SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus was back on the field Monday taking batting practice and fielding ground balls but is still limited because of a sore left heel. He had a plantar's wart removed on Friday."It's still painful, but today was less pain," Andrus said. Manager Ron Washington said catcher Mike Napoli is running at about "60-70" percent as he recovers from his high ankle sprain. Otherwise Napoli has been able to do everything in camp, including take his turn catching bullpen sessions. "He's certainly being careful cutting on the basepaths," Washington said. "Running straight is fine and his catching is fine. He's just being careful."
Rangers set rotation; Darvish to start March 7
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish will make his first start of the Cactus League against the Padres on March 7 in Peoria.Darvish, who threw 34 pitches of live batting practice on Monday, will be starting the fourth game of the team's Cactus League schedule. Colby Lewis and Scott Feldman are pitching the opener on March 4 against the Royals. They will be followed by Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando against the Royals on March 5 and Matt Harrison against the D-backs on March 6. Darvish will pitch against the Padres on March 7, and Neftali Feliz will start March 8 against the White Sox. Manager Ron Washington said that's how they will open up the Cactus League but that's not necessarily how they will open the season. Washington said he would like to "split" his two left-handers, Holland and Harrison. The Rangers will most likely do that by moving up Darvish at some point during Spring Training. That would allow the Rangers to open the season with Lewis, Holland, Darvish, Harrison and Feliz in that order. But the Rangers are still going to stretch out Ogando in Spring Training so he could step into the rotation if necessary. "I want his focus on starting," Washington said. "We haven't said anything to anybody. We want him stretched out and ready. You never know what will happen."
Beimel expects to get right back on mound
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-handed reliever Joe Beimel said the soreness in his elbow is not serious and he should be able to resume throwing on Tuesday.Beimel said he strained the elbow reaching for a medicine ball in conditioning drills a couple of days ago. He missed seven weeks last summer because of inflammation in his left elbow and doesn't want to take any chances early in camp. "We don't want it to turn into something else," Beimel said. "I want to be smarter and not try and throw through it. I'd rather get some rest and be able to compete. It's not as severe as last year. Last year was one of those frustrating years where we couldn't get rid of it." Beimel was signed to a Minor League contract early in February to compete as a possible left-handed setup reliever. He has pitched in 567 games over an 11-year Major League career, second only to Joe Nathan in Rangers camp. "We were aware of what happened with him last year," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "Based on it being a non-roster deal, the risk was worth taking. It was a position of need and he has a track record of success."
Maddux, Fernandez sharing insight
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Former pitcher Greg Maddux and infielder Tony Fernandez have a combined 40 years of Major League Baseball experience. They have played in a combined 78 postseason games and 13 All-Star Games.They have much to offer and right now they are working quietly with players in Rangers camp. Both were hired in the offseason as special assistants. Maddux won 18 Gold Gloves but, in a camp where pitchers' fielding is a priority, he is not involved in that right now. He is mainly helping out on the pitching side. "He's helping guys understand pounding the strike zone and using all their pitches," manager Ron Washington said. "Right now, his need is in the bullpen and when guys are on the field throwing." Fernandez, a native of the Dominican Republic, was hired at the start of Spring Training to help assist with infield instruction. "We're always looking for talent, and talent is not always in between the lines," Washington said. "We have a lot of Latin middle infielders and he can help them grow."
The Rangers announced they have agreed to terms with 13 players. The list includes pitchers Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando, and outfielder Julio Borbon. Holland was one of the players approached by the Rangers in the offseason about a long-term contract. The two sides, though, were not able to work anything out."I let them deal with that," Holland said. "I need to take care of my job on the field. If I do what I need to do, everything will play out." The Rangers worked on bunt defense during Monday's workout. Manager Ron Washington has his team working on a different fundamental every day in camp. The Rangers will have everything covered by the first Cactus League game on March 4 and then will review before every home game this spring. Reliever Mike Adams, recovering from offseason hernia surgery, has thrown three bullpen sessions without problem but said he has not caught up with the other pitchers. Said Adams, "Everybody else has thrown seven or eight. We're making progress. We're not going backwards, we're moving forward." Pitching coach Mike Maddux said rookie left-hander Martin Perez was impressive in his live batting practice session and Matt West threw with some serious velocity. Maddux also said West, who converted to pitching just last year, also featured a tight breaking ball.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.