Texas Rangers: Surprise stuff

Surprise Stuff: Morning clubhouse notes

February, 24, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A few quick notes to get things going on this Wednesday.

* DH Vladimir Guerrero was in the clubhouse talking with several players. He is expected to chat with the media briefly following the workouts today. We'll keep you posted.

* LHP Derek Holland (sprained right knee) is scheduled to long toss today as he continues to ease back into baseball activities. He could be throwing off a mound soon as long as he doesn't have any setbacks. He does have a small brace on his knee for added protection.

* C Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw to bases for the first time on Tuesday and said he felt good. He said he hasn't been limited at all and is doing everything everyone else is doing, like catching bullpen sessions and live batting practice. "It should only get better the more I do it, but I'm pleased," Saltalamacchia said.

* Marcus Lemon is in major league camp to give the Rangers an additional reserve infielder now that Khalil Greene isn't reporting to camp.

* Today is the first full squad workouts and it's going to be a longer day. Manager Ron Washington is addressing the team in a meeting and then they will head to the field. They may be out there until after 1 p.m. Arizona time to take advantage of the good weather. The veterans that didn't complete their physicals yet are doing so today.

Surprise stuff: Morning clubhouse update

February, 23, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Besides the news on Derek Holland, who has a mild right knee sprain and is expected to resume baseball activities today (non-throwing for now), here are a few other notes:

* 3B Michael Young arrived in the clubhouse and reiterated how excited he is about the season, saying the club "expects" to win, rather than "hoping" to win. He was out early throwing the ball with Ian Kinsler and both seemed to be having a good time.

* DH Vlad Guerrero is not here yet, but is expected to be here in time for Wednesday's first full squad workout. Manager Ron Washington talked this morning about Guerrero's impact on the lineup, saying he isn't worried about Guerrero's swing-and-miss rate or the fact that he sees so few pitches. "He can do more damage than most," Washington said. "We didn't get him for his on-base percentage. He'll make an impact." The question, of course, will be keeping him healthy. Washington thinks it's realistic for him to play 150 games.

* Washington said he wants Julio Borbon to hit leadoff against both righties and lefties. If he doesn't hit against lefties, he'll move Ian Kinsler to leadoff and insert David Murphy in the lineup (Josh Hamilton would move to center in that case). Murphy might bat fifth, but so could Nelson Cruz in that scenario. Washington said he doesn't mind playing Murphy against a lefty (even though he'd sit the left-handed Borbon) because of his experience. I'll have more on the offense and Young a little later today.

* Washington said he'd also allow Guerrero to play some in right field, but he'll pick his spots. If he does that, he will not move Cruz to left field, saying Cruz wasn't comfortable over there. He'd either sit Cruz or make him the DH. He could also allow other players to be the DH when Guerrero plays right field.

Surprise stuff: Holland has mild sprain

February, 23, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland got the results of his MRI, which showed only a mild sprain of his right knee. He will resume baseball activities today, but the club hasn't decided when he might return to a mound.

"It was as positive a result as we could have hoped," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

More to come shortly.

Surprise stuff: Morning clubhouse update

February, 22, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- We'll have more from the Rangers on Khalil Greene a little later. General manager Jon Daniels is expected to talk about it a little further later today. Stay tuned for that. Other things:

* LHP Derek Holland will have an MRI at 2:30 p.m. local time today. The Rangers may not know any results until Tuesday, however. Holland walked into the clubhouse with his usual smile (and looking like he just woke up) and wasn't limping. He also wasn't wearing a brace, just like yesterday.

* SS Elvis Andrus arrived in camp today and is clearly excited about 2010. If you ask me, maybe the most encouraging thing for the 21-year-old coming off a great rookie campaign is that he talked about all the areas he wants to improve on in 2010. That conversation started with routine ground balls (and the proper throws to first) and not being afraid to be aggressive at times at the plate. More on both of those things later.

* Joaquin Arias knows he's out of options and needs to stick around this season. He hadn't heard anything about Greene, but that may help his chances. "I don't want to play in Oklahoma again," Arias said. "I want to play in the big leagues. It's my time." He said he's 100 percent and the shoulder feels great (he admitted he was about 75 percent last spring). We'll see how he performs in the coming weeks.

* There are dark clouds out here, but so far it isn't raining. The tarp was on one of the back fields, but that doesn't mean the Rangers won't try to get outside and work out. The weather should improve later today and be fine the rest of the week.

* Julio Borbon is also in camp, arriving today.

Surprise Stuff: Sunday morning notes

February, 21, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A few notes from the clubhouse on a chilly and wet Sunday morning. It's not raining outside, but the ground is very wet after rain on Saturday. Some stuff:

* LHP Derek Holland said he felt better today, but is still going to get an MRI. Read more about Holland and the other injury updates here.

* The team began workouts at 10 a.m. local time, a little later than normal, because of the wet conditions. They are only using Fields 1 and 2 because of the conditions. Pitchers are planning on conducting fielding practice.

* First baseman Justin Smoak said he was pleased with the improvements he's made as a right-handed hitter. That was something gained from his excellent play for Team USA last year. More on that a little later.

* We'll also have more on Rich Harden and the Rangers' plans to help keep him healthy in 2010.

* OF Nelson Cruz was in the clubhouse on Sunday. Expect more hitters to show up on Monday. All position players are scheduled to report on Tuesday with the first workout on Wednesday.

* One more note on Tanner Scheppers, who joined us for a quick Q&A yesterday. Scheppers wasn't real concerned with any debate about whether he'd start or relieve. Several Rangers officials I spoke to see him probably as a starter long term. But he's a guy they think can do either and aren't going to worry about putting a label on him yet. (That's in answer to some of your questions about it and to the folks over at Lone Star Ball who wondered.)

Surprise stuff: Hamilton arrives early

February, 19, 2010
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A few quick notes from Friday morning in the Rangers' clubhouse, where players were busy with their physicals. The workouts don't begin until 10:30 a.m. out here in Arizona.

* Josh Hamilton arrived today. He was smiling and ready to get going on the season. Hamilton said he learned from last year and is ready to put all of that behind him and have a strong 2010 season. We'll have more on that later. BTW, he predicted 96 wins for the Rangers this season. (He predicted 90 last year...and wasn't too far off).

* The injury situation is unchanged from yesterday. I did talk with Toby Hall, who said he's throwing to bases, but doing so before any team activities because he can't quite let it go all the way yet. He said he's been swinging a bat fine and is catching fine, so he's getting close. "If I get three weeks of games to get as many at-bats as I can, I'll be fine," Hall said.

* Jarrod Saltalamacchia said he didn't get a chance to throw to bases on Thursday as planned. He hopes to get that done in the next few days.

* Some of the pitchers in camp will throw to live hitters today. We'll let you know how they look.

That's all for now. Check back in periodically all day for updates. Also, you can follow me on Twitter here.



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Pedro Figueroa
2 4.50 2 8
BAE. Andrus .302
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23