Texas Rangers: Miguel De Los Santos

Spring cleaning: Left-handed relief

March, 21, 2012
3/21/12
1:00
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- We continue our spring cleaning series by looking at a specific part of the relief corps and sizing things up with the season just a little more than two weeks away.

Spring cleaning: Left-handed bullpen piece

One of the key questions when camp began: Who will step up and be the left-handed bullpen piece for the Rangers? Of course, Texas doesn't have to have a left-handed reliever. The Rangers do have some right-handed pitchers who have a solid track record of getting left-handed hitters out, but they would prefer a lefty to have for those key hitters in critical situations. That's the role Mike Gonzalez had at the end of last year.

A handful of internal candidates are in camp. Let's take a look:

Joe Beimel: He dealt with some elbow tightness earlier in camp, but has made four appearances (four innings) and given up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts. He has had decent success against left-handed hitters.

Neal Cotts: Started in minor league camp and then switched over to the big league side after throwing well early in spring. But he's got a 7.11 ERA in 6 1/3 innings in Cactus League games.

Miguel De Los Santos: He finished last season in Double-A Frisco and is still working on his craft in the minors. He has allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings in Cactus League games this spring and was optioned to Frisco on Monday.

Michael Kirkman: Was forced to pitch two innings Tuesday (instead of one) because of Neftali Feliz's shoulder stiffness that limited him to three innings instead of four. Kirkman has been inconsistent in Cactus League games but has pitched better of late. He pitched two scoreless innings against the Cubs on Tuesday and has allowed just one run and two hits in his last four innings.

Martin Perez: He was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Monday but impressed scouts this camp. He remains one of the club's top pitching prospects and could certainly help this team at some point this season.

Robbie Ross: Perhaps the big surprise of camp. He has not been optioned back to the minors because he's pitching so well. With the race wide open, Ross will continue to get consideration. He's starting against the Angels on Sunday in Tempe with Yu Darvish pitching in a minor league game in Surprise. Ross has pitched four scoreless Cactus League innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Ben Snyder: Was in Double-A Frisco the whole 2011 season and is quietly performing well out here. He hasn't allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings and has no walks with three strikeouts. He doesn't have the stuff of Ross, but he's getting left-handed hitters out and working hard.

Mitch Stetter: Came in after pitching for the Brewers last season. The sidearmer has allowed two runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts in four appearances (3 1/3 innings).

So how does it shake out? We still don't know. But at this point, the most intriguing pitcher is Ross. He split last season between High Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco and was a combined 10-5 with a 2.34 ERA and 134 strikeouts to 33 walks in 27 games (26 starts). He was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year. He was a second-round pick in the 2008 draft by the Rangers and he's shown an ability to command his pitches, throw strikes and avoid walks.

Part of the decision on Ross (if he is the best candidate by the end of spring) is whether the club wants to carry him as a left-handed reliever on the big league club as opposed to keeping him as a starter in the minors. The thinking remains that he can be a starter long-term. But we've seen in the past with this club that current starters begin their major league careers in the bullpen.

Ross' slider and cutter sure are looking good this spring and so far hitters (he's faced a mix of regulars and minor leaguers) haven't been able to get the barrel on the ball well against him.

So we'll see. There's still time for Kirkman and others to step up. But give Ross some credit: He isn't making the decision easy.

Lineups set for intrasquad games

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
10:21
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There will be game action Thursday as the Rangers will break off into two teams and play an intrasquad game starting at noon out here after workouts. That meant lineups had to be submitted too. And here they are:

HOME
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Michael Young
C Mike Napoli
DH Nelson Cruz
1B Brad Hawpe
CF Craig Gentry
RF Engel Beltre

VISITOR
CF Julio Borbon
C Luis Martinez
RF David Murphy
1B Mitch Moreland
LF Conor Jackson
3B Mike Olt
DH Leonys Martin
SS Luis Hernandez
2B Greg Miclat

Here are the scheduled pitchers:

HOME
Colby Lewis
Derek Lowe
Greg Reynolds
Kelvin De La Cruz
Cody Eppley
Jake Brigham
Roman Mendez
Justin Miller

VISITOR
Scott Feldman
Michael Kirkman
Mitch Stetter
Sean Green
Robbie Ross
Miguel De Los Santos
Ben Snyder
Fabio Castillo

Injuries: Scheppers to see back specialist

March, 6, 2011
3/06/11
10:26
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers said the right side of his lower back feels better, but the club is going to have him see a local back specialist on Monday just to be sure everything is progressing. Assistant GM Thad Levine stressed it was more of a precaution. An MRI revealed nothing out of the ordinary and Scheppers said the anti-inflammatory medicine is helping him.

The medicine is a 5-day treatment and Scheppers still has a few more days of that. He won't get back on a mound until the symptoms are gone and he feels 100 percent. At this point, he doesn't think he'll need an injection, but everyone should know more after he sees the local back specialist.

Other injury news:

* 3B Adrian Beltre (Grade 1 calf strain) took ground balls today and will also do some light running. He continues to hit, as well.

* OF Craig Gentry (wrist) is on the roster as an eligible player for today's game.

* LHP Miguel De Los Santos (biceps tendinitis) could have one more live BP throwing session before climbing on a mound in a game. He is progressing nicely.

Injury report: Webb feeling fine

February, 28, 2011
2/28/11
10:36
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Coming off his 10-minute mound session Sunday, right-hander Brandon Webb is feeling fine and has a second mound session planned for Tuesday.

It's all good news for a pitcher who hasn't started a game since Opening Day 2009 because of a shoulder injury. There remains no timetable for his eventual return, but Webb said Sunday that he will expect to make a Cactus League appearance at some point. Webb has a long-toss session planned for today.

Other injury news:

*Outfielder Omar Beltre (back) will remain in Arlington for two more weeks. He stayed behind a few extra days so his mother could visit and now the club has told him to stay there since he would need to travel back for a checkup with doctor. The team doesn't want him make multiple long plane flights while recovering from spine surgery.

*Third baseman Adrian Beltre (calf strain) continues to hit in the cages and throw. He is not doing any agility or running yet, but he said he hopes to be able to start fielding drills this week.

*Outfielder Craig Gentry (broken right wrist) will continue to take batting practice in the cages for a few more days before playing in a game.

*Left-handed pitcher Miguel De Los Santos (biceps tendinitis) is throwing in the bullpen and is getting closer to make an appearance in a game.

Injuries: Soreness slows Mason Tobin

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
10:23
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers RHP Mason Tobin complained of arm soreness and he will back off throwing today. It is not believed to be in any area where he's a previous injury and the club thinks it may just be fatigue. He'll be reevaulated Thursday to see how he feels.

Tobin was a Rule 5 pickup for the Rangers, which means he must remain on the club's active roster (25-man roster) for at least 90 days in 2011 or be offered back to the Angels if the Rangers want to outright him. If he's not on the 25-man roser, the Angels could Tobin back for $25,000 or the Rangers could work out a trade with the Angels and then send Tobin to the minor leagues (he would be off the 40-man roster at that point). Nothing has been decided on that front this early in spring training.

Other injury updates:

* RHP Fabio Castillo (broken bone in left foot) will get out of his boot to throw off flat ground today. He will then keep the boot on to protect the foot.

* LHP Miguel De Los Santos (biceps tendinitis) is scheduled to long toss today and if all goes well could throw a bullpen session on Friday.

* OF Craig Gentry (broken right wrist) was taking some swings off a tee early this morning after hitting balls with a fungo on Tuesday. Gentry said he is doing everything else -- throwing, running, working out -- and that swinging is the only thing he can't do fully at this point.

* RHP Eric Hurley (left hamstring strain) is scheduled to long toss today and could be on a mound for a bullpen session by this weekend if he feels good.

Pitchers, catchers expected to report

February, 15, 2011
2/15/11
12:30
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first wave of players that are due to report to spring training Wednesday (Feb. 16) for the Rangers are pitchers and catchers. Here's a look at that group:

PITCHERS

Omar Beltre: After a year in U.S., Beltre put up a 2.65 ERA in 85 innings (some as starter, some as reliever), but gave up seven runs in seven big league innings. What will his command look like this spring?
Dave Bush*: Trying to rekindle the success he had under Mike Maddux in Milwaukee and compete for backend starter or long relief role.
Fabio Castillo: Pitched for Surprise in Arizona Fall League after moving up to Double-A Frisco at the end of 2010.
Miguel De Los Santos (LHP): Finished 2010 in Class A Hickory and was 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA in 12 games (6 starts) in 38 1/3 innings.
Cody Eppley*: Likely starts season in Triple-A, but could see the majors in 2011 after getting taste of spring training.
Scott Feldman: How does he look after a disappointing 2010 and offseason knee surgery?
Neftali Feliz: He's stretched out to start and club will decide whether he stays the closer or goes into the rotation as camp progress (opening odds are he stays as closer...but we'll see).
Wilmer Font: Had Tommy John surgery.
Matt Harrison (LHP): Wants to show he can start again after finishing 2010 in the bullpen.
Derek Holland (LHP): Is he ready to claim one of the five starting spots?
Tommy Hunter: Got off to fast start in 2010 before cooling off. He's motivated to show he can pitch at a high level throughout the season.
Eric Hurley: Scouts have raved about how he's looked in limited innings since surgery. He's a darkhorse this spring.
Zach Jackson (LHP)*: Was in the Toronto organization last year; pitched in the majors some for Milwaukee when Mike Maddux was pitching coach.
Michael Kirkman (LHP): A candidate for a rotation spot this spring, he finished 2010 in the bullpen in the big leagues and was impressive.
Colby Lewis: Coming off solid postseason (he beat the Yankees twice in the ALCS), he's the No. 2 starter in the rotation.
Mark Lowe: Traded to Texas as part of the Cliff Lee trade, the hard thrower is healthy and ready to earn a late-inning relief job.
Seth McClung*: Hasn't appeared in big league game since 2009 after the Marlins let him go in spring training last year.
Darren O'Day: The sidearmer has a deceptive delivery and was a mainstay in the Rangers pen in 2010.
Alexi Ogando: He showed a fastball with life in 2010 and has some secondary stuff. He'll stretch out as a starter, but likely ends up in the pen.
Darren Oliver (LHP): The veteran is a leader among the pitching staff and a workhorse.
Zach Phillips (LHP): He threw 50 1/3 innings at Triple-A last year and sported a 3.22 ERA.
Arthur Rhodes (LHP): Another veteran that Ron Washington can use to get left-handed hitters out.
Tanner Scheppers*: Struggled at times in Triple-A last year, but has tremendous stuff. Can he push for a job this spring?
Pedro Strop: Appeared in 15 games with the Rangers in 2010 and allowed 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings and walked 11 and struck out 11. He did put up good numbers in Triple-A.
Yoshinori Tateyama: The 35-year-old sidearmer has been in Surprise for a few weeks now and right-handers hit .186 against him in Japan last year.
Mason Tobin: Rule-5 pickup that, should he make the bullpen, would have to remain on the 25-man roster for 2011 or be offered back to the Angels.
Ryan Tucker*: Picked up off waivers from Florida after Game 1 of the ALDS when Rich Harden was DFA'd.
Brandon Webb: If he can find his Cy Young stuff and stay healthy, could be a huge bargain.
C.J. Wilson (LHP): One year after starting spring as a reliever, he's the club's No. 1 starter after 15 wins in 2010.

CATCHERS

Kevin Cash*: Played in 49 games for Boston and Houston in 2010 and has played in 246 career big league games.
Jose Felix*: A top prospect with huge upside who finished the season at Double-A Frisco last year.
Mike Napoli: Power bat off the bench more likely to play as 1B or DH against lefties.
Taylor Teagarden: He was No. 2 catcher last spring, now trying to prove himself again.
Yorvit Torrealba: Signed 2-year deal to be club's No. 1 catcher and must get to know a new staff.
Matt Treanor: A gritty, tough backstop that paired well with Wilson last year and is No. 2 catcher again this year.

* Non-roster invitees

Rangers prospect update - Friday edition

May, 28, 2010
5/28/10
10:30
AM CT
Note that today’s report includes ten players; six of them are relievers, and four of those are in Double-A or Triple-A. While the Rangers bullpen has thrown way too many innings, the club is cultivating enough depth in the upper levels to absorb a number of those late season innings. Tanner Scheppers should lead that charge.

RHP Tanner Scheppers, OKC - Scheppers threw his first three inning game Thursday. It went…let’s just say that it went well - he struck out seven, walked one and didn’t allow a hit, while throwing a season high 55 pitches. The pitch count was a bit high, but he did fight through an error, and when seven of your nine outs come via strikeout, you’re going to throw a few pitches. Scheppers exhibited control issues in his first three games in Triple-A, walking five in six innings. In his last three, spanning seven innings, he has walked two. For the season Scheppers has struck out 41 in 24 innings.

RHP Blake Beavan, Frisco - Beavan dominated his fourth straight Double-A outing Wednesday, completing seven shutout innings and allowing just four hits and no walks, while striking out five. The strikeout totals are still not high (42 on the season), but he has walked just nine all season in 63.1 innings. That ratio of almost five strikeouts per walk paints a picture of an extreme control pitcher who has enough stuff to miss bats - in other words, a legitimate starter. Beavan will pitch this entire season at age 21, and he may need a promotion to Triple-A to be challenged.

OF Engel Beltre, Bakersfield - Beltre is still hitting (.340/.373/.456 for May), but he’s stopped walking again - he last walked on May 9, 19 games ago. He also has just two extra base hits in his last 11 games. Progress has been made here, but this will still be a process for Beltre, improving his approach over time and putting his game together slowly. Fortunately, he is still just 20 and won’t require a first of three options until next season.

LHP Miguel De Los Santos, Hickory - This guy hasn’t received the fanfare that Alexi Ogando and Omar Beltre saw this spring, but he could be just as important. De Los Santos last appeared in the U.S. in 2008, pitching for the Rangers’ rookie league club in Arizona and piling up 54 strikeouts but also 18 walks in 34.2 innings. The lefty had shown enough stuff - including a blistering fastball - to excite, but visa issues kept him out of the country in 2009. The Rangers pitched him in their Dominican summer league entry, where he had pitched in his first pro season in 2006, and he posted a startling 70 strikeouts in 32 innings. He allowed just eight hits, but even at the lowest level in organized ball, he walked 22. He was allowed into the country once again this spring, and his season with an unspectacular inning last Wednesday. His second outing on Monday was more intriguing, as he struck out five in two innings and allowed a hit and a walk. Now 21, he is still quite raw, but this is a talented arm.

LHP Matt Harrison, Frisco - Working his way back in Frisco’s pen: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K so far
RHP Josh Lueke, Frisco - Getting his feet on the ground, struck out four of the five batters he’s faced this week in 1.2 perfect innings
RHP Cody Eppley, Frisco - Developing story here, hasn’t slowed down ( 9 K, 1 BB) after jumping from Low A to AA in less than a season
LHP Joseph Ortiz, Hickory - Another precocious Venezuelan lefty, repeating Low A for a third season at age 19, opened his season Monday (2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
SS Leury Garcia, Hickory - Still filling up the stat sheet - 26 SB, 15 E - but hasn’t been walking or getting on base
LHP Robbie Ross, Hickory - Solid again Thursday: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

SPONSORED HEADLINES

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