Texas Rangers: 3 up, 3 down, and 3 things to watch after the first week of spring training

Spring Training
Spring Training / Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/GettyImages
2 of 3

3 Down

4. Dane Dunning

Dunning had a rough first appearance on Saturday. Eovaldi pitched two perfect innings then Dunning was brought on. He pitched a scoreless 3rd inning. He followed that up in the 4th by getting the first batter out. Then after that, the Royals went single, double, single, walk, and walk before Dunning was lifted for Antoine Kelly. Kelly proceeded to allow the two inherited runners to score. Dunning's final line was 1.1 innings, five earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. When the Rangers signed as much pitching as they did, Dunning's chance of making the team went way down. He is likely to start the season in Round Rock and is the first call-up if a starter gets hurt and needs to go on the injured list. The good thing for Dunning is that he is healthy after hip surgery last year and he will still have a few opportunities this Spring to prove to the coaching staff that he is a better pitcher than he was on Saturday.

5. Clint Frazier

Frazier went from being a competition for the left-field job to probably now having to accept an assignment to Round Rock if he wants to stay in this organization. Robbie Grossman signing a major league deal made it more difficult for one of the non-roster players to be able to win the left- field competition. Now Frazier has started kind of slow. He played on Saturday and Sunday. He went 1-7 with five strikeouts. That is not going to cut it. He loves working with Rangers hitting coach Tim Hyers. Frazier and Hyers go all the way back to when Frazier was in high school. In a MLB.com article by Kennedi Landry she details how Frazier went to high school with Tim Hyer's son and how he has been trying to team up with Hyers for the last four seasons. Frazier may not make the team, but if he wants to continue working with Hyers he may be asked to accept a minor league assignment to Round Rock.

6. Zach Littell

I hate picking on non-roster guys, but Littell does have previous major-league experience. He started his career with the Minnesota Twins and then went to play for the Giants. He is in competition for a bullpen spot with several players. He made his debut on Sunday on a day the Rangers won 13-4. In that game Littel pitched one inning and gave up three of the four total runs allowed. He came on in the seventh inning and went single, home run, single, double play, home run, single, and then was finally able to get out of the inning with a strikeout. It was not a good appearance at all. When you are in competition with maybe a dozen pitchers or more and have a performance like that it really sticks out. He will have to pitch much better to continue to stick around in camp.