March 7 -The Texas Rangers had a busy day with two games and continued the spring training work outs. Good news continues for the Rangers as several players are staying healthy and some are close to returning.
Joe Saunders recently signed with the Rangers this past Wednesday and saw his first game action on Friday in a ‘B’ game against the Kansas City Royals. Saunders pitched 2 scoreless innings, with 33 pitches and recorded one strike out. That’s a good sign for the Rangers, because the might need him at some point to make an appearance in the starting rotation.
Also the Texas Rangers played the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 9 of Cactus League action. The Rangers sent Martin Perez to the mound against. Perez, like Darvish, pitched 3 innings, but didn’t have his best performance. It seems Perez might have been a little excited/nervous what ever you want to call it.
Perez Stats for the day
- 3 innings
- 2 hits
- 2 earned runs
- 2 strike outs
- 3 walks
- gave up 1 home run
Another note from yesterday’s game, Shin-Soo Choo hasn’t really broken out just yet. He’s currently batting .200 for spring training. He did manage to go 1-3 yesterday of a double. Ron Washington doesn’t seem concerned about his lead off man.
“He’s been centering a lot of balls. He doesn’t have much to show for it bu the guy works hard. He wants to be good. I’m certainly happy with the way things are going for him, the way he’s starting to swing the bat. Most of the balls he’s hitting hard have been against left-handers which is a good thing.” said Ron Washington (MLB.com TR Sullivan)
A look at a potential starter: Michael Kirkman, who’s name has been mentioned as the 5th starter, pitched well yesterday. Kirkman only seemed off balance a couple of time when he pitched to two batters 4 balls in a row. Kirkman hasn’t really been talked about a lot yet, but he continues to pitch well like he did yesterday, he might be able to find his name in the mix for the starting rotation. He won’t be a regular in the rotation, like others, he’ll be someone they can plug in until players like Derek Holland and Matt Harrison can join the rotation.
Kirkman Stats for the day
- 3 innings
- 0 hits
- 0 runs
- 2 strike outs
- 2 walks
Another good sign from yesterday’s game was seeing Jurickson Profar in the lineup again. Profar went 1-3 in the DH spot. Profar should be getting close to returning to second base.
Other news: Matt Harrison is back in Surprise, Arizona. He threw about 40 pitches in batting practice and felt pretty good after the session. This was the first time that Harrison was back to up to full speed since the Rangers shut him down 7 months ago. Harrison will get to see his first game action next Tuesday in the Rangers ‘B’ against the Kansas City Royals.
Derek Holland is expected to arrive at camp on Saturday. But don’t expect him to pitch. He recently started walking without crutches and is still expected to return some where around mid-season.
Engel Beltre is still bothered by the shin splits that has so far caused him to miss the past 3 games.
The Texas Rangers play the Los Angeles Dodgers again on Saturday in Surprise, Arizona.