It's true. One week from right now Rangers' pitchers and catchers will be required to report for Spring Training and the baseball season will unofficially officially begin.
Who will to be the first Ranger to declare that they're in the best shape of their life? (Probably not Nelson Cruz) Who will be the early spring standout? (Engel Beltre, obviously) Who will hang around camp and make us nervous that they're going to win a spot on the team? (I'm looking at you, Randy Wells) Get your guesses in now.
T.R. Sullivan takes a gander at the 22 current non-roster Spring Training invitees. There's everyone from 2011 Bullpen Savior Yoshinori Tateyama to top prospect Cody Buckel, from an Aughts White Whale in Nate Robertson to someone I've never heard of named James Adduci. Of these 22 people, the odds say that at least a couple of them will be future 2013 Texas Rangers. We might as well get to know them.
Richard Durrett examines yet another issue facing the Rangers as they inch closer to spring. Today that issue is Ian Kinsler's attempt at a bounce-back season.
Speaking of Kinsler, Rick Gosselin had a chat over at the DMN and answered a question about what the Rangers should do with Kinsler and he answered:
The last time I looked, Kinsler was the employee and the Texas Rangers the employer. The guys on the assembly line don't tell Ford how many cars to build. If the Rangers want Kinsler to play the outfield, give him his marching orders and let him figure out the rest.
I mostly agree with that. I've probably said as much about position changes in the past. It's funny, though. I don't remember seeing those sentiments from the DFW media while the Michael Young saga was playing out.
Durrett writes about how the Rangers' lack of activity in the offseason has set them up with the resources and flexibility to perhaps acquire premium talent--such as David Price--in the near-ish future.
The folks at the DMN have written a prospect primer on Mike Olt. It begins "A tall, sturdy third baseman" but unfortunately doesn't devolve into the lurid, graphic erotic novella that you were maybe expecting and certainly hoping for.
Lastly, Gerry Fraley writes about the latest Japanese pitcher that the Rangers have their eyes on.