SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Greg Reynolds and left-hander Robert Ross have both pitched well up to this point in Spring Training.They are being rewarded with starting assignments. Reynolds will start for the Rangers on Friday against the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz., at 3:05 p.m. CT, and Ross will start Sunday against the Brewers in Phoenix at 3:05 p.m. Reynolds replaces Colby Lewis, who will get his work in a Minor League game, and Ross is starting Sunday against the Brewers because Matt Harrison will pitch in Las Vegas against the Cubs. "It's just like the other outings, only I'm starting instead of coming in second," Reynolds said. "The main goal is the same: go out and execute pitches and have a good outing." He has done that to this point. Reynolds, who was acquired from the Rockies for infielder Chad Tracy in the offseason, has pitched four scoreless innings to this point without allowing a hit or a walk. He has struck out two. "I feel good where I'm at," said Reynolds, who was the second overall pick out of Stanford in the 2006 Draft. "My fastball command has been good so far. I'm looking to continue that and mix things up."
Ross has also been impressive this camp, throwing four scoreless innings. He has allowed three hits with a hit-by-pitch and has struck out six. As the Rangers' second-round pick out of high school in the 2008 Draft, he's in his first big league camp and has not been overwhelmed."I'm just trying to do the best I can and not worry about anything," Ross said. "I don't worry about it, because I didn't have any expectations coming in here. Just go out and have fun." Ross has been mentioned in the mix for the left-handed relief role, but will more likely end up starting in the Minors.
Hamilton back, but Napoli still out
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup on Thursday, but Mike Napoli remains sidelined with a strained left groin muscle. Hamilton, who started in center and went 0-for-3, had to come out of Wednesday's game with a jammed right heel that occurred while chasing down a double into the corner."I don't know, I just went to turn and came up short," Hamilton said. "I guess I stunned my heel. Instead of pushing it, I decided to come out. It's OK. It was just sore." Napoli has been sidelined for six games because of his injury, but started to resume some catching activities on Thursday. Napoli has an unorthodox catching stance that puts extra strain on his legs and has talked about changing it. "We've talked about it," Napoli said. "If I'm comfortable with a different stance, I'll do it, but if I can get back to the old stance and not [get] hurt, that's what we want." Napoli came into camp dealing with a high left ankle sprain, but that has not been a problem this spring. "My ankle is fine ... feeling great," Napoli said. "That's what's frustrating. The big issue was how my ankle will feel and now it's my groin."
Maddux offers some observations of his staff
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitching coach Mike Maddux met with the media on Thursday morning. Manager Ron Washington normally speaks with the media before the workout, but he is away from camp for a few days because of a death in his family.Among Maddux's observations: On Neftali Feliz's outing on Wednesday: "I like what I saw with Feliz. I saw some good offspeed pitches. His velocity is not there yet, but I don't know if anybody has their midseason velocity. But I liked his touch on his offspeed pitches." On not making any mechanical adjustments with Yu Darvish: "He's got enough adjustments to make culturally and new environment. He's got a lot on his plate. I can't imagine being in his shoes, thrown into a culture you're not familiar with. I played winter ball, it takes time to adjust. He's making this adjustment, but he has a lot to do." On pitching in the Cactus League: "Arizona is tough on pitchers. The thin air, dry air, the ball goes forever, and the infields are hard. There are a lot of things that add up for the offense in the Cactus League. But that doesn't mean we can go around walking seven guys." On reliever Mike Adams: "His fastball command is not where it needs to be. That's what he's going to work on tomorrow when he throws on the side."
De La Cruz goes back to Indians
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-handed pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz was sold back to the Indians on Thursday. Cruz was acquired from the Indians at the beginning of camp and pitched in just one Cactus League game. By sending him back to the Indians, the Rangers regained a spot on their 40-man roster. That would allow them to claim somebody off waivers later this spring.Cruz was one of four roster moves made on Thursday. The Rangers also sent pitchers Matt West, Wilmer Font and Fabio Castillo to the Minors. West remains sidelined for the rest of Spring Training with a strained ligament in his right elbow. Font missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, but showed he is healthy again this spring. Castillo was 3-6 with a 6.36 ERA in 42 relief appearances at Double-A Frisco last year after beginning the season on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his left foot.
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.