Player News - Rangers

Date: Team: Pos:

Yu Darvish is starting the Rangers' first Cactus League game on Saturday.

Darvish is expected to miss some time in camp with his wife due to give birth in March, so he's getting an early start. This is a big year for Darvish, who is going into the final season of his six-year, $60 million deal with Texas. He posted a 3.41 ERA and 132/31 K/BB ratio over 100 1/3 innings last year in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Feb 21 - 11:47 AM

According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Josh Hamilton has been hitting thunderous bombs in batting practice at Rangers camp.

Hamilton is in camp with Texas as a non-roster invitee, trying to carve out a DH/1B role. Sullivan says the veteran slugger has been reaching the street beyond the Rangers' complex with some of his moonshots, and farm director Jayce Tingler offered that "it's just a different sound." We'll see if Hamilton can hold up physically.
Feb 20 - 3:54 PM

Rangers prospect Mike Matuella (elbow) threw off a full mound on Monday morning in Rangers camp.

Matuella has been bothered by elbow troubles for the last couple of years, but everything is going smoothly through the early part of spring training. The 22-year-old right-hander was drafted in the third round in 2015 out of Duke University. He's made just one professional appearance.
Feb 20 - 11:41 AM

Elvis Andrus said Saturday that he's nearing full strength and is currently participating in all baseball activities.

Andrus underwent surgery in November to repair a sports hernia, but says he's already at 80-90 percent of full strength. With no limitations now, it sounds as though he should be fully healthy and ready to go for the start of the regular season.
Feb 18 - 10:50 AM

Adrian Beltre (calf) said Saturday that he has yet to rule himself out for the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

Beltre was diagnosed earlier in the week with a Grade 1 strain of his left calf which was expected to sideline him for 2-3 weeks. Reports on Friday had him very unlikely to play in the first round, with a chance that he could return for the rest of the tournament, but Beltre seems intent on playing for his country if he's physically able to.
Feb 18 - 10:10 AM

Yu Darvish plans to re-incorporate his split-finger fastball this season.

Darvish abandoned the pitch last season in his first year back from Tommy John surgery because it can create stress on your arm, but he'll begin to mix it back in this year. The righty threw the pitch just five percent of the time pre-surgery. "I was kind of astonished when he threw it (in a bullpen session Friday)," Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "I waited a long time after my Tommy John surgery before I threw it again, but I don't have his delivery. He throws it correctly and uses a bit of his wrist so not all of the pressure is on his elbow in that pulling down motion. It's a little looser. And this guy, if there is any chance of hurting himself, he's not going to throw it. I'm comfortable with it."
Feb 17 - 4:34 PM

Dillon Gee (thoracic outlet surgery) is a full participant at the beginning of spring training.

Gee had thoracic outlet surgery last October but is on schedule with the rest of the Rangers' pitchers this spring. He's competing for a spot in the rotation but is a long shot to win said job.
Feb 17 - 4:16 PM

Tyson Ross (thoracic outlet surgery) is on track to begin throwing off a mound in mid-March.

Ross had thoracic outlet surgery last October and will get a late start to the season. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes that Ross is not expected to be ready until the "latter stages of April," but a Rangers official told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a few weeks ago that Ross might not return until May or June. It figures to be a moving target for the righty.
Feb 17 - 4:14 PM

Rangers signed C A.J. Jimenez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Jimenez was released by the Blue Jays earlier this week but didn't take long to land on his feet. The 26-year-old backstop batted just .241/.290/.377 in 248 plate appearances last season at the Triple-A level.
Feb 17 - 2:48 PM

Adrian Beltre could miss the World Baseball Classic after suffering a Grade 1 left calf strain on Tuesday.

He's expected to be sidelined for 2-3 weeks. A Grade 1 strain is the least severe, and Beltre wouldn't rule out playing for his native Dominican Republic in the WBC. However, he's obviously not going to push things and risk aggravating the ailment prior to Opening Day. Barring any setbacks, the injury should not affect his availability for the beginning of the season.
Feb 17 - 10:35 AM

Shin-Soo Choo appears likely to serve as the Rangers' primary designated hitter this season.

Choo, 34, was limited to just 48 games last season and increased time out of the DH spot could help him stay on the field. He has expressed reluctance to being a full-time DH, but the Rangers plan to use Mike Napoli as their primary first baseman and hold a competition for left field. "I'm not thinking about that situation," said Choo. "We just started Spring Training. We'll figure it out. I've always wanted what the team wants. That's what I play for. Maybe some day [Banister] will talk to me. He hasn't talked to me yet." Jurickson Profar, Ryan Rua, Delino DeShields, Travis Snider, and Jared Hoying are among the candidates for left field duties.
Feb 16 - 6:47 PM

Joey Gallo is no longer a candidate to play first base.

Gallo prepared to play first base during the offseason, but there's not a need there now that Mike Napoli is in the fold. He'll see time between left field and third base in the spring, but starting the season with Triple-A Round Rock appears likely. "There’s really no spot for me anymore, so I’m going to have to battle for wherever there is an opening," said Gallo. "I’m not really worried about anything. I’m just going to go out and get my work in and hopefully at some point I’ll be able to get some at-bats throughout the season up there." Gallo, 23, appeared in just 17 games in the majors last season and struck out in 19 out of his 30 plate appearances. He'll have to force his way into the conversation on the major league roster.
Feb 16 - 6:36 PM

Jurickson Profar is slated to start in left field for the Rangers in 2017.

It's part of the fallout from the Rangers' reunion with veteran first baseman Mike Napoli. The other fallout: Shin-Soo Choo will serve as the regular DH for Texas in 2017 and Joey Gallo will get most of his work this spring at third base.
Feb 16 - 10:46 AM

Rangers signed 1B Mike Napoli to a one-year, $8.5 million contract with an $11 million club option for 2018.

Napoli will make $6 million in 2017 with a $2.5 million buyout on the option for 2018. Thus the $8.5 million guarantee. The contract was agreed upon earlier this month and then officially announced to the media after Napoli passed his physical on Wednesday in Rangers camp. The veteran first baseman looks like a great buy-low in his return to Texas after racking up 34 home runs and 101 RBI for the American League-champion Indians in 2016.
Feb 16 - 10:05 AM

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Mike Napoli has passed his physical with the Rangers.

An official announcement of Napoli's signing is expected Thursday morning. The veteran slugger is set to make $6 million in 2017 with an $11 million team option for 2018. Should the Rangers not exercise that option, Napoli would be owed a $2.5 million buyout. Last season, he swatted 34 homers and notched 101 RBI while hitting to a .239/.335/.465 triple-slash across 557 at-bats. That was his first career season with more than 500 at-bats.
Feb 15 - 8:00 PM


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