GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Ron Washington remains away from camp due to a death in the family, so hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh stepped in for the Friday morning briefing. On rookie infielder Mike Olt: "Mike Olt has made a good impression in camp. He's a strong kid coming off a season where he only played a half-year because of an injury, but with the confidence gained from a great Arizona Fall League. He has shown he can play third and first base and he swings the bat well." On rookie utility infield candidate Yangervois Solarte, who is 6-for-16 with two home runs: "He's been a guy who has shown a lot of versatility and he can really swing it from both sides of the plate. He's an aggressive hitter who attacks the ball well. For a small guy, he's showed power." On rookie outfielder Engel Beltre: "He's had a good camp. He has shown some good things at the plate. He's matured as a player and understands he needs to be more consistent. His two-strike approach is better, putting the ball in play. He's cutting down his swing, putting the ball in play and extending his at-bats." On Julio Borbon: "He is really playing with a lot of confidence and swinging the bat well. He's going out and playing and just being Julio, allowing his talent to come out. Julio is a guy who can be a threat at the plate. He hits left-handed pitching, right-handed pitching. ... If he continues to do what he's doing, he's going to make it tough on the decision-making at the end of camp."
Darvish works on mechanics in bullpen session
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yu Darvish went to the bullpen on Friday. Darvish threw his side session in the bullpen rather than throw live batting practice to hitters.Rangers starters normally throw live batting practice between starts, but pitching coach Mike Maddux wanted Darvish to get his work done in the bullpen. Maddux said he wanted Darvish to work on the mechanics of his windup and not be distracted by hitters. Darvish will have another session in the bullpen on Saturday. "Live BP is more taxing than what we did today, so this gives us two opportunities to get on the mound instead of one," Maddux said. "At the moment right now, I think that's pretty good medicine. We can work on our delivery, implement full windup. We did that today and it's just a matter of working on things. We're going to do it twice instead of one time."
Darvish has made two starts for the Rangers in the Cactus League and has pitched five innings. He has allowed two runs on five hits and four walks with six strikeouts.His next start is scheduled for Monday against the Brewers in Surprise and the game is being televised in Texas on FOX Sports Southwest.
Napoli back in the lineup as designated hitter
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mike Napoli returned to the Rangers lineup on Friday, starting at designated hitter against the Dodgers. Napoli missed six games because of a mild strain of his left groin muscle.The Rangers aren't sure when Napoli will catch in a game. He is not on the travel roster for the two-game series against the Cubs in Las Vegas. But he is resuming catching drills. "Everything is good," Napoli said. "I did the catching drills and felt good. I tried a little different stance to see if that worked and I'll keep trying that. But everything feels good."
Napoli went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, singling in the ninth inning. He was then replaced by a pinch-runner.
Lewis, Nathan pitch in Minors
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis and closer Joe Nathan did their work in Minor League games on Friday.Nathan pitched for Class A Myrtle Beach against Lake Elsinore back in Surprise, Ariz., and went one scoreless inning. He walked two, struck out one and threw 22 pitches. Lewis started for Triple-A Round Rock against Tucson at the Padres' camp in Peoria, Ariz. Lewis went 3 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one, struck out four and threw 62 pitches.
Foundation to fund youth programs
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have announced that they are starting a grant program to provide assistance to youth baseball and softball programs in the club's five-state broadcasting region.The Rangers are accepting proposals for grants for this baseball/softball grant program from nonprofit organizations that support youth baseball or softball in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arkansas. This grant program and all applications should be limited to support of youth baseball and softball. "The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is proud to launch this grant program to provide financial support youth baseball and softball across our entire market," foundation president Jim Sundberg said in a statement. "Our Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of youngsters in need. The funding of youth baseball and softball programs across our entire region will allow us to build relationships with communities market-wide as we strengthen the sport." All grant proposals will be reviewed by Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation staff first to determine that the proposal is eligible and then by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation board of directors. There is one grant cycle annually. Funding is limited to organizations supporting baseball and softball for youths ages 18 and under. Grant requests must be for baseball and/or softball-related activities and will be accepted through June 30.
Rookie right-hander Justin Miller was scratched from Friday's game with lower back stiffness and shortstop Greg Miclat was sent home with a migraine headache. Catcher Dusty Brown, who has been sidelined with arm fatigue, is on the travel roster to Las Vegas. Left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, who was scratched from Thursday's game because of a virus, is expected to pitch this weekend.
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.