SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers aren't sure if they'll have their top two setup relievers ready for Opening Day. That could be the final development that puts rookie reliever Keone Kela on the Opening Day roster.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder appears to be having a blast in Spring Training beating out bunts, trying to stretch singles into doubles and taking extra bases on pitches in the dirt.
"He is having fun and it is rubbing off on other players," manager Jeff Banister said. "They feed off that when you see one of your leaders doing that. It affects the whole team."
Left-hander Derek Holland finished the 2014 season with a flourish, dominating in six September outings after working his way back from a left knee injury. With that taste of health and success to chew on over a long offseason, Holland enters 2015 as eagerly as anyone in Rangers camp.
Fortunate enough to have been on World Series teams with the Rangers twice by the time he was 25, Holland is now a veteran presence on a Texas team that, like Holland himself, is looking to leave some health issues behind to make 2015 a better year than the one before.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
The runs came against Rangers starting pitcher Nick Tepesch, who is fighting to make the club, and in support of Brandon McCarthy, who overcame a three-run top of the third that included an RBI double from former Dodger Adrian Beltre, who also doubled in the fifth inning.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Nick Martinez has won the fifth spot in the Rangers' rotation, manager Jeff Banister said on Sunday morning.
He joins a rotation that already includes Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Ross Detwiler. Gallardo will take the mound on Opening Day (April 6) against the Athletics, and Banister confirmed Holland will pitch the home opener on April 10 against the Astros.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A year ago, few people had heard of outfielder Jake Smolinski. Having signed with the Rangers as a Minor League free agent, he was toiling in relative anonymity on that side of the complex and getting ready to play in Double-A for the fourth straight year.
A career .258 batting average with a .401 slugging percentage explained why, as did the fact that he had never hit more than nine home runs or driven in more than 51 runs in a season.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rookie right-hander Keone Kela continues to be the talk of the Rangers. Manager Jeff Banister has not said if Kela is going to make the team.
But the Rangers are running out of reasons why Kela shouldn't make the team. He threw another scoreless inning Sunday in the Rangers' 10-5 loss to the Dodgers.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson went deep again on Saturday. This time he wasn't throwing a bomb to Doug Baldwin, but taking Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley over the left-field fence in batting practice.
"I lasered one out in left-center field," Wilson said during what has become an annual visit to Rangers camp in Spring Training. "That was good. I stayed back and was able to drive it to left-center. It feels good hitting a home run. There's something special about throwing a touchdown, because it's so hard to get touchdowns, but getting a home run is a good feeling too."
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have optioned pitcher Anthony Ranaudo to Triple-A Round Rock, removing another candidate from the fifth-starter competition.
Ranaudo held the Athletics to two runs in six innings on Friday, but he was held back early in camp by some elbow issues and never really caught up in the race to be the fifth starter. Ranaudo was acquired from the Red Sox for reliever Robbie Ross Jr. in the offseason and will join prospect Alex Gonzalez in the Round Rock rotation.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have acquired left-handed reliever Sam Freeman from the Cardinals for a player to be named or cash considerations.
The Rangers acquired Freeman with the idea of having him in their Opening Day bullpen.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In what began as a pretty good pitching duel between the Texas bullpen and San Diego starter Tyson Ross ended up with the Padres holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Ross went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out 12. His career-high in the regular season is 11 and the most in a Spring Training game since Alex Cobb of the Rays on March 22, 2014. Ross, lined up to be the No. 2 starter in the Padres rotation, has a 2.89 ERA this spring and opponents are hitting .203 off him.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have told veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz that he will not be on the Opening Day roster. That clears the way for Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski and Delino DeShields to make the team.
Carlos Peguero is still in camp on a Minor League contract and has had an impressive spring. But the Rangers are likely to have him start the season in Triple-A and continue the progress he has made in his new approach at the plate.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Ross Ohlendorf has had an impressive Spring Training, but his chances of being on the Opening Day roster have been scuttled because of a mild strain of his right groin muscle.
Ohlendorf, who has pitched just three games and five innings this spring, has been shut down from throwing until his leg is symptom free. He has twice had to leave a game when the groin started bothering him.
Russell Wilson traded his Seattle Seahawks uniform for a Texas Rangers one on Saturday, as the two-time Super Bowl quarterback joined the club in Surprise, Ariz.
Wilson, whose Seahawks lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, made his second Spring Training visit with the Rangers. He participated in the team's morning workout, but won't play in the 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Padres.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
"Of course," Scheppers said. "I will remember Opening Day for the rest of my life."
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers still have outfield decisions to make and Nate Schierholz may be next on the list. The Rangers have until Saturday to put Schierholz on the Opening Day roster, or allow him the option of taking his free agency.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis allowed two runs in four innings. He only allowed three hits, but he hung a 1-2 curveball to Martin, who hit it out to right-center for his second home run of the spring. Reliever Rex Brothers, who entered with a 1.50 ERA in five games, struggled, allowing four runs in the eighth inning, on a pair of singles, a double and a wild pitch.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has officially named Yovani Gallardo the starter for the club's season opener at Oakland on April 6 and told Ross Detwiler that he has made the rotation.
Gallardo, a longtime resident of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas, will be making his first start for the Rangers after being acquired from the Brewers in the offseason.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Kyuji Fujikawa is scheduled to pitch in relief on Friday against the Athletics. The Rangers are watching him closely to see if he is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery or if he'll need more time in the Minors.
Fujikawa, a former dominating closer in Japan who underwent the procedure on June 13, 2013, has not allowed a run in four Cactus League games, but he hasn't looked as sharp in two camp games, allowing two runs in three innings.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers narrowed their outfield competition on Thursday by informing veteran outfielder Ryan Ludwick that he will not make the team.
The decision leaves the right-handed-hitting Ryan Rua and Jake Smolinski in position to make the team along with one of the two left-handed hitters in camp: Nate Schierholtz or Carlos Peguero. The Rangers are also trying to figure out what to do with Rule 5 Draft pick Delino DeShields, another right-handed hitter.
"I just was welcoming him into the team," Chirinos said.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Using a four-run bottom of the second inning while sending nine men to the plate, the Reds claimed a 5-0 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark.
Appeared headed into the Cincinnati rotation, Anthony DeSclafani had his best outing in his fifth start of spring. DeSclafani pitched six scoreless innings with four hits, three walks and nine strikeouts.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Adam Rosales had a two-run double and Thomas Field had a three-run home run in a 10-run seventh inning that lifted the Rangers to a 15-8 win over the Angels on Tuesday afternoon at Surprise Stadium. Ed Lucas had a single and a double in the inning as well.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch -- who is adding a slow curve to his arsenal -- went five innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out one while throwing 67 pitches. Reigning American League MVP Mike Trout had a triple off him that led to two runs in the first and Albert Pujols had a long solo home run in the fourth.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camp, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com will be visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the Texas Rangers.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers debuted several high-upside position players in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2012. Three years later, third baseman Joey Gallo and outfielders Nomar Mazara and Nick Williams are on the verge of reaching Texas. Outfielder Lewis Brinson is a little further behind, but he has the best five-tool ceiling of them all.
Occasionally during the normal course of a baseball game there comes a moment that makes fans ask, "Do you think he meant to do that?" The ninth inning of Tuesday's Rangers-Angels Spring Training game featured such a moment, courtesy of Adam Rosales and Evan Van Hoosier.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Alex Gonzalez, the Rangers' No. 1 Draft pick in 2013, had an impressive stay in big league camp.
But that stay came to an end on Tuesday when Gonzalez was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. Rated as the Rangers' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, Gonzalez pitched in four Cactus League games with a 3.95 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .214.
There was some irony in that because Tepesch's offspeed pitches, especially a slow curve, have made significant improvement this spring.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Veteran reliever Jamey Wright has a 14.29 ERA in six outings and opponents are hitting .393 off him. But the Rangers are still taking a hard look at him.
Wright, in camp on a Minor League contract, is scheduled to pitch two innings Wednesday against the Reds. He has allowed nine runs in his last two outings, including three against the Reds on Monday night.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Adrian Beltre put in a normal day at the ballpark on Saturday. He was there for early hitting and conditioning, took a hundred ground balls plus regular batting practice, and then he went 0-for-2 with a walk in the game against the Brewers.
When it was over, Beltre went out to the back field and threw batting practice.