Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

Five-time All-Star outfielder is with Rangers on Minor League deal

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Houston on Monday and will be sidelined for at least 2-3 months.

The surgery was performed in Houston by Dr. Walt Lowe, who did reconstruction surgery on the same knee last June. This time, Lowe repaired torn cartilage that was causing discomfort. He said Hamilton's reconstructed ACL was still intact.

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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.

Defensive work paying off for Rangers

Defensive work paying off for Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers spend a considerable amount of time in the morning workouts stressing fundamentals, and that work showed up in the first three innings of the Rangers' 5-0 loss to the Brewers on a wet Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

The Brewers had seven baserunners on in the first three innings and couldn't score a run mainly because of the Rangers' defensive efforts. Five of the Brewers' first nine outs came on the basepaths due to the Rangers' execution.

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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.

Glove Day timing perfect for Rangers' Robinson

Glove Day timing perfect for Rangers' Robinson

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Wilson had a new client waiting on Monday morning in the Rangers clubhouse. Rangers utility player Drew Robinson officially signed with the company two days before Wilson Glove Day on Monday.

Robinson could keep his glove supplier quite busy because of his evolving role with the Rangers.

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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.

The Rangers are giving away a Beltre bobbleleg statue

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The Rangers are giving away a Beltre bobbleleg statue

Adrian Beltre is a being of pure joy and the Rangers have done well to to honor that. Beyond giving him a constant foil in shortstop Elvis Andrus, the team has made sure to create the greatest bobbleheads in his honor. 

Last year, the team gave out a Beltre bobblehead with a removable cap, so that every fan at home could have the joy of rubbing his head

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Gamboa impressive in loss to Brewers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Top Brewers prospect Lewis Brinson, facing his former organization, had three hits and the go-ahead RBI in leading Milwaukee to a 5-0 victory over the Rangers on Monday afternoon.

Brinson was one of three players acquired by the Brewers in a trade for catcher Jonathan Lucroy. His RBI single in the fifth inning off of Rangers reliever Brady Dragmire brought home the first run of the game.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989 and for MLB.com since 2006.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mazara hits first spring HR vs. Tribe

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the Indians, the most important moment of Monday's game against the Rangers arrived with the first pitch. It signaled the official return of Carlos Carrasco, who was forced to serve as a spectator throughout Cleveland's run to the World Series last fall.

In a 3-2 win over Texas, Carrasco worked two innings, fired all his pitches and came away feeling ready for the heavy workload that the Indians have planned for him this spring. That is great news for a pitcher whose season ended on Sept. 17 last year due to an Ian Kinsler line drive that fractured his right hand.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Profar to play for Netherlands in the Classic

Profar to play for Netherlands in the Classic

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jurickson Profar is getting to embark on another great international baseball adventure.

The former star of the Curacao Little League team is joining the Netherlands on Tuesday, and will fly to Korea for the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

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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.

Darvish in control with scoreless spring debut

Rangers righty pleased with fastball command vs. Royals

Darvish in control with scoreless spring debut

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The significance of Sunday's outing came to Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish when he began to warm up by playing catch in the outfield.

Darvish was getting ready for his first Cactus League outing of the spring and his first since March 5, 2015. That was the game in which Darvish pitched one inning and then came out with tightness in his right elbow. He eventually underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire season.

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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 weighing decision on first round of Classic

Rangers third baseman has until Thursday, when Dominican team sets roster

Beltre weighing decision on first round of Classic

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said his strained left calf muscle is better, but he is still undecided about playing in the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

Beltre said the deadline to decide is Thursday, when the Dominican Republic must set its final roster for the first round. It seems unlikely Beltre will be ready in time, but a final decision has yet to be made.

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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.

Rua's blast sets early tone against Royals

Rua's blast sets early tone against Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ryan Rua, who is trying to win a job in left field, hit a two-run home run off of Royals starter Kyle Zimmer to help lift the Rangers to a 6-4 victory on Sunday at Surprise Stadium.

Mike Moustakas played his first game for the Royals since ACL surgery on his right knee last May. Moustakas, who will alternate between DH and third base this spring, walked and went 0-for-2.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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.

Gamboa, Gonzalez crafting their own styles

Rangers pitchers in competition for roster spots this spring

Gamboa, Gonzalez crafting their own styles

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers right-hander Eddie Gamboa has one main pitch. If Gamboa can gain mastery of the pitch, he'll join a select group of pitchers who've had success as a knuckleballer.

Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez has five different pitches: two fastballs, two breaking balls and a changeup. Gonzalez needs to figure out which ones are the best and stick with it.

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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.

Griffin's outing opens fifth-starter battle

Griffin's outing opens fifth-starter battle

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The battle for the fifth spot in the rotation is underway.

A.J. Griffin was the first to audition, allowing three runs in two innings in the Rangers' 7-5 loss to the Royals in their Cactus League opener.

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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.

Lucroy knocks 2 RBIs, Napoli adds 1 in return

Lucroy knocks 2 RBIs, Napoli adds 1 in return

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Peter O'Brien, acquired from the D-backs in the offseason, hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to lift the Royals to a 7-5 victory over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon in the Cactus League opener for both teams.

O'Brien's home run came off of Anthony Bass, who is trying to win a job as a middle reliever. This marked the first of five games this spring between the teams that share the Surprise training facility. In his return to the Rangers, Mike Napoli produced an RBI single in the third.

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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.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loney could rise up depth chart this spring

Loney could rise up depth chart this spring

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are waiting to see whether Josh Hamilton can get back on the field and be a productive offensive force again. Right now, he is out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee and is limited to inside work on the exercise bicycle.

James Loney becomes more significant for every day Hamilton is down. Loney wasn't one of the more prominent free agents signed by the Rangers this offseason. In fact, his signing was made public right in the middle of the team's awards banquet.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.