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Pitchers take bunts, but hold off on hitting


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' 14th game of the season is against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Under the new alignment with 15 teams in each league, this will be the earliest the Rangers have played an Interleague game on the road.

So the Rangers have to get their pitchers ready to hit, but right now manager Ron Washington only has them working on bunting with third-base coach Gary Pettis. He does not want them swinging the bat early in Spring Training.

"We'll figure out something before we leave here, but I don't want them up there swinging like they're Babe Ruth," Washington said. "They need to get ready to pitch, not to hit. I'm not going to let a pitcher get hurt swinging the bat."

He also doesn't want them getting hurt running the bases. Alexi Ogando missed five weeks last season with a strained right groin muscle last season that occurred while he was beating out a bunt against the Giants in San Francisco.

"All I want my pitchers to do is be able to bunt the ball," Washington said. "If good things happen and they get on base, I want them going base to base. I don't want anybody going from first to third, sliding in and then dusting off their uniform for the camera."

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