Rangers make final round of roster cuts
Littleton, Tejeda and Cruz left off team's 25-man roster
FRISCO, Texas -- The Rangers made three roster moves on Saturday, paring down to the 25-man active roster as they head into Opening Day on Monday at Seattle.
Texas optioned right-hander Wes Littleton to Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks and designated right-hander Robinson Tejeda for assignment. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or reassign Tejeda.
When manager Ron Washington was asked about Nelson Cruz, he said the outfielder was "not formally" designated for assignment.
The implication was that Cruz would be designated if the Rangers made it through today's final exhibition game against the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders without any injuries.
No one was hurt, but Texas had a scare in the second inning when a pitch from left-hander Kason Gabbard struck his catcher, Gerald Laird, on the right foot. Laird hobbled around the home-plate area, but stayed in the game until the fifth inning.
Tejeda had been trying to switch from a starting pitcher to a reliever.
"He's still inconsistent with his control," Washington said. "It was a tough situation he was in. His mentality always has been as a starter. Now he's trying to get things done in one inning."
Littleton was a victim of numbers, Washington said. The Rangers added right-hander Dustin Nippert to the bullpen on Friday in a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"We can only take 25," he said.
Littleton, Tejeda and Cruz all split time last season between Texas and Oklahoma. With the Rangers, Littleton was 3-2 with a 4.31 ERA with two saves in 35 games, and Tejeda was 5-9 with a 6.61 ERA in 19 starts. Cruz began the year batting .352 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 44 games for the RedHawks, then batted .235 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 96 games.
Lary Bump is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.