Texas Rangers: Neil Cotts

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, A's 3

March, 9, 2013
SURPRISE, Ariz.--The Texas Rangers (5-7-2) extended its unbeaten streak to four games after a 4-3 victory against the Oakland Athletics (6-7) on Saturday at Surprise Stadium.

What this means

Texas, which has won three out of four, is also unbeaten in four out of five and five out of seven.

Happy trails

All three Texas wins during its current winning streak are come-from-behind victories.

Strong start
Nick Tepesch retired eight of the first nine batters he faced before the next four Oakland hitters reached on a pair of singles and two walks to score their only run off the rookie right-hander.

Baker is still raking
2B Jeff Baker had another big day, going 3-for-3 with three singles and an RBI. He has 12 hits in his past eight games and is batting .481.

RHP Jason Frasor pitched his third scoreless inning of the spring, retiring all three batters he faced in the fifth inning.

Leaving them loaded

Neil Cotts showed good mettle during his one inning of work in the top of the sixth. His day began roughly after loading the bases with no one out by allowing three consecutive singles. After a visit to the mound, Cotts settled down and struck out Scott Sizemore looking, then induced Derek Norris into hitting an inning-ending double play to escape the jam.

Clean close

Johan Yan picked up his second save after closing out the San Diego Padres and securing the Rangers' 5-2 win in its split-squad game at the Peoria Sports Complex. Yan is unscored upon in five innings.

Big arm
LHP Joe Ortiz might stand 5-foot-7 but he has come up big so far this spring. Ortiz made his sixth appearance of the spring and tossed his sixth scoreless inning to maintain his 0.00 ERA.

Four-way RBI tie
OF Jim Adduci had two RBs and CF Leonys Martin had one RBI on Saturday, giving them both six on the spring, tying them with Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland for the team lead.

A good stroll
SS Jurickson Profar walked once Saturday, giving him seven this spring. That ties him with Oakland's Adam Rosales for the Cactus League lead.

Spring sting
Ian Kinsler continues to try to find his stroke this spring. The Rangers' second baseman went 0-3 and is hitting .120 through the first 14 games of the Cactus League season.

Reversal of fortune
Texas is 5-2-1 since opening the Cactus League season with a six-game winless streak (0-5-1).

Two for two

1B Brandon Allen and OF James Adduci both hit two-run home runs in the split-squad game against San Diego.

Going deep
Brandon Snyder hit his first home run of the spring to dead center on a 1-1 pitch to tie the game at three.

Rainout recovery

Because of the rainout on Friday, a number of pitchers who were scheduled to throw that day were used Saturday instead. As a result, in the split-squad game against San Diego, Texas used nine pitchers, who each threw one inning.

What's next?
Texas travels to Goodyear Ballpark to face the Cleveland Indians for the second time this spring on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Robbie Ross (1-0, 3.00) will get the start for Texas. RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 11.25) is the scheduled starter for Cleveland.

Rangers Magazine: Thad Levine talks acquisitions

March, 12, 2012
I bet your baseball mind, like mine, can’t stop thinking about how two major acquisitions will impact the Texas Rangers this season. Greg Maddux and Tony Fernandez are the names in my mind. That’s what you were thinking, too…right?!?

Rangers assistant general manger Thad Levine discusses the impact of Greg Maddux and Tony Fernandez.

Listen Listen
“The biggest offseason acquisitions were Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan, but these two guys (Maddux and Fernandez) have made a huge impact so far,” Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said on a recent edition of Rangers Magazine (Saturdays, 10-11 a.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). “When you bring in guys who have had storied careers like Tony and Greg have had, you don’t exactly know the role they are going to play for you. You bring them in because they are great people, they’ve had great careers and they have great knowledge they can share with the staff, but you truly don’t know how much they are going to get involved.”

Levine said Maddux usually arrives at the complex in Surprise, Ariz., around 6 or 6:30 a.m. He’s worked with pitchers in every way possible, including their fielding, and shared information on keeping a chart and what to look for when looking at video. Maddux has 355 career wins, is a four-time National League Cy Young Award winner, an 18-time Gold Glove pitcher, and he won a World Series with Atlanta in 1995.

Neftali Feliz talked with Pedro Martinez in the offseason, but the future member of the Rangers starting rotation has also received an interesting opinion from Maddux.

“[Maddux] will talk to you about every single one of our pitchers, how excited he is about them, how he’s had a chance to sit down with them, tell Neftali Feliz how he sees a lot of John Smoltz in him,” Levine said.

Fernandez came to the Rangers to work with the infielder prospects in the Rangers' minor league system, but he has also lent his expertise to the major league infielders.

“We thought it would be good to have him come in, offer some mentorship, but what we weren’t necessarily expecting his impact he’s had on the big league side, which has been terrific," Levine said of Fernandez, who was a four-time Gold Glove shortstop, five-time All-Star and a World Series winner with Toronto in 1993. "I think we are now trying to figure out a way to have him around the club more and more.”

Levine also discussed why he visits with scouts who sit behind home plate at Cactus League games, left-handed relief -- including the story of Neil Cotts -- the debate of whether Josh Hamilton should be the everyday center fielder, contract negotiations with current players, free agent signings pre-World Series run compared to now and more. Listen to the podcast.

Bryan Dolgin is the host of the Rangers' pregame and postgame shows on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and the Texas Rangers ESPN Radio Network. Follow him on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.



Adrian Beltre
.327 18 75 77
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 75
RA. Beltre 77
OPSA. Beltre .886
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.34
SOY. Darvish 182