Texas Rangers Spring Training – Recap – March 9
By David Cash
Mar 2, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis (48) throws the ball against the Chicago White Sox in the eighth inning at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY
Peoria, Ariz – Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis continues to look good in spring training. He pitched 2 innings against the Seattle Mariners and only needed 23 pitches to complete his work. This was a big improvement over his first game, where he pitched 32, 15 for strikes, in the first inning and was unable to completed it.
Lewis only allowed 2 hits, 1 walk and recorded one strikeout. Another good thing, Lewis was able to locate his pitches and have very good command. He was able to hit the high 80s and almost in the 90s for most of his fastballs. With the exception for his one 4 pitch walk, his day was a total success. This is a good sign that Lewis is getting back to form and it could be argued that Lewis could be the 5th starter the Rangers are looking for. Another good sign from Lewis was when the Rangers had a chance for double play ball. Lewis ran to bag and tried to make the play, but barely missed out. The throw wasn’t great to Lewis, but the best thing from the play was the quickness and comfort that Lewis showed getting to first. Washington commented on Lewis after the game.
"“Awesome,” manager Ron Washington said. “He was able to get over his front side, he was able to command his fastball, he had a good slider and a good changeup. It was a nice outing for Colby. He’ll get the ball again and the next time it will be three innings and we’ll see how it goes. We’ll keep ramping him up and see how he can stand it. So far so good.” (MLB.com T.R. Sullivan)"
Nick Tepesch is another candidate for a starting position in the rotation, but he had a rough day allowing 3 runs over 2 innings. He allowed 8 hits and a walk.
Robinson Chirinos continues to prove the Texas Rangers could keep him as a 3rd catcher on the 25 man roster today. He went 4 for 4 and he threw out Kyle Seager who was trying to steal second. Chirinos could be a guy they have on the bench to come in to play some time at first or third base.
Cory Burns continues to struggle in spring training. He allowed 3 runs in the 9th to blow the save and allowed the Mariners to win 9-8.
Jurickson Profar continues to DH for the Rangers and hasn’t played any at second base. But, he has been working his arm during daily work outs by throwing long toss. The Rangers want to stretch that out another 15-20 feet and make sure he is able to do the baseball moves needed for 2nd base before giving him game time. Profar should get some game time at second base as soon as this week.
Derek Holland is at camp finally. He won’t be pitching anytime soon, but he is now playing catch and is continuing to walk without crutches.
Alex Rios was out of the line up again today with turf toe, a issue that goes back to when he played in Toronto. But Rios is tough and reliable. The issue isn’t serous enough where he would miss game time.
Geovany Soto should return by Saturday. No official word yet, but Soto has set a target of March 15 to get back to baseball activities. If he does, he’ll still be on track to catch Opening day. Which is expected, especially since Yu Darvish is pitching.
Engel Beltre has been out for the past several games and finally saw game action today. He had been sidelined due to shin splints since last Monday. He was in the lineup last Thursday, but was later pulled after the issue continued during pre-game work outs. In today’s game, Beltre lost a fly ball in the 8th inning which went for a double and caused the game to be tied.
Yu Darvish is next in the rotation to pitch. Also, Neftali Feliz will be pitching again tomorrow.
Later this week, Joe Saunders and I would expect Matt Harrison will get some more game time. He pitched in a B game against Kansas City on Sunday. Harrison could be ready for the starting rotation as early as mid-April.