"He pitched well," manager Buck Showalter said. "R.A. had good command, and he threw
14 out of 21 first pitch strikes. That's impressive. He did his part."
Showalter is not ready to anoint Dickey as his fifth starter as the team is still
searching for other alternatives -- internally and externally -- including Thomson.
The Rangers and the Braves have not exchanged names, but Atlanta is looking for
bullpen help. The Braves are expected to go with a starting rotation of Tim Hudson, John
Smoltz, Horacio Ramirez, Jorge Sosa and Kyle Davies, leaving Thomson the odd man out.
The Rangers have grown increasingly concerned that a fifth starter has not emerged
in camp. Juan Dominguez had the job coming into the camp, but has pitched his way out of the
competition by the way he's performed this spring.
Edinson Volquez gets his shot on Monday, and the Rangers will send Dominguez back
out there on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics so that Kevin Millwood can do his work in
a Triple-A game.
"I'm glad we're down to one spot in the rotation, and we've got time to decide,"
general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's time for them to show us something."
Dickey did just that on Friday. The Rangers must decide if they can trust a
knuckleball pitcher in their rotation over some young talented and erratic arms.
"I was just more consistent," Dickey said. "Every outing I feel I have a better grip
on things. I feel like if I'm in the starting rotation it's because I've improved to the
point where Buck can trust me. He's the one who has the say."
Wilkerson's shoulder ailing:
Brad Wilkerson's right shoulder is bothering him
again, and he is scheduled to have it examined by Dr. Lewis Yokum, the Angels' team
physician, on Saturday.
Wilkerson played with a sore shoulder all of last season and needed two cortisone
shots, one during the season and one after. The Rangers held up the trade with the
Washington Nationals in December, until they could have the shoulder examined.
"I rehabbed in the offseason, and it felt pretty good," Wilkerson said. "But lately
it started acting up. It's disappointing, but hopefully we can get it taken care of. Certain
things bother me...it's hard to put a seat belt on."
Wilkerson took batting practice on Friday night, but did not play in the game. He's
hitting .206 this spring.
"I feel all right, my swing just doesn't feel quite right," Wilkerson said. "In
batting practice you can get away with a lot of stuff, but a game is different. I just want
to get it calmed down and have the feeling mentally that I can go out and perform."
Matthews holds out hope: The odds increase daily that Gary Matthews Jr. will
have to start the season on the disabled list with a strained right ribcage muscle. Daniels
and Showalter have met with him and told him it may be a necessity. But Matthews is not
ready to go on the DL.
"Not yet," Matthews said. "I'm going to keep working out. It would be great one day
if I just woke up and was good to go It would definitely be pushing it, but I can get
prepared for the season. At this point I just have to get healthy. It's definitely
Matthews injury could open a spot for non-roster infielder D'Angelo Jimenez. Club
officials confirmed he still has a good shot of making the team as a utility infielder,
which would allow Mark DeRosa to be used in the outfield.
The other option would be to replace Matthews with another outfielder with either
Adrian Brown or Adam Hyzdu or Erubiel Durazo, who could also be a pinch-hitter off the
Mayberry gets start:
The Rangers need outfielders, so they are going to take
a look at John Mayberry Jr. for the first time this spring. Mayberry will be in the Rangers
starting lineup and play nine innings against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.
Wilson questionable for Opening Day:
Left-hander C.J. Wilson has a spot in
the Rangers bullpen if he's healthy, but the team isn't sure if it will be on Opening Day.
Wilson, scratched from his last outing with shoulder stiffness, had a good throwing
session in the bullpen on Friday. The Rangers want to re-evaluate him on Saturday before
deciding what the next step will be.
As far as Opening Day, Showalter said, "It will be close ... what you have to remember
is that there are seven or eight months to the season. If we have to back Gary off, back
C.J. off, we'll do that."
The Rangers have traded catcher Keith McDonald to the New York
Yankees for a player to be named later...Jose Silva, still a candidate for long relief, was
supposed to pitch on Friday night, but was scratched with the flu...The Rangers had a pre-game
meeting with Steve Palermo, one of Major League Baseball's umpire supervisors and among the
topics discussed was pace of game, wearing the uniform properly and pitchers throwing at
Pitcher Vicente Padilla starts for the Rangers against the
Colorado Rockies at 12:05 p.m. (MST) on Saturday at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. Adam Eaton
-- bumped back a day because of a bruised right arm -- is scheduled to pitch at least a
couple of innings in a Minor League game back in Surprise.
Eaton's final start of Spring Training is scheduled for Wednesday against the San
Diego Padres, and the Rangers are hoping he can throw 75-80 pitches in that game. That would
put him about 20 pitches behind where he normally would be without getting hit in the arm by
a line drive.