--GM Jon Daniels, the AL Executive of the Year in 2010, got his reward -- a four-year contract extension -- for helping the Rangers reach the World Series for the first time in history. Daniels already was signed through 2011, so the extension will carry through 2015. If he serves through the full length of the contract, he would tie Tom Grieve (1984-94) as having the most tenure in the GM's chair in the franchise's history. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
--3B Adrian Beltre will apparently miss more time than originally expected because of a calf injury. Beltre suffered a strained calf while running on a treadmill at home shortly before spring training. He tried to work through it at camp but aggravated the injury at the end of February, and the club estimated he'd need another 10-14 days to get ready. It's looking more and more as if he might need three weeks. Club officials insist, however, that Opening Day is not in jeopardy. He was scheduled to take batting practice and do some light drills on March 6.
--LHP C.J. Wilson, the Rangers' Opening Day starter, is already proud to be a little weird. Now he wants to be even more like a freak. In particular: "The Freak." After watching Tim "The Freak" Lincecum pitch during the postseason last year, Wilson decided he wanted to better master the changeup and has worked hard to use it more often this spring. "After watching the way Lincecum pitched in the playoffs and seeing how he can take over a whole game with his changeup, I figured I'd like to do that, too," Wilson said. "If I can throw that for a two-strike pitch, all of a sudden I've got five different pitches I can go to."
--RHP Brandon Webb, trying to return to the majors after missing the last two seasons because of shoulder problems, has strengthened his arm to the point where he can get on a mound and throw bullpen sessions, but not to the point where he is ready to face hitters. After three bullpen sessions in five days, the Rangers decided to put an extra day in between his every-other-day schedule to allow him to do more long-tossing as he builds up arm strength. While the Rangers have made no announcement, it seems certain Webb will open the season on the DL. Late April might be the earliest possible time for him to return to the majors.
--RHP Tanner Scheppers, considered the top pitching prospect in the big-league camp, complained of a stiff back after allowing five hits and two walks in two-thirds of an innings against the Chicago Cubs. He underwent an MRI exam on March 4 and was to be re-evaluated.
BY THE NUMBERS
.213 -- OF Josh Hamilton's career batting average against left-handers in day games. Since the Rangers will likely sit Julio Borbon against most lefties, Hamilton will be asked to move back to center field against left-handed starters. Both of his injuries the last two years occurred while he was playing center field in day games.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I think I'm a little underrated as a catcher. I'm a better catcher than what people put out there. But that's for me to prove now. I'm working and doing everything I can to be the best catcher I can." -- C-DH-1B Mike Napoli on his catching skills. Napoli compiled a 4.47 catcher's ERA during his five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and was used more at other positions in 2010 than behind the plate.
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