3/11/2013 3:35 P.M. ET
Profar getting plenty of spring playing time
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie infielder Jurickson Profar was back in the lineup Monday, starting at shortstop against the Giants. He has played in 16 games, tied for the most of any player in Spring Training. With Elvis Andrus and Leury Garcia gone to the World Baseball Classic, the Rangers are getting an extra-long look at Profar this spring.
The reviews have been positive even though he entered Monday's game hitting .212. His seven walks led the Rangers and left him with a respectable .350 on-base percentage.
"He can play," manager Ron Washington said. "It's nothing I didn't already know about him but the kid is not afraid of the game. That's the way he goes about his business; he's not afraid of swinging the bat or playing defense. He's a baseball player. He's done a good job. He really has."
The Rangers still haven't made a decision if Profar, ranked by MLB.com as the overall No. 1 prospect, can make the team as a utility infielder. They don't want him sitting around if he's not going to play. So the Rangers are looking externally for a veteran infielder who can play shortstop, and they are also giving Yangervis Solarte a chance this spring even though he has limited experience at the position.
"We're still sorting through what we have in camp," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I thought Solarte has played pretty well. He hasn't played out there much, but he's made a couple of good plays."
The Rangers want at least one player on the bench who can play shortstop. Jeff Baker could win a job as a utility player but he has never played shortstop in the big leagues.
Beltre decides against playing in Classic
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is not going to join the Dominican Republic team for the second round of the World Baseball Classic.
Beltre said the Dominican team is doing well without him and his swing still isn't right. Beltre was 4-for-16 with one home run and two RBIs going into Monday's game against the Giants.
Beltre was on the provisional roster for the Dominican team but had to bow out of the first round because of a strained right calf. At the time he left open the possibility of playing in the second round if the Dominican squad advanced. But he has decided against that.
Harrison feels good, slated for 'B' game
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Matt Harrison is scheduled to return to the mound Tuesday when he pitches two innings in a "B" game against the Royals. Harrison was scratched from his last start Saturday with inflammation in a toe on his left foot but threw a bullpen session Sunday without any problems.
"I threw 40-something pitches with no pain," Harrison said. "I tried to do a little extra and see if there was and there was no pain. Then I did some [fielding work] and there was no pain. I should be good to go."
Harrison and Yu Darvish are the two candidates to be the Rangers' Opening Day starter. If Harrison has no problems Tuesday and no further setbacks, he still has time to make three more starts in Spring Training in preparation for Opening Day on March 31 or the second game April 2 against the Astros in Houston.
Manager Ron Washington has not announced his Opening Day starter but Harrison is the leading candidate based on his 18-win season in 2012.
"As long as Harrison can pitch, we'll figure that out as we go deeper into Spring Training," Harrison said. "It's not something we're worried about right now. It's nice to hear there are no issues so he can continue to work."
Grimm gets help from old coach
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Justin Grimm, off to a rough start this spring, made a phone call to an old friend and mentor last week. He had a chat with Storm Davis, his former pitching coach in the Rangers' farm system who is now working for the Cubs. Davis also pitched 13 seasons in the Majors and won 19 games for the 1989 World Series champion Athletics.
"It was more mental than physical," Grimm said. "I was worried about the wrong things instead of what I need to be doing and focusing on what I'm capable of doing. He's always a guy who I've been able to talk to. He's very good at the mental side of the game."
Grimm, ranked as the Rangers' No. 10 prospect by MLB.com, admitted he came to camp worried too much about trying to make the team rather than just go out and pitch. He came to camp as a candidate for the fifth-starter spot but didn't help himself by allowing 14 runs in his first five innings (including one intrasquad game).
But he came back Sunday and allowed just one run in three innings to get the save in the Rangers' 7-6 victory over the Indians. He allowed four hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
"I was worried about others' expectations rather than my own expectations," Grimm said. "That's something I'll learn: Here's where I'm at, here is where I want to be and here's what I've got to do to get there. I had a rough start but I still know where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. Now I've got to do it."
Grimm was 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers last season and 11-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 22 starts and three relief appearances combined at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock.
• Derek Lowe is scheduled to throw live batting practice Tuesday. If that goes well, he will pitch in his first Cactus League game Friday against the Giants.
• Baker went into Monday's game hitting .500 (15-for-30), the second-highest average in the Cactus League.
• Mitch Moreland was back in the lineup Monday after missing two games with tightness in his left quad muscle.
• Right-handed reliever Wilmer Font, who has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation, will pitch for the first time in the "B" game Tuesday.
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.