Mar 4, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) pitches during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds vs Texas Rangers - Game 12 Preview - Live Thread

Surprise, Ariz – Spring Training action continues as the Cincinnati Reds take on the Texas Rangers for game 12.  Today, the Rangers send Yu Darvish to the hill against the righty Homer Bailey.  Darvish continues to shine through spring training and appears to be on track for another great season.

Probable starting pitchers

Yu Darvish RHP (1-0/ 3.60 ERA / 4 strike outs over 2 games/5 innings)

vs

Homer Bailey RHP (0-1/ 3.60 ERA / 2 strike outs over 2 games/5 innings)

Other probable pitchers today

Texas Rangers

Cincinnati Reds 

Things to look for

Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria are still battling for the closer spot.  So far they both seem to be neck and neck, but Feliz is probably still in the lead.  Feliz is still working on getting his velocity back up to where it was during his time in the Dominican Winter League, where he was able to get speeds up in the high 90s.  So far in spring training Feliz has only reached near the mid 90s.  But that doesn’t concern Feliz or Ron Washington just yet.  The primary focus of Feliz has been getting his command back and getting used to the different release since his Tommy John surgery.  I would expect by the end of spring training that Feliz should have both his command and velocity back to where it was pre-surgery.

Neftali Feliz 2014 Spring Training Stats

  • 3 games
  • 3 innings
  • 6.00 ERA
  • 4 hits
  • 1 walk
  • 1 strike out

Joakim Soria has been very dominate so far in spring training.  Last week against the San Diego Padres Soria pitched another scoreless game.  He was able to utilize his fastball and a mixture of his changeup and slider to retire the side.  If Soria continues to pitch well and Feliz isn’t able to get his command back up, Washington will have to strongly consider him as the closer.

Joakim Soria 2014 Spring Training Stats

  • 2 games
  • 2 innings
  • 0.00 ERA
  • 0 strike outs
  • 0 walks
  • 0 hits

Other pitching notes: Cory Burns continues to struggle in spring training ball.  Yesterday he game up 3 runs in the 8th inning to blow the save.  Between Burns and Alex Gonzalez, the Rangers gave up 6 runs in the 8th to allow the Mariners to come back and win 9-8.

Texas Rangers lineup

Cincinnati Reds lineup

Injury update: Engel Beltre finally returned to game action yesterday after being out since Monday with an injury (shin splints).  He entered late in yesterday’s game for Leonys Martin.  Alex Rios continues to be sidelined due to turf toe, but he should return to action soon.  He is currently out just a precaution.  If this was the regular season, Rios would be in.

Jurickson Profar is again at the DH spot, but it is expected he’ll be at second base as early later this week.

Keep an eye on: Michael Choice and Brent Lillibridge continue to shine in spring training.  Also, another player doing very well is Kevin Kouzmanoff who is currently batting .350 over 11 games/20 at-bats.   Lillibridge also has kept a hot bat and currently has a .500 batting average over 5 games/ 10 at-bats.

Slumping: Leonys Martin, who struggle in offseason ball, continues to have issues.  He is currently only batting .154 for spring training.  His last hit was back on March 5 against the Colorado Rockies.  Martin was a guy who Washington penciled in as the Rangers Opening day lead off guy until they signed Shin-Soo Choo.  He could be a big question mark if his struggles continue.   To his credit, he has played defense well, but the Rangers need his bat to come alive.

Today’s game is at 3:05 CT and will be presented by 103.3 ESPN Radio (Broadcast delayed until 6:00 PM CT) and MLB Gameday Audio at MLB.com (Live)

Next Rangers Game View full schedule »
Wednesday, Sep 2424 Sep7:05Houston AstrosBuy Tickets

Tags: Joakim Soria Neftali Feliz Texas Rangers Yu Darvish

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