Texas Rangers: Roman Mendez

Jake Smolinski with 10 RBIs in winter ball

October, 27, 2014
We take a look at five Texas Rangers who are participating in winter ball.

*Jake Smolinski, LF: Playing in the Mexican leagues, Smolinski has 10 RBIs on the season, all with runners in scoring position. Overall, Smolinski is hitting .276/.333/.414. He missed a good portion of the Rangers season with a small fracture in his foot but once he returned, he displayed good speed and ability to hit the ball consistently. He will compete for a starting job, left field, or could become the No. 4 outfielder in 2015.

*Tomas Telis, C: The switch-hitting catcher is in Venezuela and currently has a five-game hitting streak. He has just three RBIs the last 10 games and is hitting .265/.350/.441. Telis is the projected No. 2 catcher for 2015 and the Rangers were impressed with how he called a game. Telis just needs to work on some consistency behind the plate in terms of throwing out runners. That will happen with more opportunities.

*Roman Mendez, RHP: It's a small sampling but the reliever has pitched in just two games in the Dominican Republic. He's pitched in 1 2/3 innings, allowed one hit and struck out one. Mendez had a 2.18 ERA in 30 appearances for the Rangers in 2014 and his K/BB ratio was 1.29. Mendez has a chance to make the roster as a middle reliever, but there will be plenty of competition for those spots.

*Nick Williams, LF: He's second on the Arizona Fall League team with 25 total bases. He's hitting .267/.290/.417 in 15 games. But he's just 4-for-20 in the last five games and is just 3-for-15 vs. LHP. Williams played in 15 games for Double-A Frisco last season and most likely will start there again next season.

*Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP: He was solid in the big leagues last season, winning his first three starts and becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to do so. He's got a bright future. In three Arizona games, Bonilla has a 5.40 ERA. In his last outing on Oct. 23, he allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. In his previous outing on Oct. 17, Bonilla threw shutout ball for four innings, giving up just one hit with three walks and two strikeouts.

Position Breakdown: Relief pitching

October, 23, 2014
Our daily series on breaking down the Texas Rangers position by position continues with a look at relief pitching.

Relievers: Alex Claudio, Jon Edwards, Neftali Feliz, Michael Kirkman, Phil Klein, Corey Knebel, Roman Mendez, Alexi Ogando, Spencer Patton, Robbie Ross Jr., Matt West.

Most productive: Netfali Feliz.

Least productive: Robbie Ross.

Stat of note: 26 relief losses matches the team's total for the past six seasons.

Outlook: There’s some uncertainty regarding this group. Besides Feliz (13 saves), who is expected to become the closer again, the setup, long and middle relievers might not even be on the roster. Neal Cotts, who led the Rangers with 73 appearances, is a free agent and could sign elsewhere. There were some impressive efforts from Claudio (allowed a total of four runs in his 15 outings), Mendez (right-handed hitters hit .172) and Patton (27 of 35 retired). Klein and Edwards also showed some promise during the season, but they’re all young and could see more seasoning in Triple-A. Ogando is recovering from arm injuries and he could pitch at some point in 2015. The Rangers need to find a veteran setup man here unless the confidence grows on Claudio and Mendez. It's almost unfair to say Ross was bad as a starter and a reliever, but that's just the type of season he had. We expect him to improve next season as a lefty out of the bullpen. As a group, the Rangers had just 47 save opportunities, last in the big leagues, and that’s partially because of the club's poor overall season.

Report card: Grading the 2014 Rangers

October, 6, 2014
The Texas Rangers went 67-95 in 2014, but they did at least finish on a high note by winning 13 of their last 16 games. With the season over, it's time to hand out report cards for each player. Feel free to visit the comments section and give your favorite Rangers a grade.

Without further ado:

Robinson Chirinos, C: He found a spot on the roster because of Geovany Soto's injury woes and started 88 games. Now, he's the projected Opening Day starter for 2015. GRADE: C

Prince Fielder, 1B: The Rangers' big offseason acquisition lasted just 42 games and 150 at-bats before he had neck surgery that sidelined him for the rest of the year. He had been a very durable player up until now, but is this beginning the of a decline? His RBI, home run and slugging numbers have dipped in each of the past five seasons. GRADE: INC

[+] EnlargeRougned Odor
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezRougned Odor may have earned himself a permanent spot at second base in 2015.
Rougned Odor, 2B: Took over the second-base job and finished with a slash line of .259/.297/.402 in 114 games played. He showed some pop with nine homers in 386 at-bats, and, despite some growing pains on defense, he got better as the season progressed. GRADE: B

Elvis Andrus, SS: His overall numbers took a hit across the board. He scored 19 fewer runs than in the previous season and had five fewer hits, 26 fewer RBIs and 15 fewer stolen bases while hitting just .263 with two home runs. He hit into 21 double plays, tied for eighth most in the baseball. He did increase his doubles from 17 to 35. GRADE: C

Adrian Beltre, 3B: The team MVP led the Rangers in hits (178), batting average (.324), home runs (19) and runs batted in (77). He was forced to the carry the load on offense, but he could get some relief next season if Fielder can return to form. GRADE: A

Shin-Soo Choo, OF: He battled ankle and elbow injuries all season and said he probably should have taken more time off to heal the ankle. He hit .255 as the leadoff man and most will likely move down in the order in 2015. Choo could also shift from left field to right. GRADE: C

Leonys Martin, OF: Improved defensively in center field as the season moved along and is likely to be the leadoff man next season after logging 151 at-bats in the spot this year. His 31 stolen bases tied for ninth in MLB. GRADE: B

[+] EnlargeRios
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsThe Rangers don't seem likely to pick up Alex Rios' option for next season.
Alex Rios, OF: Hit .224 in his last 66 games and battled ankle and thumb issues in the second half. The Rangers have a $13 million club option they are not likely to pick up. GRADE: D

Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH: He lasted only 52 games before left ankle surgery ended his season. In 2013, he had 23 home runs and 202 total bases. The Rangers need more of that in 2015 if Moreland can return healthy. GRADE: INC

Michael Choice, OF: A strong spring training didn't carry over into the regular season for Choice, who was demoted to Triple-A. He returned to the majors but didn't show much improvement. GRADE: D

J.P. Arencibia, C/1B: He was supposed to be the No. 2 catcher, but he hit just .177 and battled health issues and inconsistency. He had a hot stretch in the second half, during which he led the majors in homers and RBIs over a short period, but he is unlikely to be back. GRADE: D

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Astros 3

September, 22, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- About two weeks ago, the Texas Rangers were on pace to lose 100 games for the first time since 1973.

A resurgence against some playoff contenders has pushed the Rangers away from the century mark and quite possibly the No. 1 overall pick in next summer’s first-year player draft.

The Rangers edged the Houston Astros 4-3 on Monday night for their ninth win in their past 10 games. Regardless of what happens to the Rangers in their final six games, losing 100 games won’t occur.

A successful 5-1 road trip brought some momentum back home and some hope that the Rangers can finish the season strong.

Guilder Rodriguez's first big-league RBI was the difference on a special night for him, as he got his first MLB hit and run scored while doing so in front of his father, who attended the game.

What happened: With the game tied at 3-3 in the seventh inning, the Astros intentionally walked Robinson Chirinos to pitch to Rodriguez. On a 1-0 fastball, Rodriguez singled over the glove of shortstop Jonathan Villar to drive in Jake Smolinski with the go-ahead run. The Rangers got the scoring started in the third, as Rougned Odor tripled home three runs with a shot to center. Left-handed starter Derek Holland couldn’t hold it up, however, as the Astros slowly chipped away. Chris Carter picked up his 88th RBI with a sac fly to right that tied the game in the sixth.

Rodriguez’s night: A career minor leaguer, Rodriguez, 31, made the second start of his big-league career and had two hits. Rodriguez reached out and lofted a single to left with one out in the third inning for his first hit in the major leagues. Rodriguez later scored on Odor’s three-run triple. Rodriguez also made a nifty catch of a popup in the top half of the inning. He failed to pick up a bouncer to third for an error in the sixth. But it was his single to left in the eight breaking a 3-3 game that was the clincher.

Bullpen works: Reliever Roman Mendez worked out of a jam in the eighth inning to preserve a 4-3 lead. Holland was relieved after 100 pitches when he gave up a leadoff single to Robbie Grossman. After Mendez retired Jose Altuve on a fly out to center he walked Carter. Dexter Fowler lined out to second, and Mendez struck out Jake Marisnick swinging on a fastball to end the inning. Mendez hasn’t allowed a run in his last four innings of work and has given up just two runs in his last 17 appearances.

Holland goes seven innings: The lefty has pitched well since returning from knee surgery, with an ERA of 0.99 after allowing just three earned runs in four starts. Holland pitched strong again on Monday night, and he danced out of trouble for the most of it. Holland blew a 3-0 lead, but he gave up three runs -- just two earned -- on seven hits in seven innings of work.

What’s next? On Tuesday night at 7:05 CT, it's RHP Nick Martinez (4-11) vs. LHP Brett Oberholtzer (5-12, 4.39) in Game 2 of the series.

Roster numbers add to Washington's pain

August, 30, 2014
HOUSTON -- The manager sat in his chair, legs crossed, and explained his pain very calmly.

On Friday night, Ron Washington used his 59th player of 2014, first baseman Ryan Rua, tying a major league record. In about four days, the Texas Rangers will surpass the mark either with the September call-ups or when left-hander Derek Holland pitches Tuesday at the Kansas City Royals.

Then again, the way this season is going, the Rangers might hit 60 this weekend during this series against the Houston Astros.

[+] EnlargeMichael Choice, Adam Rosales
AP Photo/Richard Carson

Michael Choice, right, who had a big night Friday, is one of the young players manager Ron Washington has used in his many lineups this season.

“It hurts because you’re a competitor, it’s why it hurts,” he said.

When Roman Mendez lost on Thursday night, he became the 23rd different pitcher to lose a game, a franchise season record.

Washington has used all sorts of people in different positions. He’s had to do more teaching than ever before at this level. The coaches have done more teaching, too.

The general manager, Jon Daniels, is using his unlimited cell phone minutes looking for talent almost on a nightly basis.

Injuries and ineffective play are the reasons why the Rangers have made so many lineup changes.

Washington’s pain subsided for one night when the Rangers beat the Astros 13-6. The victory doesn’t change the escalating roster adjustment that’s been the story in 2014.

Fans are understanding or angry.

Washington feels it.

“You still lead,” he said. “It’s never easy to swallow.”

He’s got young players trying to make it, like Arlington, Texas, native Michael Choice, still hitting under .200. Choice had a career-high three hits Friday night, including a three-run homer. Miles Mikolas, Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez continue to figure out big league pitching and hitters.

Washington doesn’t have Yu Darvish or Shin-Soo Choo. Alex Rios is playing hurt. Colby Lewis is pitching with a bionic hip.

Seeing nifty plays from Rua, who controlled a hard throw from Adrian Beltre that skipped through the dirt in the first inning, makes you smile.

How about that 23-year-old catcher, Tomas Telis, with the presence of mind to field a relay throw and then throw out Dexter Fowler at second base in the first inning?

You see the throw Telis made to throw out Marwin Gonzalez trying to steal third? The throw was perfect. All Beltre had to do was put the glove down.

There’s talent here.

Just not enough of it.

“I still feel it. I just know I have a sense of why,” Washington said. “If I have my regular team and it wasn’t happening, it would be tough to put a finger on why. Why can’t this guy, who has this track record, not be doing this? I know the track records of the guys we have out there.”

Some of these track records aren’t very good.

A few players are keeping the Rangers above water on some nights, such as Beltre, who is in contention for the AL batting title, and Elvis Andrus, who remains a threat despite down numbers for a man from the No. 2 spot.

In a bottom-line business, maybe upper management doesn’t want to hear about excuses for this failure of a season. Washington doesn’t talk in disappointments or being frustrated. He doesn’t worry about job statuses or impressing anybody.

“I can’t control what someone else thinks,” Washington said. “I just try and do the best that I can each and every single day, and I can look in the mirror and be satisfied, that satisfies me. That’s what keeps me sane. I don’t look at management giving me a pass. I don’t look at it like that. I don’t think like that. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know what my intentions are today and that’s what I’m dealing with.”

Holland probably described this season better than anybody on Friday night when talking about himself. “Agony, anger and frustration,” he said.

Alex Rios undergoes MRI exam

August, 11, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers right fielder Alex Rios underwent a MRI on his sprained right ankle Monday afternoon.

Rios, who was taken out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Astros after re-aggravating the injury sliding into home plate, wasn’t in Monday’s lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“You can say it’s frustrating,” said Rios, who first injured the ankle July 19 in Toronto. “We’ve gone through too many injuries and I’ve experienced one myself, I wouldn’t call it an injury. I would call it more pain than anything, I think. It is frustrating to go through all these kinds of things and we’re going through it, it's part of the struggle.”

Rios said he doubts he’ll go on the disabled list, but it’s ultimately not his decision.

Rios' absence from the lineup has forced manager Ron Washington to juggle things between his corner outfielders.

Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo has been nursing a sore left ankle since April and he’s been limited to playing right field and DH.

Washington is also using Daniel Robertson and Jim Adduci in left field when Choo is in right or at DH.

Newly acquired Mike Carp can play both corner outfield spots, as well.

“One of them is constantly playing,” Washington said in reference to Choo. “We have to see on Rios, we don’t know. I hope it’s a couple of days and he’ll be back out there. If not we’ll make an adjustment, it’s all we can do.”

Bullpen working hard: The Rangers bullpen pitched four scoreless innings in Sunday's win over Houston. Roman Mendez (one inning) Shawn Tolleson (two innings) and Neftali Feliz (one inning) provided the relief for starter Nick Martinez, who earned just his second win of the season.

"That was awesome, that first inning was as clean and crisp as I've ever seen him," Washington said of Tolleson, who threw 24 pitches. "And he went out in the second one and did a good job in the second inning. That was nice, that's what you like to see."

Washington said he wanted Mendez to get two innings of work, but couldn't because he threw 24 pitches. The big picture for Mendez and Tolleson is for each to throw multiple innings without throwing a ton of pitches to achieve it.

"You certainly like to have that flexibility," Washington said. "At times they do that and sometimes they get a little erratic with their command. It's important they are able to be multi-innings guys for us."

Carp getting better: Carp left Saturday’s game with tightness in his left groin and was unavailable for Sunday's contest at Houston. Carp said he felt better Monday and is available to pinch hit and play the field. Washington doesn’t want to use the left-handed hitting Carp against left-handed pitching. Lefty Drew Smyly is Tampa Bay’s starter on Monday. In the next three games, the Rays will employ right-handers.

Base Hits: Over the weekend, the Rangers hosted the RBI World Series Championships. Jackie Robinson RBI of Jersey City, N.J. won the senior division and the Miami Marlins RBI won the junior division. ... The Rangers are 6-9-3 in 18 home series this season.

Rapid Reaction: Angels 15, Rangers 6

July, 10, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Los Angeles Angels delivered an early knockout blow with 13 runs in the opening three innings and cruised to a 15-6 victory over the slumping Texas Rangers before 30,686 Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

Texas, now 16 games under .500, lost its fifth in a row and has won only three of its past 22.

Mike Trout led the Angels with four hits, including his 21st home run, and drove in four.

Some observations:

Dubious record: A Rangers pitcher had never allowed more than 12 runs in a game -- until the Angels rocked Colby Lewis for 13 in 2⅓ innings. John Burkett and Charlie Hough, the two Rangers who allowed 12 in 1999 and 1986, respectively, can now rest easy as they slip from atop the list.

By the scoreboard clock, it took nine minutes for the Angels to open a 4-0 lead in the top of the first.

Lewis allowed 13 hits (one shy of the club record), but the defensive play behind him didn’t inspire much confidence. Second baseman Adam Rosales hopped a throw into the stands, turning Kole Calhoun’s leadoff triple into a run. First baseman Carlos Pena fumbled a ground ball when he appeared to have a play at the plate. In the Angels’ six-run second inning, Rangers right fielder Alex Rios gloved and then dropped Albert Pujols' fly to right that carried to the wall. Rios was charged with an error, making two of the runs in the inning unearned.

Speed and power: Trout had hits in his first two at-bats without getting the ball out of the infield. A big swing in the first generated a 40-foot dribbler. An inning later, Trout’s speed allowed him to leg out a ground ball to short. But on his third look at Lewis, Trout launched a 407-foot three-run home run over the center-field wall, the knockout blow for the Rangers' pitcher.

Hard feelings: Former Ranger Josh Hamilton was greeted with boos when introduced in the first inning and promptly doubled high off the right-field wall, the first of three doubles for the Angels' cleanup hitter. Hamilton turned boos to cheers in the third when he went down swinging. Feelings are still pretty raw about his "not really a baseball town" remark in reference to Arlington.

Rolling along: Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single. It is the longest Rangers streak since Elvis Andrus hit in 16 straight last season. Beltre added to his club lead with his 13th home run in the sixth, squeezing one over the wall in the right-field corner. He finished his evening with his third hit, a single in the ninth.

Riding the wave: The incredible start for Rangers rookie outfielder Jake Smolinski continues. His two-run double in the first inning, followed by a single in the fourth and another RBI double in the ninth, made him the first Ranger to have eight hits in his first four games. He finished with three RBIs and scored twice. Smolinski came into the game as the first Ranger since Brandon Boggs in 2008 to have as many as five hits in his first three games.

Mopping up: Long reliever Roman Mendez put the brakes on the Angels' assault, checking them on one hit in 2⅔ innings. That’s two scoreless outings for Mendez in two major league appearances.

Matt West, promoted from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day, retired six straight in his major league debut.

Finishing it off was catcher Chris Gimenez, the second Rangers position player to pitch this season and the seventh in club history. He retired all three he faced and got a strikeout.

Up next: The Rangers and Angels meet in the second matchup of a four-game series at 7:05 Friday with Nick Tepesch (3-4, 4.29 ERA) facing off against right-hander Garrett Richards (10-2, 2.71 ERA) at Globe Life Park on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

Rapid Reaction: Astros 8, Rangers 3

July, 8, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Another failed night of playing catchup left the Texas Rangers on the short end of a 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

Texas trailed throughout after Houston jumped to a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first.

It was deja vu for Texas. The Rangers trailed 5-0 after one inning of Sunday's loss to the New York Mets and 6-0 in the second inning of Houston's 12-7 victory on Monday.

That's 17 losses in the past 20 games for the Rangers. Texas (38-52), fourth in the AL West, leads fifth-place Houston (38-54) by one game.

It was a night when both managers emptied their bullpens. Houston's pen was a clear winner there as well -- five relievers to four.

A few observations:

Settling down: After an understandably nervous 33-pitch first inning, Rangers starting pitcher Phil Irwin salvaged an OK night from what promised to be a disastrous debut with the club. Irwin actually minimized the damage in a two-run first by inducing a double-play ball with the bases loaded. George Springer's massive 430-foot home run to center accounted for the only run charged to Irwin in his final three innings. He needed 50 pitches in his last three frames.

Even dozen: Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a fourth-inning triple. Beltre's drive to right-center hit at the top of the wall, missing a home run by only a couple of inches.

Going deep: Leonys Martin homered for the second time in three days and in each case he did his damage on a 3-1 pitch. Martin's majestic shot in the lower deck of the home-run porch traveled an estimated 384 feet and trimmed the Houston lead to 2-1. Before his home run Sunday against the Mets, Martin had gone more than a month since his last homer. The Rangers' center fielder drove in a second run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and tripled in the eighth.

Slow play: The official scorer ruled "slow play" on Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, allowing Houston's Robbie Grossman to reach after striking out on a pitch in the dirt in the first inning. Gimenez seemed concerned that Jose Altuve, the Astros' runner at second, might break for third. A throw to first that would complete the strikeout was delayed so long that Grossman beat it. With the slow play ruling, no error was charged and Grossman eventually scored an earned run.

A hit to savor: There was nothing cheap about Jake Smolinski's first major league hit. Smolinski smoked a double off the left-field wall to drive in a run in the seventh inning to cut the Houston lead to 5-3. The 25-year-old left fielder struck out in his first two trips. Smolinski followed it up with a single in the ninth.

Roman era begins: Rangers right-handed reliever Roman Mendez made his major league debut in the eighth inning in a tough spot, with two on, no outs and the Astros leading 7-3. Mendez retired all three batters he faced and followed it up with a scoreless ninth.

Welcome back: Save for one pitch to Chris Carter he'd like to have back, Neftali Feliz contributed two strong innings of relief in his return to Globe Life Park. There were a lot of good memories seeing Feliz trot in from the bullpen, even if this time it was the fifth inning instead of the ninth. Carter drove a Feliz offering 409 feet into the left-field stands to make it 4-2 and added a 403-foot shot over the center-field fence in the eighth for a 6-3 Astros lead.

Frustrating times: Elvis Andrus bent over and pounded his helmet into the dirt along the first-base line after flying out to center with two on and two out in a 5-3 game in the seventh.

Gift run: Two Rangers errors contributed to a tack-on Houston run that made it 5-2 in the seventh. After drawing a walk, Jose Altuve stole second and alertly continued to third on Gimenez's throwing error. Altuve trotted home on Springer's ground ball up the middle that Rougned Odor played into an error.

Up next: The Rangers and Astros close out the series at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday with Rangers ace Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.63 ERA) opposed by Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel (8-5, 3.06 ERA) at Globe Life Park on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

Choice sent down as Rangers juggle roster

July, 7, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Coming off a 1-6 road trip, the Rangers shook up their 25-man roster prior to Monday’s game against the Astros at Globe Life Park.

In the most notable move, outfielder Michael Choice, struggling with a .177 batting average, was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

AP Photo/Ben MargotMichael Choice is fourth on the Rangers in home runs with eight but has just a .177 batting average.
“We still have a lot of faith in him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “It’s tough to do something that you’ve always done at the major league level. The grind of the season can get to you. We don’t need his struggle to become mental.

“It’s always hard to tell a player, but it is best for him and best for us."

Choice, who played college baseball at UT-Arlington, was fourth on the Rangers in home runs with eight.

In other moves:

" Veteran infielder Donnie Murphy, hitting .196, was designated for assignment. Murphy had only one plate appearance on the recent road trip. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Murphy to the minors.

" Right-handed reliever Roman Mendez was recalled from Round Rock. In 25 appearances, the 23-year-old has three saves and a 4.02 ERA.

“We need to make sure we have enough pitching," Washington explained. “We used those guys pretty hard in Baltimore and New York."

Mendez came to the Rangers organization from Boston in a 2010 deal for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

(Read full post)

Tanner Scheppers not worried about back

February, 19, 2014
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers said his back felt better Wednesday, though he still won't be throwing for at least another day or two just to be sure the spasms go away completely.

Scheppers said he hurt his back doing squats Tuesday morning, which forced him to miss his scheduled live batting practice session with the rest of the pitchers.

"We'll just give it a couple of days and I should be out there," Scheppers said.

The 27-year-old right-hander has been stretched out to start this spring. The last time he was arrived in Surprise attempting to start, back trouble kept it from happening. But Scheppers doesn't see any similarities.

"If it happened while I was pitching, that would be one thing," Scheppers said. "But this was just lifting weights."

Scheppers said he did spend more time this offseason strengthening his legs knowing that he was coming into camp attempting to start. Of course, being stretched out to start doesn't mean much when the spring ends. Scheppers was one of the club's setup relievers last season and could wind up in that role -- or maybe even as the closer depending on how things develop. So his top job right now is getting healthy.

Team physician Dr. Keith Meister returns to camp Thursday and will take a look at Scheppers.

Other injuries:

* SS Jurickson Profar (shoulder tendinitis): The youngster said he isn't too concerned about his shoulder, which gave him enough discomfort this week that he won't throw for another week, and will use the time to work on all of the other aspects of second base.

* LHP Matt Harrison (neck): He said he felt better today, but will just do conditioning and PFP on the field. Dr. Meister will evaluate Harrison as well.

* RHP Ben Rowen (biceps tendinitis): Will see Dr. Meister this week, but is not throwing. MRI was clear.

* RHP Roman Mendez (olecranon stress fracture): Threw bullpen Tuesday and had no issues.

Injuries: Matt Harrison has stiff neck

February, 18, 2014
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers aren't going to take any chances when it comes to an already injured-impacted starting rotation. So when Matt Harrison mentioned he had a stiff neck, he was taken off the list to throw a live batting practice session Tuesday.


Which pitcher's return will be most key to the Rangers' success?


Discuss (Total votes: 2,692)

Harrison said he's fine and general manager Jon Daniels admitted that the lefty wanted to throw his live BP as planned. But the club won't risk anything this early in camp.

"We're going to be cautious," Daniels said. "He wants to throw and says it doesn't bother him on the mound, but we'll take it easy anyway."

Harrison is listed as day-to-day.

Other injury news:

* The big injury news of the day is Jurickson Profar's shoulder, which bothered him throwing Monday to the point that he is now going to take it easy for another week. The setback means he likely won't play second base in Cactus League games until the second or third week of March. You can read all about that here.

* RHP Daniel Bard: His back feels better and he's doing conditioning, but still isn't throwing because of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery in January.

* RHP Roman Mendez (olecranon stress fracture): Scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

* RHP Ben Rowen (biceps tendinitis): Played catch Monday and had continued discomfort. He had an MRI that was clear, but won't throw until team physician Dr. Keith Meister clears him to throw.

* RHP Shawn Tolleson (ankle): Came out of Monday's session feeling good and is scheduled to do everything Tuesday. Assuming he's OK, he wouldn't be on the injury report after today.

Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison on schedule

February, 16, 2014
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As Texas Rangers pitchers and catchers report today, a few key members of the club's rotation -- and some that are vying to make that rotation -- are expected to be 100 percent on schedule and ready to go.

That includes left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison, who threw 44 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday and was pleased with how he's feeling.


Which pitcher's return will be most key to the Rangers' success?


Discuss (Total votes: 2,692)

Yu Darvish, who had an injection in his back at the end of last season, threw 34 pitches on Sunday and is listed as fully healthy.

Colby Lewis likely throws his first bullpen on Monday, but will do so on schedule. After coming off hip surgery, Lewis has been throwing at his home and the club lists him as "full go." The hip resurfacing was a rare procedure on a pitcher (in fact, there's no record of an active pitcher having it), so everyone will be paying close attention to Lewis' progress.

Other injury notes:

  • LHP Derek Holland remains on crutches and is rehabbing in Arlington. He will join the team in Surprise when he's off crutches, which could be a week or so.

  • INF Jurickson Profar has some shoulder inflammation. He can run, hit and field, but won't throw until he's reevaluated by Dr. Keith Meister, the team physician, this week.

  • Roman Mendez (olecranon stress fracture) is throwing pens and progressing through his throwing program (he had the surgery last May). The club anticipates that he will be little behind at the outset of camp.

  • Joseph Ortiz (foot) is on the 60-day DL and can't put any weight on his foot until the end of March.

  • Ben Rowen (biceps tendinitis) will be reevaluated by Dr. Meister this week.

  • Shawn Tolleson (left ankle sprain) will be reevaluated by Dr. Meister this week and is listed as day-to-day.
  • Jurickson Profar among 11 players signed

    February, 18, 2013
    PM CT

    PHOENIX -- The Texas Rangers signed 11 pre-arbitration players on Monday, including Alexi Ogando, Mitch Moreland and Jurickson Profar.

    Tim Kurkjian joins Galloway & Company to discuss Josh Hamilton's comments about DFW not being a baseball town and explains why he thinks three teams from the AL West will make the playoffs.

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    It means they have just four players on the 40-man roster who are unsigned -- Engel Beltre, Julio Borbon, Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom.

    Here's a list of the players who signed today:

    Wilmer Font ($491,000)
    Leury Garcia ($490,000)
    Roman Mendez ($490,000)
    Mitch Moreland ($502,700)
    Alexi Ogando ($506,600)
    Joe Ortiz ($490,000)
    Martin Perez ($492,000)
    Jurickson Profar ($491,000)
    Tanner Scheppers ($493,600)
    Matt West ($490,000)
    Coty Woods ($490,000)

    Injuries: Colby Lewis to throw from 135 feet

    February, 15, 2013
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers starter Colby Lewis is scheduled to throw from 135 feet Saturday after making three sessions from 120 feet. It's another step closer to throwing off a mound.

    Richard Durrett joins Galloway & Company to discuss why Jurickson Profar will start in the minors and Nelson Cruz reporting to Rangers spring training.

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    Lewis said he'll throw from 135 feet for three days (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday) and then go up to 150 feet for three sessions before getting on a mound. It means that if he has no setbacks, he'd be ready to make his first throws off a mound around March 1.

    Other injury news:

    * Joakim Soria had a 20-pitch bullpen Friday with no issues. He's scheduled to throw Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    * Roman Mendez long-tossed from 120 feet Friday.

    * Justin Miller will increase his bullpen session to 20 pitches Saturday.

    Lineups: Josh Hamilton in CF vs. A's

    March, 15, 2012
    AM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton is in the lineup Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. He left Wednesday's game after the second inning with a jammed right heel. Here are the lineups:

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    CF Josh Hamilton (L)
    3B Adrian Beltre
    DH Michael Young
    RF Nelson Cruz
    LF David Murphy (L)
    C Yorvit Torrealba
    1B Mitch Moreland (L)

    LHP Martin Perez
    RHP Neil Ramirez
    LHP Ben Snyder
    RHP Roman Mendez
    RHP Jake Brigham

    2B Jemile Weeks (S)
    SS Cliff Pennington (S)
    RF Seth Smith (L)
    CF Yoenis Cespedes
    LF Jonny Gomes
    3B Josh Donaldson
    1B Kila Ka'Aihue (L)
    DH Daric Barton (L)
    C Anthony Recker

    RHP Brad Peacock
    LHP Ryan Cook
    RHP Evan Scribner
    RHP Neil Wagner
    LHP Pedro Figueroa
    LHP Erick Threets



    Colby Lewis
    10 5.18 133 170
    BAA. Beltre .324
    HRA. Beltre 19
    RBIA. Beltre 77
    RA. Beltre 79
    OPSA. Beltre .879
    ERAC. Lewis 5.18
    SOY. Darvish 182