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More T.R. Sullivan from spring training

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T.R. Sullivan has a couple of items that went up today on the Rangers website...

Sullivan has a lengthy piece focusing on Ron Washington's first spring training as the manager, and also has an item on pitchers and catchers reporting today.

Sullivan says that eight pitchers have spots on the staff pretty well locked down -- Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy, Robinson Tejeda, Eric Gagne, Akinori Otsuka, C.J. Wilson and Ron Mahay.

Sullivan goes through the options for the 5th starter spot and the remaining bullpen slots:

That leaves the wide-open fifth spot with a minimum of eight candidates: right-handers Josh Rupe, Kameron Loe, Edinson Volquez, Jamey Wright and Francisco Cruceta and left-handers John Koronka, John Rheinecker and Bruce Chen.

The bullpen has three spots open . . . and there are a minimum of eight candidates for those spots: Rick Bauer, Joaquin Benoit, Wes Littleton, Frank Francisco, Scott Feldman, Willie Eyre, Franklyn German and Mike Wood.

Both Loe and Rupe could be considered for the bullpen if they are not in the rotation.

That assumes that Washington goes with a 12 man pitching staff, something that he says he hasn't decided on yet. It seems likely that the Rangers will go with a 12 man staff, giving them a 4 man bench, but that apparently isn't set in stone at this point.

I'm a little curious about the fact that Wes Littleton, who was dominant down the stretch last season, is among those competing for a job, rather than being someone who has a roster spot pretty well in hand. I imagine it primarily comes down to a numbers game, given that he has options remaining, while several other candidates do not.