Texas Rangers: Wilmer Font

The Texas Rangers received right-handed reliever Alfredo Figaro on a waiver claim from the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

Right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font was designated for assignment to make room for Figaro. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Font to the minor leagues. He made 29 relief appearances for Double-A Frisco this past season before undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow.

The 30-year old Figaro participated in 42 games for the Brewers Triple-A Nashville, where he had two saves with a 3.71 ERA. In his last 24 appearances, Figaro had a 2.08 ERA and opponents hit just .228 against him with six walks and 30 strikeouts.

Figaro was called up three times by Milwaukee and finished the season with the Brewers, making six relief appearances. Figaro has pitched for Detroit (2009-10) and the Brewers (2013-14) in his career and he also spent two seasons (2011-12) with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League.

Trade Target: Alex Rios

July, 25, 2013
We continue our "Trade Target" series, which also includes circling back to a few folks we've talked about over the last month. With Alex Rios back in the news with the Rangers interested (and they should be), let's look at him again.

Today's target: Alex Rios

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

Listen Listen
Jon Daniels has talked about the lack of impact bats on the market (he discussed it again on Fitzsimmons and Durrett on Tuesday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). And he's not the only one that's noted that. But Rios is one of the few. He's got a track record, is under club control for the next few years and would give the club a right-handed bat in the outfield who is putting up solid numbers.

The beauty of Rios for the Rangers would be they'd get a 32-year-old player who can patrol the outfield for the next two years. Rios isn't cheap. He's making another $6 million or so this season, $12.5 million next season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2015. He also had six teams on his no-trade list, but reports over the past few weeks indicate the Rangers weren't on that list.

This wouldn't be merely a short-term option. Nelson Cruz could be staring at a 50-game suspension at some point, though it's unclear when that might be. Either way, he's a free agent after this season. David Murphy's contract expires too. So the Rangers are going to have to deal with adding to the outfield soon. They know they should consider doing that now, if they can.

Rios is batting .278 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs. He's hitting .308 against left-handed pitchers and can play the corner outfield spots (and even center field if needed, though he's played every game this season in right field).

To get a player under club control for that long, the Rangers would have to give up prospects. But the price tag of Rios' contract should allow them to avoid giving up many of the top ones. Could guys like Wilmer Font or Luis Sardinas be in the conversation? Probably. And some others. We'll see what kind of package it would take, but it might not be as costly as you think because of Rios' salary.

Rios would make this lineup better, which is why the Rangers are talking about it. He's not a huge name, but he would help this team now and in the future.

What are you giving up to get him?

Notes: Baker, Gentry expected back Friday

July, 18, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers expect to activate utility man Jeff Baker and outfielder Craig Gentry on Friday when the season resumes with a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Baker, who has crushed left-handed pitching this season, will be in the starting lineup with the Orioles starting southpaw Wei-Yin Chen, manager Ron Washington said before a team workout Thursday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"We'll put him back in there against them," Washington said of using Baker against left-handed starters.

Gentry also is an option to start Friday's game, though Leonys Martin had become the Rangers' everyday center fielder before Gentry went on the 15-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his right hand.

Baker was 2-for-11 in three games with Frisco and said Friday he has no issues with his right thumb, which he sprained in a high-five that went wrong back in June.

Gentry was 3-for-13 with all of his hits coming in Frisco's doubleheader Thursday. He had two hits in the second game.

To make room for Baker and Gentry, right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font and catcher-infielder Robinson Chirinos have been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

Rotation switch: The Rangers shuffled the rotation for their first series against Baltimore, with right-hander Ross Wolf now slated to start Saturday's game and left-hander Martin Perez going on Sunday. Derek Holland will start Friday's series opener.

The Rangers made the switch to break up their two left-handed starters, Washington said.

Yu Darvish (strained back muscle) will come off the disabled list Monday and start the opener of a four-game series against the New York Yankees. Darvish threw a bullpen Thursday and the Rangers said that it went well. Right-hander Alexi Ogando (shoulder inflammation) will start Tuesday's game provided his rehab start goes well Thursday night for Triple-A Round Rock.

Berkman update: Designated hitter Lance Berkman (left hip inflammation) returned with his teammates Thursday but was not on the field for the team workout, spending his time in the training room receiving treatment.

Berkman has been on the disabled list since July 7. The Rangers are still hopeful he can come back and help in the final 67 games. Berkman hasn't hit a home run left-handed since May 11, a stretch of 38 games before he landed on the DL.

"We could use another bat in the lineup," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Lance is one of them. In Lance's case, it's been physical. We feel like we could use more offense. We'd like Lance to be a part of that equation. I still think that's a possibility."

Busby, Nadel off for a few days: Steve Busby will miss Friday and Saturday for personal reasons, so Tom Grieve and Mark McLemore will do the TV broadcasts. Grieve will handle the play-by-play after handling a few innings on the Rangers' final road trip to get prepared for Busby's absence.

Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel will miss the opening home series against the Orioles because of vacation time that is in his contract with the club. Matt Hicks and Mike Peasley will handle the radio broadcasts.

Harrison ahead of schedule: Left-hander Matt Harrison, who had two back surgeries early in the season, threw his first bullpen session (25 pitches) Thursday and said that it went well and that he is ahead of schedule by a week.

Harrison is targeting beginning a rehab assignment around the first of August, which could put him back in the big leagues by late in the month.

Transactions: The Rangers optioned RHP Wilmer Font and C Robinson Chirinos to Round Rock to make room for Baker and Gentry, who will be activated Friday. Also, left-handed pitcher Brad Mills has been granted his release from the organization in order to sign a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League.

Rookie pitchers throw: Nick Tepesch, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, and Justin Grimm, who left his last start with forearm stiffness, both threw 90 feet on Thursday.

Rapid Reaction: Tigers 7, Rangers 2

July, 12, 2013

The Detroit Tigers jumped on Rangers rookie starter Justin Grimm for five runs in the first inning, and Texas never threatened in a 7-2 loss on Friday night at Comerica Park.

Grimm start: Detroit batted around in the first inning, scoring five runs. The Tigers scored two more runs in the second inning. Detroit was 9-for-13 in the first two innings with four doubles. Grimm struggled with getting pitches up in the strike zone and, once again, with giving up the big inning. Grimm made it five straight starts in which he's lasted fewer than five innings. He's allowed 19 first-inning runs and 14 in the second inning. He left after 3 1/3 innings, having given up 10 hits, walking two and striking out three. His ERA is now 6.37.

Pierzynski goes deep: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski put the Rangers on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, belting a home run over the right-center-field fence. It was his second home run in six games and his ninth of the season.

Murph's struggles continue: David Murphy is swinging the bat better, but he hasn't heated up with runners in scoring position. Murphy, batting with the bases loaded and two outs with the Rangers trailing 7-2 in the top of the fourth, struck out. He is 0-for-17 and has two hits in his past 37 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Ortiz deals: Reliever Joe Ortiz looked like the pitcher who broke spring training with the Rangers, giving the pitching staff a boost after Grimm's short outing. Ortiz tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out three. Ortiz had allowed 13 hits and 12 runs in his previous six major league appearances.

Font makes '13 debut: Reliever Wilmer Font made his 2013 debut with the Rangers, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. He did allow a walk.

Beltre's streak end: Third baseman Adrian Beltre's hitting streak ended at 13 games. He was 0-for-4.

Up next: The Rangers will try to bounce back on Saturday night when left-hander Derek Holland (7-4, 3.19 ERA) faces right-hander Max Scherzer (13-0, 3.06) at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM). On Sunday, left-hander Martin Perez (3-1, 2.08) goes up against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.71) at 12:08 p.m. Sunday on (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM).

Buzz: Rangers call up Ortiz, Font

July, 11, 2013
BALTIMORE-- The Rangers made several moves Thursday, starting with Yu Darvish being placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career.

Darvish is on the DL due to a right trapezius strain. He was scheduled to start Thursday's game with the Orioles, but Ross Wolf gets the nod instead. Wolf said Wednesday that he thinks he can give the Rangers 75-80 pitches.

Jim Bowden joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon for his weekly visit to discuss how the Rangers are handling Yu Darvish heading into the All-Star break, the holes on their roster and an intriguing trade proposal that would bring Giancarlo Stanton to Texas.

Listen Listen
The Rangers optioned right-hander Josh Lindblom, who started Wednesday’s 6-1 loss, to Triple-A Round Rock. They also recalled left-hander Joseph Ortiz and right-hander Wilmer Font from Round Rock.

Darvish can come off the DL on July 22, when the Rangers start a four-game series with the Yankees. He leads the majors with 157 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting just .194 versus him -- best in the American League.

Lindblom is 1-3 this year after last night’s loss. He gave up six runs in the first four innings but made it through 5 S innings and threw 119 pitches on a hot and humid night in Baltimore. He has made five starts and pitched in eight games over three tours of duty with the Rangers in 2013.

“It’s just kind of part of the game,” Lindblom said. “You go out and throw as much as I did yesterday, and we need arms, and that’s what important right now, that we get guys that are fresh and can throw and help teams win ballgames.”

Ortiz also is coming up to the Rangers for the third time in 2013. He’s 2-1 with a 5.08 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He last pitched for the Rangers on June 20 versus Oakland.

For Font, this will be his first time with the Rangers this season. He pitched in three games with Texas after being called up last September, his first major league action. Font was 1-0 with one save at Round Rock in four games after going 1-2 with 10 saves at Double-A Frisco before that.

Staying tough: Ron Washington spoke for several minutes before the game about how proud he’s been of the mental toughness the Rangers have shown as they’ve battled through numerous injuries.

The skipper said he’s glad that the Rangers have gotten good performances from younger players. They’ve stepped up and gained key experience that can help them and the team down the road.

Washington said he’s never dealt with a season littered with this many injuries.

“It happens, you know, and you’ve got to play,” he said. “You’ve got to send nine out there.”

Then he stopped and smiled.

“There were a couple times I tried to stop the season until we got healthy,” he said. “They wouldn’t let me do it.”

Looking forward to Detroit: Washington already had thoughts of the Detroit Tigers and their tough lineup creeping into his head before the series finale with Baltimore on Thursday.

The skipper knows his team is going to be battling Detroit’s brutal 1-2 combination of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, who’ve been crushing pitching all season. Cabrera hit his 30th homer Thursday and has 94 RBIs and a .366 batting average.

Fielder has a .267 average with 16 homers and 69 RBIs.

“If you execute pitches on Prince, you might get lucky,” Washington said. “You’re not getting lucky with Cabrera. It’s like picking poison.”

Notes: Mike Olt to get more reps in minors

March, 19, 2013
MESA, Ariz. -- Highly-regarded prospect Mike Olt was one of four players optioned to Round Rock (AAA) on Tuesday as part of 12 roster moves announced by the Texas Rangers.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss expectations for the Rangers this season, what he has seen from the team this spring and his thoughts on Jerry's GM work with the Cowboys.

Listen Listen
Olt saw a lot of time this spring at third base and also played a few games in right field, a new position for the 24-year old whom the Rangers see as a key future contributor to their team.

With Mitch Moreland at first base and Adrian Beltre at third, Olt needed to add another position to his arsenal to increase his versatility and clear a path to the major leagues. He is expected to play both third and outfield with Round Rock.

"He'll go down there, get the repetitions, play everyday and get into game mode and the rest will take care of itself," manager Ron Washington said. "We get to the point in spring where we are going to play the regular guys more and he just needed to go somewhere where he could get regular work. That is why we sent him down.

"He did extremely well (in the outfield)."

Olt struggled at the plate early in the spring and Washington commented that he wanted to see the powerful, 6-foot-2, 210-pounder swing the bat more often. His play didn't diminish the positive outlook on his future in the lineup. However, with depth in the outfield, more seasoning will improve his chances to earn a regular spot on the major-league roster.

"It's good to be able to get more reps and get back on track," Olt said. "I view this as a positive. They want me up here as an everyday guy, not a bench guy, so I'll get my reps and get back on track."

Olt leaves major league camp with a .194 average this spring with two home runs and five RBIs.

A supplemental pick in the 2010 MLB Draft (49th overall), Olt split time between Double-A Frisco and Texas last season. He hit .152 in 33 big-league at-bats with no home runs, five RBIs and 13 strikeouts. This season would mark the first time Olt plays in Triple-A.

LHP Jeff Beliveau, OF Engle Beltre and RHP Wilmer Font were also assigned to Round Rock.

In addition to those moves, Texas announced eight players were reassigned to minor-league camp: 1B Brandon Allen, C Juan Apodaca, RHP Colin Balester, LHP Neal Cotts, C Jose Felix, RHP Evan Meek, INF Brandon Snyder, OF Aaron Cunningham and RHP Yoshinori Tateyama.

Including the three Rangers still playing in the World Baseball Classic, Texas has 45 players on its major league spring training roster.

Other team notes:

  • A delayed broadcast of today's game can be heard at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN 103.3 FM.

  • LHP Derek Holland will make his first appearance since returning from the WBC. He allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings against Tucson in a minor-league start for Round Rock (AAA).

  • Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings in a game with High-A Myrtle Beach and allowed one hit and no walks while striking out four.

  • LHP Matt Harrison is scheduled for a minor league game Thursday.

  • Going into Tuesday, Elvis Andrus had a 10-game hitting streak, batting .393 (11-28) in that span.

  • Jeff Baker was third in the majors and second in the Cactus League with a .467 batting average going into Tuesday's play.

  • Wednesday marks the third and final off day during the spring schedule. The club does not have another off day until April 1, the day after opening the season in Houston.

  • Nelson Cruz and Leurys Garcia (Dominican Republic) will be in San Francisco for tonight's WBC final before returning to the Rangers. Jurickson Profar (Netherlands) went 0-for-3 with a walk in last night's semifinal against Puerto Rico, also committing a throwing error. It was Profar's only WBC game, as he was an injury replacement for the semifinals.

  • Derek Lowe is scheduled to start for the Rangers on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is not likely to pitch three innings again, as he did in Monday's emergency start in place of Yu Darvish.
  • Rapid Reaction: Giants 5, Rangers 2

    March, 15, 2013
    PM CT
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--The Texas Rangers (9-9-2) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants (8-9-3) on Friday at Scottsdale Stadium.

    What this means: Texas falls back to .500 after losing both games of the two-game spring series to San Francisco.

    Lowe debuts: Derek Lowe pitched two scoreless innings in his Rangers and spring debut. He scattered a pair of hits and walked one.

    Great gun: Craig Gentry showed off his arm on a play during the first inning when he threw out Andres Torres who was trying to tag up and take third on a fly out to right field. Gentry made the catch about halfway out in right, and fired a bullet to Adrian Beltre that got there so quickly that Beltre had to wait for Torres to take a few more steps toward him before applying the easy tag.

    Manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Surprise, Ariz., to discuss how the Rangers are looking heading into the 2013 season.

    Listen Listen
    Double threat: 1B-OF Jim Adduci, all 6-2, 210-pounds of him, stole second base cleanly in the second inning, and had a good jump doing it, showing he has speed to go along with a good bat. He tried to steal second again in the fifth inning but was thrown out on a close play.

    Self defense: LHP Joe Ortiz saved himself when Matt Cain drilled a line drive back at the Rangers reliever to lead off the third inning. Ortiz quickly dropped down to the mound to avoid the ball and put his glove up to his face, knocking the shot down and throwing the ball to first to secure the out. The play went 1-3 on the scorecard but was anything but routine.

    Zero Joe: Speaking of Ortiz, he threw his seventh scoreless inning of the spring, and has allowed just three hits in his seven innings of work.

    Captain Kirkman: LHP Michael Kirkman will likely be asked to take on a bigger role in the bullpen this season and he looks ready for the added responsibility. Kirkman threw a scoreless eighth inning and remains unscored upon in six innings this spring.

    Cain pain: Texas could only muster two hits in five scoreless innings against San Francisco starter Cain, who faced one batter above the minimum.

    Font 'A' debut: RHP Wilmer Font made his first appearance in an 'A' game this spring and allowed a two-run home run to Hunter Pence during his inning of work. Font was sidelined early in camp with biceps tendonitis. He rose from High-A Myrtle Beach to the majors in 2012, just one year removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery. Font averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings with Myrtle Beach.

    Perfect no more: RHP Johan Yan was untouchable through his first five appearances, allowing no hits and just one walk -- until Friday. Torres took a pitch deep in the seventh inning, hitting a two-run home run, the first blemish on Yan's spring ledger.

    Big draw: The Texas-San Francisco game was a sellout with Scottsdale Stadium packed with 12,106 fans taking in the game under 85-degree, mostly sunny skies.

    What's next?: Texas is scheduled for a pair of split-squad games this weekend, with one game being played in Arizona and the other in Las Vegas on each day. On Saturday, the Rangers will play one game against the Chicago Cubs at Cashman Field at 3:05 p.m. CT. RHP Nick Tepesch (0-0, 2.25) will start for Texas. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (1-0, 5.59) takes the mound for Chicago. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Southwest.

    In the other game, Texas hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Matt Harrison (1-0, 9.00) will start for the Rangers. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 5.54) is the scheduled starter for the Dodgers. The game can be heard live on ESPN 103.3 FM.

    Injuries: Matt Harrison (toe) starting 'B' game Tuesday

    March, 11, 2013
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Matt Harrison will start the "B" game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. Harrison was scratched from Saturday's start against the San Diego Padres with inflammation in the second toe on his left foot. He tested the toe Sunday in a 45-pitch bullpen session and didn't experience any issues.

    Derek Holland joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the benefits of pitching in the World Baseball Classic and why he thinks letting Nolan Ryan leave the Texas Rangers would be a mistake.

    Listen Listen
    "The biggest thing was trying not to think about it and that it was going to hurt and just focus on pitching," Harrison said. "Once I starting doing that, I started doing my normal mechanics and dragging my foot like I was before and had no pain."

    Harrison is scheduled to throw four or five innings Tuesday. You can read more here.

    Other injury notes:

  • 1B Mitch Moreland is back in the lineup after missing two games with a tight right quad.

  • RHP Kyle McClellan (shoulder soreness) and RHP Wilmer Font (biceps tendonitis) are scheduled to make their spring debuts Tuesday.

  • RHP Colby Lewis (surgery - torn flexor tendon) will throw a bullpen session Thursday.

  • RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) is throwing long toss out to 75 feet.

  • LHP Martin Perez (fractured left ulna) is not expected to resume a throwing program for approximately three weeks.

  • RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) and will throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

  • RHP Wilmer Font (biceps tendonitis) will throw live batting practice Sunday.

  • C Eli Whiteside (mild left calf strain) has resumed baseball activities but is expected to remain out of the lineup for a few more days.
  • Injuries: Mike Olt back after short absence

    March, 8, 2013
    PM CT
    MARYVALE, Ariz. -- The only new injury update of note for Friday's Cactus League matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers is the return of third baseman Mike Olt to the Rangers' lineup.

    Olt missed two games with an impacted wisdom tooth, which led to an extraction. He was originally slated to play right field for the second time this spring Wednesday before being scratched in the morning. Olt will return to the infield for today's game.

    Other injury notes:

  • RHP Kyle McClellan (shoulder soreness) and RHP Wilmer Font (biceps tendinitis) will throw live batting practice Saturday.

  • RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) and RHP Justin Miller (Tommy John surgery) will throw bullpen sessions today.

  • RHP Colby Lewis (surgery, torn flexor tendon) will throw his next bullpen Sunday.

  • RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) is throwing long toss out to 75 feet.

  • LHP Martin Perez (fractured left ulna) is not expected to resume a throwing program for approximately four weeks.

  • C Eli Whiteside (mild left calf strain) will have his left calf re-examined today.
  • Injuries: Kyle McClellan ready to audition for fifth spot

    March, 7, 2013
    PM CT
    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle McClellan has waited all spring while he recovered from a sore shoulder as other candidates for the fifth starter slot continually took to the mound in an effort to stake their claim to the job.

    ESPN senior baseball writer Buster Olney joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to give his take on the Texas Rangers' controversy in the front office.

    Listen Listen
    The only consolation for McClellan was recognizing the importance of being fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent on July 10 before showing his new team what he's capable of.

    The right-hander will finally get that chance when he makes his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

    "It's one of those things where I know what I can do and have just been anxious to get back out on the field, but I have to be healthy in order to do that," McClellan said. "When you come into a new organization you want to show that you are what they signed you for, and I feel like I can do that."

    The muscle soreness that led to the long layoff was a byproduct of the midseason surgery McClellan underwent while still a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has progressed gradually with his pitching regimen, most recently throwing a 52-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. He will toss live batting practice Saturday -- the final step before seeing live game action for the first time since last May.

    "When I first got here, I felt good and still had a little bit of an impingement in there," McClellan said. "I feel like I am over the hump. Everyone I talk to says I've gotten over my last hurdle and I think I am ready to go. I feel like I can throw in a game."

    Even with a longer than usual spring training -- due to the World Baseball Classic -- time was becoming an issue. It's difficult to compete for a spot in the starting rotation if you can't pitch in a game.

    "If he would have kept missing time, time would have ran out on him," manager Ron Washington said. "But he has a chance to get in the mix."

    McClellan was last used in the rotation in 2011, when he made 17 starts for St. Louis and posted a 6-6 record with a 4.21 ERA. He was moved to the bullpen after the Cardinals acquired Edwin Jackson. Of his 261 career appearances, McClellan has made all but those 17 as a reliever.

    Other injury notes:

  • OF Leonys Martin (tight left hamstring) is in the lineup Thursday after missing one game.

  • 3B Mike Olt will miss his second game after having a wisdom tooth pulled on Wednesday.

  • C Eli Whiteside is sidelined with a mild left calf strain.

  • RHP Colby Lewis (surgery - torn flexor tendon) will throw his next bullpen on Sunday.

  • RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) and RHP Wilmer Font (right biceps tendonitis) threw a bullpen session Wednesday and reported no problems.

  • RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) is throwing out to 75 feet.

  • RHP Yoshinori Tateyama (lower back stiffness) and RHP Tanner Scheppers (mild right hamstring tightness) both pitched in Wednesday's 'B' game against the Chicago Cubs, marking their return from injury.

  • LHP Martin Perez (fractured left ulna) is not expected to resume a throwing program for approximately four weeks.
  • Injuries: Martin Perez maintains focus

    March, 4, 2013
    PM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz.--If attitude counts for anything, Texas Rangers left-hander Martin Perez should progress just fine during his recovery from the fractured ulna bone in his left forearm he suffered during Sunday's game against Seattle.

    Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his biggest concerns for the Rangers heading into the season, how he would handle the Elvis Andrus-Jurickson Profar dilemma and negotiation tactics when dealing with agent Scott Boras.

    Listen Listen
    Perez was knocked out of the game in the sixth inning when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of second baseman Brad Miller. The 21-year old is not expected to resume a throwing program for approximately four weeks while he heals. In the interim, he will be able to maintain a left shoulder and cardiovascular program.

    "It's hard for me because this is the first time it's happened to me in my life (being injured)," Perez said.

    "I have to be ready for the situation up here," he said while pointing to his head.

    Perez said he has to keep the wrist mobilized for two weeks before beginning the first step of his recovery. Considering he can't throw for up to a month, and then, according to Perez, will need another 3-4 weeks to return to form, a return to the Rangers may not happen until early May.

    Randy Galloway joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' front office moves and how they affect Nolan Ryan.

    Listen Listen
    "I'll do whatever they tell me I have to do," Perez said. "I just want to be focused to be ready in a couple of months and help the team."

    The injury couldn't have happened at a worse time for Perez, who was pitching well this spring and putting himself in position as a top candidate for the open fifth slot in the Rangers starting rotation.

    During his two spring appearances, Perez displayed a consistent ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone, as well as a new found success against right-handers.

    Last season, the left-hander struggled against righties, who hit .324 against him in 108 at-bats. He also struggled against right-handers at Triple-A Round Rock, where righties hit nine of the 10 home runs he allowed.

    This spring, he retired the first seven righties he faced.

    Perez will likely have to wait until May to pick up where he left off.

    "I thought he was throwing the ball well but those things happen in the game," said manager Ron Washington. "I think when you get time at the major league level and you compete the way he competed, you begin to believe you can (perform well).

    "Once you get that feeling inside of you, then maturity does begin to show. You have to see confidence before success begins to show and I think what you are seeing is confidence."

    Other injury notes:

  • 3B Adrian Beltre will make his spring debut Monday after missing the first 10 Cactus League games with a sore right calf.

  • OF Engel Beltre will start a second consecutive game after returning Sunday from a sore shoulder. Rangers staff will speak with Beltre after Monday's game to determine if he is ready to leave camp and join Spain for the World Baseball Classic.

  • Colby Lewis (surgery -- torn flexor tendon) is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session Wednesday.

  • RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw out to 75 feet for the first time.

  • RHP Yoshinori Tateyama (lower-back stiffness) and RHP Tanner Scheppers (mild right hamstring tightness) are scheduled to pitch in Wednesday's 'B' game against the Chicago Cubs.

  • C Eli Whiteside is sidelined with a mild left calf strain.

  • RHP Kyle McClellan (right shoulder soreness) will throw a bullpen session Thursday.

  • RHP Wilmer Font (right biceps tendonitis) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday.

  • RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) and Ramon Mendez (right elbow surgery -- stress fracture) will throw a bullpen session Monday.
  • Injuries: Engel Beltre (shoulder) to see orthopedist

    February, 26, 2013
    AM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Engel Beltre will have his sore left shoulder examined by an orthopedist Tuesday, as he has not shown any progress since being sidelined nearly a week ago. The Rangers hope to have an update possibly as soon as end of day today.

    "We are are trying to be smart and cautious with him on the front end so as not to have any issues in the medium term," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

    Beltre is one of seven Texas Rangers who will participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. As of now, there is no concern he will be unable to represent Spain in the tournament.

    Other injury notes:

    * RHP Colby Lewis (torn flexor tendon surgery) threw off a half mound yesterday and reported no problems. In fact, he is said to be slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery but the team is deliberately taking a conservative approach with his progression. Lewis remains on schedule to throw his first bullpen session Friday.

    * DH Lance Berkman (calf) and 3B Adrian Beltre (calf) both ran the bases yesterday. Berkman is participating in base-running drills today with the rest of the position players. His spring debut is targeted for Thursday. There is no projected return date for Beltre.

    * RHP Kyle McClellan (right shoulder muscle soreness) is scheduled to throw long toss Wednesday.

    * RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) reported no problems after throwing a bullpen session Monday. His next session is scheduled for Wednesday.

    * RHP Wilmer Font (biceps tendonitis) had no issues during his throwing session from flat ground yesterday. He will throw to 90 feet today.

    * RHP Tanner Scheppers (mild left hamstring tightness) is going through a workout today. If all is well, he will throw a bullpen session Wednesday.

    Injuries: Lance Berkman has mild calf strain

    February, 20, 2013
    AM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Lance Berkman has a mild right calf strain and won’t play in today’s scheduled intrasquad game for the Texas Rangers. He’s listed as day-to-day.

    Berkman, 37, signed with the Rangers this offseason and is penciled in as the No. 3 hitter, a spot previously occupied by Josh Hamilton. He said he felt the calf tighten up during drills Tuesday.

    “It’s slightly more than normal muscle soreness, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about,” said Berkman, who is wearing a sleeve on his leg.

    Berkman played in just 32 games last season after dealing with knee issues that included surgery. He hit .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs in 145 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. The Rangers have told Berkman to go through spring training at his own pace in hopes of making sure he’s completely healthy for the season. He said last week he was at about 80 percent health and was confident he could get to 100 percent by the end of spring.

    “I think it’s the result of more volume than I’ve done,” Berkman said. “We’re taking ground balls, we’re running and we haven’t been doing that stuff. I’ve been in more of a rehab mode and now have shifted into baseball mode and it’s not something to me that is that concerning. It’s just one of the things that happens to you early in camp when you’re trying to sort things out.”

    Berkman knows that everyone is watching his every move because the club needs him to stay healthy.

    "I'm sure there's some trepidation because it's a house of cards with me," Berkman said.

    Other injury news:

    * RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery) is still on track and throwing from 135 feet. He'll ramp up to 150 feet soon, barring any setbacks, then take two days off before getting on a mound. That's still looking like March 1 or 2.

    * RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John) is scheduled to throw 30 pitches off a mound again today. He will do that Friday as well and then will see what's planned for him next. At some point, he'll work his offspeed and breaking stuff in, but so far he is throwing fastballs.

    "I'm going harder and I feel great," Soria said. "I just want to keep it going and stick to the plan."

    * RHP Wilmer Font (shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw off flat ground today. If all goes well, he could get back on a mound in a few days.

    Injuries: Adrian Beltre has mild right calf inflammation

    February, 19, 2013
    AM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is not in the lineup for today's intrasquad game because of mild right calf inflammation.

    What do you want to see from the Rangers during spring training as Opening Day nears? Coop & Nate discuss.

    Listen Listen
    Beltre had an MRI on Monday just to be sure and it showed only mild inflammation. Beltre is still participating in all activities and was in the batting cage Tuesday morning.

    "If it was the regular season he could play," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "But it's not."

    So the club will be extra cautious with Beltre.

    Other injuries:

    * RHP Wilmer Font has right shoulder tendinitis and will not pitch today as originally scheduled. The team believes the tendinitis is mild enough that he's penciled in to throw off flat ground Wednesday to see how things feel.

    * RHP Colby Lewis (torn flexor tendon surgery) is throwing from 135 feet in his long-toss sessions. After he gets to 150 feet or so for three sessions with no setbacks, he could move to a mound. That looks to be around March 1 or 2.

    * RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery) said he's throwing from 75 feet.

    Notes: Alexi Ogando pleased with changeup

    February, 19, 2013
    AM CT
    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Alexi Ogando, who will start for one of the intrasquad teams today and pitch one inning, is happy with how his changeup has progressed so far this spring. He'll get an even better idea when he faces hitters in a game.

    "I feel good about it," said Ogando who has thrown the pitch in live bullpen sessions. "It's a pitch I need to throw to lefties. It's going to help me out against them."

    What do you want to see from the Rangers during spring training as Opening Day nears? Coop & Nate discuss.

    Listen Listen
    Ogando's splits show a big difference between what he did against lefties and righties in 2012. Right-handed batters hit just .179 against Ogando, who used his fastball and slider to keep them off balance. But left-handers hit .234, and in Ogando's career they've hit .245, more than 50 points better than righties.

    So this offseason, knowing he was going back into the rotation, Ogando focused on the changeup.

    "It feels better," Ogando said. "I have to throw it more."

    It should be interesting to see how the pitch looks in the coming days and weeks.

    Other notes:

    * Joe Nathan is scheduled to pitch to hitters for the first time Friday and should see his first Cactus League action March 3, according to pitching coach Mike Maddux. "There's no reason to rush him," Maddux said. "We're here a long time. He gets the veteran treatment."

    Nathan said he feels fine and has no injury concerns. But the club will just take it slow and cautious with the 38-year-old closer.

    * The first intrasquad game of the spring season is Tuesday, followed by another on Wednesday. Both games are at noon local time. Here are the pitchers scheduled to throw:

    Tuesday (the dash separates the teams)
    Yu Darvish -- Alexi Ogando
    Robbie Ross -- Michael Kirkman
    Tanner Scheppers -- Collin Balester
    Randy Wells -- Martin Perez
    Justin Grimm -- Wilmer Font
    Cory Burns -- Jake Brigham
    Coty Woods

    Matt Harrison -- Nick Tepesch
    Yonata Ortega -- Nate Robertson
    Neal Cotts -- Evan Meek
    Josh Lindblom -- Yoshinori Tateyama
    Cody Buckel -- Joe Ortiz
    Jeff Beliveau -- Johan Yan
    Neil Ramirez



    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