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Saturday game stuff

The box score is up from today's game...

Eaton, Littleton and Dickey had lousy lines. The box score says that Kevin Mahar pitched, but that isn't right, since Mahar is an outfielder...apparently, the AP got Mahar and Ron Mahay mixed up...

Rod Barajas and Jason Botts each homered...Botts probably isn't under serious consideration for the DH slot right now, but it would be nice to see him have a strong spring, so if whomever ends up as the regular DH to start the season struggles early, there will hopefully be a greater level of confidence in Botts that will make it easier to pull the trigger to bring him up...

T.R. Sullivan has several notes on pitchers competing for roster spots, with Edison Volquez getting the start on Wednesday in Kevin Millwood's slot, Juan Dominguez and Thomas Diamond both pitching against the D-Backs on Monday (a game in which, apparently, Erubiel Durazo will also be playing, since he's training with the Mexican WBC in Tucson, where Arizona has its camp), and Rod Barajas claiming that Antonio Alfonseca is "back to the level he was with Florida."

I really have my doubts that Alfonseca is really pitching that well, but if he is, it creates quite a numbers game for the Rangers...even if they keep 5 righty relievers, Cordero and Otsuka are locks for the roster, Benoit and Leicester are out of options, and Wasdin has a guaranteed contract, meaning that Alfonseca or someone like Scott Feldman or Rick Bauer making the roster in the pen likely means putting Leicester on waivers or trying to outright Wasdin.

The lefty situation is just as crowded, since Erasmo Ramirez is out of options, Brian Shouse has a guaranteed deal, Fabio Castro has to stay on the 25 man roster or be put on waivers (and most likely be claimed by another team), Ron Mahay has a major league deal, Jesse Carlson has impressed Mark Connor and can become a free agent if he's not on the major league roster by June 15, and C.J. Wilson impressed the team out of the pen last year.

While I thought that Castro would make the team out of spring training, I'm now thinking that he'll develop back spasms or pink eye or turf toe or something, and stay in extended spring training for a while, then go to Frisco or Oklahoma for a 30 day rehab assignment in late April.

That would allow the Rangers to keep Shouse and Ramirez in the pen to start the season, send Mahay and Carlson to work out of the pen in AAA while Wilson is in the rotation, and keep their options open in case someone is hurt.

Really, barring a couple of significant injuries, I'm expecting a reliever or two to end up being dealt towards the end of spring training for fringey prospects, since the Rangers, realistically, have more decent relievers than they have room for.