2/21/2014 4:07 P.M. ET
Rangers optimistic after Harrison has MRI
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are cautiously optimistic pitcher Matt Harrison is going to get through his latest back issue without any major problems.
Harrison had an MRI on Thursday and the results showed nothing serious. Harrison, who reported feeling better on Friday, is still going back to Dallas to be examined by back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett early next week. Dossett performed the two surgeries on Harrison last year for a herniated disk and wants to make sure everything is still good.
"I feel better today," Harrison said. "I slept on the floor last night. I really don't know because I had never felt that before on my right side. I thought it was kind of weird because I don't remember doing any one thing that could have caused it.
"From what they saw [on the MRI] it was nothing there. He still wants to check me out. He tried to figure out what might have caused it, and it may have been just as simple as something may have moved or shifted a little bit and nicked that nerve because it's so close together in there. I feel a lot better today about everything and hopefully I'll be even better tomorrow and move past this and it will be a nonissue."
Harrison was an 18-game winner for the Rangers in 2012 but made just two starts last season before going on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his lower back. He needed two operations to correct the problem and did not pitch the rest of the season.
Soto to have Achilles tendon examined in Texas
SURPRISE Ariz. -- The Rangers are sending catcher Geovany Soto back to Texas to have his sore left Achilles tendon examined by a specialist. Soto has been limited by inflammation in his left ankle and is being sent back to see Dr. John Crates in Plano.
"We're going to see the doctor, specialist, just as a precaution and see how we can deal with this," Soto said. "If this was the season, this would be no problem, put a little bit of tape on it and just go out there. But we're not even in March.
"I want to take care of minor aches and pains. I'm jumping around. I just want to get it checked because it's so early and see what's going on. It's a little bit of discomfort. I have a little pain back there but nothing major. Hopefully I can see the doctor and he'll give me some good news and we'll get past it."
Moreland concentrating on outfield at camp
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mitch Moreland has been the Rangers' starting first baseman over the past three seasons but is hanging with the outfielders this spring. Moreland is still getting early work at first base, but the Rangers want him in the outfield during the regular workouts.
Moreland lost his first-base job when the Rangers traded for Prince Fielder. He will most likely be the Rangers' primary designated hitter, but the club wants him to be able to play the outfield if needed.
"I view him as a guy who can play the outfield, the infield or DH," manager Ron Washington said. "But right now I want him to get familiarized with the outfield and seeing as many balls off the bat as he can out there."
Moreland has played 380 games at first base in his Major League career and 45 in right field. He played both positions plenty coming through the Minor Leagues. He has never played left field in the Majors, but Washington wants him to get time there as well.
Feliz, Scheppers getting over minor setbacks
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz threw five minutes of live batting practice without any problems on Friday. It was his second live batting-practice session since camp opened, but his first since Monday.
Feliz was scheduled to throw one on Wednesday but was shut down with some soreness in his right biceps. But he showed he was over that on Friday.
"He was better than last time," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "The last time he had a little crankiness in the biceps, but I believe we've nipped it in the bud."
Tanner Scheppers, who has been sidelined with spasms in his lower back, played long toss on Friday and had no problems. He is hoping to throw a bullpen session in the next couple of days.
"Everything felt great, but we want to make sure everything is 100 percent," Scheppers said.
• The Rangers expect Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to have only a brief stay in camp. Said general manager Jon Daniels: "We are very pleased that Russell will be able to spend some time at our Spring Training camp. Due to his other commitments, I expect his visit will be brief but he should be able to interact with our players on both the Major and Minor League sides. We are finalizing his exact schedule for March 3."
• Alex Rios has a sore big toe on his left foot and is being limited in his work for a day or two. It is not an insignificant injury but the result of playing on the artificial turf in Toronto earlier in his career. Said Rios: "I've had to deal with this for seven years going back to Toronto. When it comes up, it takes a couple of days to go away. When it hurts, it's bad."
• Jurickson Profar (tendinitis in his right shoulder) has not resumed his throwing program but has been cleared to swing the bat again.
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.