Perez eyes big '17, starting with spring opener

Rangers left-hander wants to throw 200 innings this season

Perez eyes big '17, starting with spring opener

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Martin Perez isn't afraid to say it. He believes this is going to be a big season for him on the mound and has a clear goal in mind.

"Last year was good, but this year, I'm going to throw more than 200 innings," Perez said. "That's my goal. Just stay healthy. If I stay healthy, I'll be able to do what I want."

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers eye Opening Day for Andrus' return

Beltre could miss first round of Classic with calf injury

Rangers eye Opening Day for Andrus' return

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus will not be in the lineup for the Rangers' Cactus League opener against the Royals on Saturday (2:05 p.m. CT, live via Gameday Audio on rangers.com), as he continues to recover from offseason sports hernia surgery.

The Rangers aren't sure when Andrus will be ready for a game. The goal is to have him in the lineup for Opening Day on April 3 against the Indians.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeShields, Rua impress during scrimmage

Both players are fighting for starting spots during Spring Training

DeShields, Rua impress during scrimmage

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Delino DeShields and Ryan Rua did not win a job during the Rangers' first intrasquad game on Friday. What they did was follow the blueprint to earn a job by the time Spring Training is over.

DeShields had two walks and a run scored, while Rua lined a single to right with Nomar Mazara at second base and two outs in the first. Mazara was thrown out at home plate, but that had no bearing on Rua delivering at the right moment.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoeless Joe's great-great-grandnephew at Rangers ST

|
Shoeless Joe's great-great-grandnephew at Rangers ST

Joe Jackson was at the Rangers' Spring Training complex on Friday, and no, you did not somehow step into a time machine and travel back to the 1910s. It was Joe Jackson, the 24-year-old Minor Leaguer who, yes, is the great-great-grandnephew of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Continue Reading on Cut4

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breaking down the Rangers' Top 30 list

After remarkable turnover, Texas farm maintains international presence

Breaking down the Rangers' Top 30 list

The Rangers may have experienced more farm system turnover than any club in the last two years. The first 13 players on their season-opening Top 30 Prospects list from 2015 have graduated to the big leagues (Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Ryan Rua), been traded (Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, Nick Williams, Luke Jackson, Luis Ortiz, Ryan Cordell, Travis Demeritte) or both (Jake Thompson, Anthony Ranaudo). They also parted with Dillon Tate, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, to acquire Carlos Beltran from the Yankees last summer.

Texas' system, which ranked as the third-best in baseball as recently as a year ago, is as thin as it has been in decade. That's a reflection of not only the promotions and departures, but also that the Rangers had a long run where they had enviable Minor League depth year after year.

Continue Reading

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former pitching prospects get chance to emerge

Seeking depth, Rangers bring in Wagner, Webster

Former pitching prospects get chance to emerge

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitchers Tyler Wagner and Allen Webster, once highly regarded as prospects, have both been the centerpieces of major trades the past few years.

Now they're part of the Rangers' efforts to reinforce their depleted upper-level pitching and provide depth against injuries to their rotation.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton back in Rangers camp after left knee exam

Veteran has no structural damage but will proceed with caution this weekend

Hamilton back in Rangers camp after left knee exam

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton is back in camp with the Rangers after an examination of his left knee showed no significant structural damage.

Hamilton will back off his workouts through the weekend. His goal is still to be on the Opening Day roster, but that wasn't helped by this recent setback of feeling discomfort in his left knee.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers international scout Felomina dies

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers scout Jose Luis Felomina had been battling cancer for a number of years in his native Curacao.

Rangers assistant general manager Mike Daly saw him a few weeks ago. Felomina was in hospice, but every day he changed his shirt, alternating from a blue Rangers T-shirt to a red one to gray.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Odor on list of Rangers who may get extension

Second baseman signs pre-arbitration one-year deal

Odor on list of Rangers who may get extension

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers continue to use Spring Training as a time to discuss contract extensions with key players.

Yu Darvish and Jonathan Lucroy may be the two most important since they are eligible for free agency. But second baseman Rougned Odor is also on their list, even though he won't be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. He may be the latest in a line of Rangers players who received a contract extension either in Spring Training or early in the season.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reno connection runs deep with Rangers catchers

Reno connection runs deep with Rangers catchers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers catcher Steven Lerud, in camp on a Minor League contract, has been given No. 38. That's the number worn by catcher Chris Gimenez when he played for the Rangers in 2014-15, and the connection runs deep.

Lerud and Gimenez both live in Reno and work out together in the offseason. Lerud also helped Gimenez many years ago when he was in the Minor Leagues and making the transition to catcher.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers on board with automatic intentional walk

Rangers on board with automatic intentional walk

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister and pitching coach Doug Brocail are both on board with new rule allowing for automatic intentional walks.

"If it helps in the art of cutting seconds off the game, I'm fine with that," Banister said Wednesday. "As a former catcher, it's not something you practice every day with the pitchers. It's the art of not throwing a strike.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

AL-inclusive: Everyone has eyes on West title

AL-inclusive: Everyone has eyes on West title

PHOENIX -- Jerry Dipoto knows that the Astros are favored to win the American League West, and if baseball analysts aren't talking about Jose Altuve's budding powerhouse, they're focused on the Rangers. Why not? They've won the AL West two years in a row.

Dipoto hides his confidence with a sheepish grin.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers use a little luck to get Napoli back

Rangers use a little luck to get Napoli back

PHOENIX -- The Indians wanted first baseman Mike Napoli back and they might have pulled it off if Edwin Encarnacion had not fallen into their lap.

The Indians ended up signing Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million deal and the Rangers, after a month of stalled negotiations, signed Napoli to a one-year, $8.5 million contract.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers to get long look at catching depth

Trevino, Cantwell under spotlight as teammates head to Classic

Rangers to get long look at catching depth

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers catching depth will be tested well before the end of Spring Training.

Jonathan Lucroy and Robinson Chirinos leave March 6 to play in the World Baseball Classic, leaving behind prime opportunity for six catchers -- including top prospect Jose Trevino -- trying to make an impression on the Rangers.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Task at hand: Win World Series

Banister and players believe they are ring worthy

Task at hand: Win World Series

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mission incomplete.

That's the underlying theme manager Jeff Banister is conveying to his team as the Rangers get ready for their first full-squad workout of Spring Training on Tuesday. A team meeting is set before the workout.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In first spring BP, Darvish breaks off a bat

In first spring BP, Darvish breaks off a bat

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish threw five minutes of live batting practice Monday, the first time he has faced hitters this spring.

Hanser Alberto and Nomar Mazara were among the hitters facing Darvish. Alberto had his bat broken by Darvish on one pitch.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mazara bracing for challenge of sophomore season

Mazara bracing for challenge of sophomore season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 RBIs as a Reds rookie in 2007, then jumped to .304 with 32 home runs and 130 RBIs in 2008 after being traded to the Rangers.

So much for the sophomore slump.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matwick has three messages for fans on Presidents Day

Matwick has three messages for fans on Presidents Day

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There is much going with the Rangers as they get ready to defend another American League West title. There is a new ballpark on the horizon and construction beginning on a new entertainment venue.

Rob Matwick, the Rangers' vice president of business operations, is overseeing it all as well as the fan experience at Globe Life Park. Highly respected within the industry and a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, Matwick is in his 32nd year in Major League Baseball.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Claudio's 2016 success earns spot in '17 bullpen

Claudio's 2016 success earns spot in '17 bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' bullpen could be loaded with power right-handed arms this season, but it should also include one soft-tossing lefty.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister confirmed that Alex Claudio did enough last year to earn a spot in the 2017 bullpen.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy after surgery, Andrus arrives at camp

Rangers shortstop had procedure in November to repair sports hernia

Healthy after surgery, Andrus arrives at camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus showed up at camp on Saturday, and he said he has no limitations as he completes his recovery from offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Andrus said he needs to build up his strength and endurance, but otherwise he is good to go physically. His effort level is about 80-90 percent because he doesn't want to push it too early.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Middlebrooks not fazed by addition of Napoli

Looking to get his career back on track, corner infielder welcomes former teammate

Middlebrooks not fazed by addition of Napoli

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Add infielder Will Middlebrooks to the list of Rangers players influenced by the signing of first baseman Mike Napoli.

Middlebrooks can also be put on the list of those who are not going to let it get him down, even though he signed with Texas in November with the idea of trying to win a job as its first baseman.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brocail lauds prospect Sadzeck's improvement

Banister emphasizes approach of pitching on inside half of the plate

Brocail lauds prospect Sadzeck's improvement

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie right-hander Connor Sadzeck is in his second big league camp, and pitching coach Doug Brocail said he can see a big difference from last season.

"Nothing like I expected," Brocail said. "It was really good ... under control and with a better tempo."

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltre not ruling out playing at start of Classic

Rangers slugger expected to miss about three weeks with left calf strain

Beltre not ruling out playing at start of Classic

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are not expecting third baseman Adrian Beltre to play at the start of the World Baseball Classic because of a strained left calf muscle, the club announced on Friday. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a Grade 1 strain, and he is expected to be sidelined about three weeks.

But Beltre was adamant on Saturday morning that he has not ruled that out completely, even though the Rangers have already announced he would not play at least in the first round.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gallo, Profar willing to play any spot on field

Former top Rangers prospects battling to earn time

Gallo, Profar willing to play any spot on field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jurickson Profar, besides being an extremely smart baseball player, is also accomplished at the art of diplomacy.

But a bit of honestly also does seep through the ever-present smile.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scheppers grateful Rangers have stuck by him

Oft-injured righty throwing 95 mph, could be key piece in 'pen

Scheppers grateful Rangers have stuck by him

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers had 14 pitchers throw their second bullpen session of the spring Friday, and pitching coach Doug Brocail was thrilled with what he saw.

"We had a phenomenal day," Brocail said. "Everybody looked great."

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Welcome back, Nap: Slugger introduced by Rangers

Welcome back, Nap: Slugger introduced by Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz.-- The Rangers filled their last big need of the offseason when they officially announced the signing of free agent Mike Napoli to a one-year contract with an option for 2018.

Napoli will be the Rangers' primary first baseman and will also see some time at designated hitter. But his defense is secondary.

Continue Reading

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.