Robertson said. "I have to weigh the other factors too if there is an opportunity to extend my career someplace else, but I'm just going to let that play out.

    "I still have a desire to play this game so I'm not going home."

  • Michael Kirkman was originally slated to start Wednesday, but recent waiver addition Brad Mills will take the mound to begin the game against his former team instead. Mills was acquired Sunday from the Angels. Kirkman is scheduled as the second pitcher and will throw two or three innings as opposed to the five that were originally planned.

    Injury notes:

  • RHP Kyle McClellan is 15 days into a projected three- to four-week period of not throwing due to a strained right lat muscle. Once cleared, he will begin a long-toss and flat-ground throwing program.

  • LHP Martin Perez has been cleared to begin a throwing program once he is pain free. He is no longer wearing protective gear on the arm. Perez is anticipated to begin throwing next week.

  • RHP Joakim Soria continues recovery from his second Tommy John surgery and is throwing bullpen sessions. Barring any setback, he will begin throwing live batting practices the week of April 8.

  • RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) is on the same time frame as Soria for beginning to throw live BP, again barring any setbacks. He also is throwing bullpen sessions.

  • C Eli Whiteside has left the team for personal reasons not related to his recent assignment to Round Rock (Triple-A).
  • Lineups: Batting order an Opening Day preview?

    March, 27, 2013
    3/27/13
    1:01
    PM CT
    TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (15-15-2) close out their 'A' game schedule of Arizona games for the 2013 Cactus League season when they take on the Los Angeles Angels (8-18-4) on Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 2:05 p.m. CT. The game can be heard live on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and will be broadcast on the MLB Network.

    The Rangers' lineup for today's game:

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    DH Lance Berkman
    3B Adrian Beltre
    LF David Murphy
    RF Nelson Cruz
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    1B Mitch Moreland
    CF Leonys Martin

    Pitchers:
    LHP Brad Mills
    LHP Michael Kirkman
    LHP Nate Robertson
    RHP Tanner Scheppers

    ANGELS:

    CF Peter Bourjos
    2B Luis Rodriguez
    1B Brendan Harris
    C Hank Conger
    DH John Hester
    3B Luis Jimenez
    LF J.B. Shuck
    RF Randal Grichuk
    SS Andrew Romine

    Pitchers:
    RHP Garrett Richards

    Notes: Jeff Baker earns roster spot with strong play

    March, 25, 2013
    3/25/13
    3:01
    PM CT
    PEORIA, Ariz. -- An amazing spring training paid off for utility man Jeff Baker, who has made the Texas Rangers manager, Ron Washington announced Monday.

    PODCAST
    ESPN MLB Insider Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett in Surprise to discuss what to expect from the Rangers this season.

    Listen Listen
    Baker played for three teams in 2012 and in January signed a minor-league contract with Texas as a free agent, which included an invite to spring training.

    "I told him this morning that he made the team," Washington said. "I haven't had that veteran presence (on the bench) that can make a difference, and that is a role he has played. He knows how to stay ready. What I've seen this spring is he has passed some of that experience on to the younger guys. He is always holding court. It's what we had when we had Omar Vizquel here."

    Baker typically doesn't log frequent at-bats during the season, instead often seeing time as a late-inning replacement or getting a spot start for a regular who is getting the day off.

    The 31-year old received plenty of playing time this spring and made the most of the opportunity. Baker turned heads, especially with his offense, and was on a hitting tear that lasted nearly three weeks. At one point he was 20-for-40 (.500) and reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances. Even after a relative cool streak during the last week, Baker still ranks among the Cactus Leaders in several offensive categories.

    It is one of the contradictions of spring training that good performances are downplayed because the statistics don't count, yet jobs are won and lost based on those same performances.

    The six-year MLB veteran has carved out a nice career because of his versatility, as he can play five positions: first, second, third, left and right field. Baker likely won't see much time at third but will be used at the other positions.

    Baker is scratched from Monday's game with a sinus infection. He also missed Sunday's game against Cincinnati and was pulled from Saturday's contest in the third inning because of the ailment.

    More team notes:

  • LHP Derek Holland will pitch in his first 'A' game with the Rangers since Feb. 28. Holland represented Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, pitching in one game March 10 against Canada. He returned and made a start in a minor league game for Round Rock (AAA) on March 19. Holland tossed five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks sand three strikeouts.

  • RHP Joe Nathan, LHP Nate Robertson and RHP Cory Burns are all expected to appear in a minor league game for Round Rock (AAA) today in Surprise.

  • LHP Brad Mills was in major league camp today after. The 28-year old was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angles, the team announced Sunday, and was added to the major league roster. To make room on the 40-man roster, Neftali Feliz was placed on the 60-day disabled list.

  • LHP Matt Harrison will start Tuesday's game as the Rangers reset their rotation in preparation of their home opener Sunday in Houston. The team will not use the fifth starter slot any more this spring and won't do so during the regular season until April 9. RHP Nick Tepesch will throw Wednesday.

    Injury notes:

  • RHP Kyle McClellan is nearly two weeks into a projected 3-4 week period of not throwing due to a strained right lat muscle. One cleared, he will begin a long-toss and flat-ground throwing program.

  • LHP Martin Perez has been cleared to begin a throwing program once he is pain free. He is no longer wearing protective gear on the arm. Perez is anticipated to begin throwing next week.

  • RHP Joakim Soria continues his recovery from his second Tommy John surgery. Barring any setback, he will begin throwing live batting practices the week of April 8.

  • RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) is on the same time frame as Soria for beginning to throw live BP, again barring any setback.
  • Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, Reds 2

    March, 24, 2013
    3/24/13
    6:04
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (15-13-2) swept a home-and-home series against the Cincinnati Reds (9-17-2), following Saturday's win with a 7-2 victory on Sunday at Surprise Stadium.

    What this means
    Texas moves two games above .500 for the first time this spring after failing to do so on its first three attempts. The Rangers also won back-to-back games (excluding split squads) for the first time since March 12 and 14.

    Sunday best
    RHP Alexi Ogando had his most effective outing of the spring, tossing six scoreless innings while scattering three hits, walking one and striking out five. Ogando leads the team with 18 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.

    Battered box
    For the second consecutive game, a Texas Rangers batter knocked a Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher out of the ballgame after hitting him with a line drive. During the sixth inning of Sunday's game, David Murphy hit a ball off the back of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo's right hand. He immediately left the game. Also during the sixth inning on Saturday, Rangers catcher Geovany Soto hit a hard drive that nailed Reds starter Mat Latos in the right foot. He left the game after a quick exam on the mound.

    One-man show
    1B Lance Berkman had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a single, two-run home run, sacrifice fly and three RBIs.

    RBI guy
    Leonys Martin drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, giving the outfielder 12 RBIs this spring and tying him with Mitch Moreland for the team lead.

    One-and-done
    Closer Joe Nathan was sharp during his brief appearance, throwing a scoreless seventh inning while striking out two of the three batters he faced.

    Yan reassigned
    RHP Johan Yan was reassigned to minor league camp, the team announced on Sunday. With the addition of Brad Mills earlier in the day, the Rangers' major league camp roster remains at 39. In nine appearances, Yan was 0-1 with two saves, a 2.16 ERA and nine strikeouts in 8.1 innings.

    Surprise in Surprise
    Earlier Sunday, manager Ron Washington called OF Craig Gentry his biggest surprise of training camp. Gentry showed why against the Reds, going 2-for-3 with a single and triple, a stolen base, an RBI and two runs scored. He is hitting .333 this spring.

    Burning up
    RHP Cory Burns closed out the win in style by striking out the side in the ninth.

    What's next?
    Texas takes a short ride down Bell Road to the Peoria Sports Complex to face the San Diego Padres for the final time this spring on Monday at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Derek Holland (1-0, 1.29) is the scheduled starter for Texas. RHP Jason Marquis (0-0, 2.25) will take the mound for San Diego. The game can be heard on a delayed broadcast on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM at 7 p.m. CT.

    Rangers pitchers progressing in rehab

    March, 24, 2013
    3/24/13
    3:20
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Four injured Texas Rangers pitchers were examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, who said all are progressing in their recoveries.

    RHP Kyle McClellan is nearly two weeks into a projected 3-4 week period of not throwing due to a strained right lat muscle. Once cleared, he will begin a long-toss and flat-ground throwing program.

    LHP Martin Perez has been cleared to begin a throwing program once he is pain-free. Perez said this morning that the fractured ulna bone in his left forearm is feeling better. He is no longer wearing any protective gear on the arm. Perez is anticipated to begin throwing next week.

    RHP Joakim Soria continues recovery from his second Tommy John surgery. Barring any setback, he will begin throwing live batting practices the week of April 8.

    RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) is on the same time frame as Soria for beginning to throw live BP, again barring any setback.

    Other team notes:
    • The Rangers also announced on Sunday that the club has received left-handed pitcher Brad Mills on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels.

      Mills, 28, will join the Rangers later today or tomorrow and has been added to the major league roster. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz was placed on the 60-day disabled list.

      The left-hander was 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA (6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) in three games and one start for the Angels this spring. He pitched six innings in a minor league game in his last outing on Thursday.

      Mills spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Salt Lake, posting a 5-10 record with a 5.86 ERA in 19 starts and 21 overall appearances. He made one spot start for Los Angeles, throwing five shutout innings on July 8 vs. Baltimore to earn his first major league victory since Aug. 5, 2011.

      In 15 career appearances with the Blue Jays and Angels, including 10 starts, Mills is 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA.

      Feliz, 24, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19 with right elbow inflammation and did not pitch again in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Aug. 1. He is continuing to rehab from the surgery.
    • Alexi Ogando will start Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Reds ahead of presumed No. 3 starter Derek Holland, who will take the mound on Monday. Holland is getting back on his normal throwing schedule after playing with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. The Rangers have not made an official announcement on their No. 3 and 4 starters, only committing to Matt Harrison, as the No. 1 and Yu Darvish as the No. 2. Today's other scheduled pitchers are LHP Nate Robertson, RHP Joe Nathan and RHP Cory Burns.
    • Michael Kirkman will continue to be stretched out in case the Rangers decide to use him as the fifth starter when camp breaks, although he is not being called an official candidate for the role. The Rangers won't need their fifth starter until April 9 due to two early off days. Derek Lowe also continues to be stretched out with rookie Nick Tepesch as the only official in-house candidate for the job.
    • When asked who has been the biggest surprise in camp this season, manager Ron Washington said outfielder Craig Gentry.

      "He figured out how to get through a baseball and figured out how good he can be and is just letting it go," Washington said. "He is showing me a total game. He is daring on the base paths now. Him having a successful year like he had last year, and another year of baseball under his belt, is understanding what his game is, and he's not afraid of showing that."
    • Washington was also asked the best person he was ever around in the clubhouse.

      "1977 Dodgers -- Reggie Smith, Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey, Rick Monday, Ron Cey," Washington said. "Those are the best guys I've been around. Those are the guys that taught me how to be a major league player.

      "Dutsy Baker was the one single guy when I got to the big leagues that took care of me. He just gravitated to me and made sure what I needed was there."
    • Texas is one game above .500 for the fourth time this spring and is yet to reach two games above in spring training.
    • The Rangers released nine players from minor league camp: RHP Andrew Benes, 2B/SS Santiago Chrino, 1B Andrew Clark, RHP Joucer Martinez, RHP Steve McKinnon, LHP Scott Olsen, RHP Chance Sossaman, LHP Pedro Tirado and RHP Brett Weibley.
    • Today's game marks the second and final game between the Rangers and Reds this spring. They played for the first time on Saturday, with Texas winning 6-2 at Goodyear Ballpark.
    • Jeff Baker remains out of the Rangers lineup with a sinus infection. He was removed from Saturday's game in the third inning due to the condition.
    • After Sunday's contest, Texas has only three spring games remaining in Arizona. The Rangers will also play the Arizona Diamondbacks in Surprise on March 28, but Texas will only use minor leaguers in that matchup. The team has a second game scheduled for March 28 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against the Mexico City Red Devils. Texas then plays a pair of contests on March 29 and 30 at the Alamodome in San Antonio before opening the regular season on March 31 in Houston.

    Rangers claim Brad Mills off waivers

    March, 24, 2013
    3/24/13
    2:40
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Brad Mills has been claimed by the Texas Rangers off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.

    Mills was 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three exhibition games with the Angels. In his only major league appearance last season, Mills threw five scoreless innings and allowed three hits on July 8 against Baltimore and gained the victory. He was 5-10 with a 5.86 ERA in 19 starts and two relief appearances at Triple-A Salt Lake.

    He is 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA in 15 career big league games.

    Right-hander Neftali Feliz, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last August, was put on the 60-day disabled list to clear a roster spot.

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    TEAM LEADERS

    WINS LEADER
    Yu Darvish
    WINS ERA SO IP
    8 2.97 142 115
    OTHER LEADERS
    BAA. Beltre .341
    HRA. Beltre 13
    RBIA. Beltre 50
    RA. Beltre 50
    OPSA. Beltre .929
    ERAY. Darvish 2.97
    SOY. Darvish 142