Yesterday, Colby Lewis became the first Ranger pitcher to go five innings so far this spring. Lewis had been spotty in prior starts, leading some fans to question whether he should be in the rotation, but he had a solid performance in yesterday's game.
Evan Grant has some notes up from yesterday's game on the DMN blog.
Jeff Wilson writes that, although Lewis has a spot in the rotation, he wants to prove to folks this spring that he deserves that rotation slot.
T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers will be going with C.J. Wilson and Matt Harrison as their #4 and #5 starters, which means that Derek Holland will start the season in AAA, Neftali Feliz likely in the bullpen, and Brandon McCarthy is in limbo.
Despite the talk of McCarthy opening the season in AAA, I have a hard time seeing him clearing waivers. Seattle, to name one divisional rival, is going to open the season with Ryan Rowland-Smith, Ian Snell, and Claudio Vargas in its rotation, even assuming Cliff Lee is ready to go Opening Day, and given that they are in a spacious park with a great outfield defense, they'd seem to be interested in a solid starting pitcher who has flyball tendencies. Anaheim, as well, is low on rotation depth, and could stash McCarthy in the bullpen as a swing man.
I understand the "gentleman's agreement" and all that when it comes to putting players on revocable waivers to option them when they've been up for three years, but nevertheless, I just can't see 29 teams passing on McCarthy, and in particular, the M's passing on an asset they could definitely use so that their competition for the division title can keep him in AAA as insurance.
Sullivan's notes from yesterday include some quotes from McCarthy about how he wants to be in the rotation, but if he ends up in the bullpen, that's fine as well...he just wants to help the team win.
Gil LeBreton has a column up on Derek Holland, who, he says, just had too much competition for the rotation, and thus starts the season in AAA.
Evan Grant writes that Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels working together to deal with the issue of Ron Washington's positive drug test last summer helped them forge a closer bond and a better working relationship.
Ray Olmedo has been assigned to the minor league camp. The notes from the S-T mention that Jon Daniels has been talking to other teams about utility infield options. I still am of the belief that the utility infielder on Opening Day is going to be someone who isn't here right now, and I expect to see one of the Rangers' extra arms used to acquire that player.
Richard Durrett has some quotes up from Josh Hamilton.