Here are a few notes from Surprise, Az:
Today the Texas Rangers will be playing an intra-squad game against each other over in Surprise, Arizona. The biggest surprise for me when looking at these lineups is seeing Leonys Martin starting in CF for the team that looks like mostly made of everyday players. It will give a good look to the coaches and front office early on if he can fit there. Playing defense and running bases more intelligently are the biggest questions for Leonys.
Here are the lineups:
OF Craig Gentry, OF Julio Borbon, OF Engel Beltre, and RP Josh Lindblom have signed one year deals with the Rangers. Gentry was the most expensive at $501,000. Lindblom will make $500,100 in 2013. Borbon will haul in $496,00 and Beltre will earn $490,000. Two of them will most likely find themselves at Triple-A Round Rock this season. Beltre and Borbon will probably be those two candidates. Lindblom will most likely find a rotation spot with relative ease and Gentry is, well, Gentry.
With the signing of the four players, the Texas Rangers’ 40-man roster is basically complete. The total payroll comes in at just about $129 million ($127 million last year on opening day). If you take out Michael Young‘s $10 million dollars against the total payroll, this year’s team is $8 million cheaper than last year’s club . With very strong free agent classes in 2014 and 2015, the Rangers have a ton of flexibility heading into this year, with the new $3 billion-20 year Fox Sports Southwest television deal coming to fruition in 2015. The Rangers will get an annual television revenue share of $80 million in 2015. That number could grow to over $15o million annually.
The 37 year-old Lance Berkman will not play in today’s intra-squad game because of a “Mild Calf Strain”. When asked about the injury Berkman told reporters today that it felt slightly more than normal muscle soreness. he thinks it is from the amount of work he has been doing lately. With infield, batting practice, and running being the culprits of the injury. He is being considered “Day-to-Day” at the moment and he will mostly likely let the soreness fade away for a day or two.
From ESPNDallas.com‘s Richard Durrett:
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.