Texas Rangers: Greg Miclat

Roster moves: Leonys Martin sent to AAA

March, 24, 2012
3/24/12
11:44
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers made some roster moves Saturday and now have 40 players left in camp. The moves also dwindle some of the candidates for various spots. Here's a look:

* Leonys Martin was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, leaving Craig Gentry and Julio Borbon to fight it out for the center field spot. This isn't a surprise as Martin was expected to start the season in the minors.

"He needs to play and the innings are getting to be few and far between now," manager Ron Washington said. "He's a young kid that needs to play baseball. He's a very impressive kid. He needs to play and continue to develop his skills."

Washington said Martin had a "100 percent turnaround" from where he was when he visited the club a few times last year to work with Washington, outfield coach Gary Pettis and others.

"He's improved every way -- baserunning, instincts, outfield, all of that," Washington said. "He just needs to play. He played half a year in Double-A and Triple-A and had some down time because of injuries. We're running out of time here as far as innings go."

* Greg Miclat, one of the candidates for the utility infield spot, was assigned to minor league camp. That means of the four players vying for that position, two are left: Alberto Gonzalez and Luis Hernandez. Look for them to get playing time in Cactus League games as the team sorts all of that out.

* Mike Olt has been impressive this spring with his defense at third base and consistent approach at the plate. He's now been assigned to minor league camp, where he'll continue to get time at first base as the Rangers try to make him more versatile. Washington said Olt will start the season at Double-A Frisco.

"He's a baseball player," Washington said. "He can play third base. He has good action and tremendous raw power, but he hasn't played a whole lot of baseball. He's a very solid defensive player and has impressed us with his bat."

* OF Engel Beltre was optioned to Double-A Frisco.

* C Chris Robinson and LHP Ben Snyder were also assigned to minor league camp.

Spring cleaning: Bench

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
8:00
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- We continue our spring cleaning by looking at that final spot on the roster.

Spring cleaning: Bench

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On a team with so many players returning to their usual roles, there aren't many spots up for grabs. But a spot on the bench is open.

The Rangers need a utility infielder and manager Ron Washington has said he wants someone who can play shortstop.

That's why Yangervis Solarte was sent to minor league camp Tuesday. He was hitting the ball well and playing well, but he can't play shortstop. The 24-year-old will spend time playing second, third and shortstop in minor league camp.

So that leaves Luis Hernandez, Alberto Gonzalez and Greg Miclat to fight for the spot. Washington has worked with all three of them and said Monday that there is no leader right now. It's one of those decisions that will come down to the final week.

All three players a nonroster invitees hoping to prove they belong on the roster. Look for all three to get some more meaningful time at short in the coming games as the team tries to make a decision.

Does this mean that it's definitely someone in camp? No. Other infielders could be released by other clubs the final week of the season, which could increase the Rangers' pool of candidates. But all three players have been pretty solid this spring, so I'm not sure there will be better options available.

Stay tuned.

Injuries: Craig Gentry hopes to return Sunday

March, 17, 2012
3/17/12
12:10
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Craig Gentry will hit and throw for the first time Saturday since he sprained his wrist Tuesday. He hopes to return to the lineup Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gentry suffered the mild wrist sprain in the third inning Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians. He dived for a fly ball in center field and landed awkwardly on his wrist. There was no break revealed in his wrist following a fluoroscan.

Gentry will miss his fourth game Saturday due to the injury.

Other injuries:

* Joe Beimel will throw during live batting practice Saturday. He was sick Thursday but returned to camp the next day.

*Greg Miclat is in the lineup Saturday at shortstop. He was absent due to symptoms consistent to a migraine Friday.

*Pitcher Justin Miller is scheduled to throw Sunday. He was out Friday with mild back stiffness.

Injuries: Mike Napoli back in lineup

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
1:11
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Napoli will be the designated hitter for the Texas Rangers against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

Napoli felt mild tightness in his left groin Saturday and slowly worked his way back into the lineup.

"I had a little flare up," Napoli said. "It was sore but it’s spring training. They were being easy on it because I don’t need to be ready right now."

He worked on catching drills for the first time Thursday. Napoli said he tried to make an adjustment in his stance during the session. He tried to keep his feet straighter rather than tilting them toward his insoles.

"I get in a weird stance," Napoli said. "My legs get real low and my knees go together and it puts pressure on the groin."

Napoli said he's not sure how much of an impact the change will make but the injury is not a big deal.

Other injuries:

*Pitcher Joe Beimel was sick for Thursday's game against the Oakland Athletics. He's feeling better Friday. Although he's back in camp, assistant general manager Thad Levine said he likely won't pitch until Saturday.

*Catcher Dusty Brown felt good throwing to the bases Thursday. He will travel with the team to Las Vegas this weekend for a two-game series against the Chicago Cubs.

*Greg Miclat is not at camp Friday due to symptoms consistent to that of a migraine.

*Pitcher Justin Miller will not pitch in Friday's game due to mild back stiffness.

Texas skipper works with utility infielders

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
8:00
AM CT


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has already spent time with most of the club's utility infield candidates.

Washington was on the back field on Sunday with Alberto Gonzalez, who participated in the manager's 12-minute set of drills.

"He looked good as we started," Washington said. "But I killed his legs. It was just the first day. He'll get used to it."

Washington put Luis Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte through the paces a few days ago. The only one he hasn't worked with yet is Greg Miclat, but that day is coming soon.

Utility infield is one of the few open positions in camp and Washington, an infielder in the big leagues and someone who still loves coaching infielders, wants to be sure he sees all of them up close.

Hernandez, 27, played 17 games with the New York Mets in 2011 (44 at-bats) and has 120 games in the majors in his career. Gonzalez, 28, has 378 major league games to his name, including 102 of them in 2011 for San Diego. He hit just .215, but played in 46 regular season games in the Venezuelan Winter League, batting .253 with four homers and 16 RBIs, so he comes to spring training with some confidence. Miclat, 24, was aquired in a trade with Baltimore as the player to be named later from the Taylor Teagarden deal. He's never played in the big leagues and this is his first big league spring training. He hit .280 with two homers and 24 RBIs in Double-A last season. Solarte, 24, hit .317 in 32 games in Venezuela this winter after playing in Double-A in 2011.

Washington would prefer a utility infielder who can play shortstop, though he isn't afraid to use Michael Young there if needed. We'll see which of these candidates steps up in the coming weeks.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182