3/12/2014 8:33 P.M. ET
Rangers nearing completely healthy lineup
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Barring any injuries or setbacks, the Rangers could have their full projected Opening Day lineup available to them by this weekend. That means Alex Rios, Geovany Soto and Jurickson Profar all being available to play in the field.
"I would like to get these guys a chance to play together for a few games," manager Ron Washington said.
Rios has not played since March 4 because of a strained intercostal muscle in his right rib cage. Rios, who was 4-for-10 before getting hurt, is taking batting practice daily and getting close to being able to play in a game.
"I'm not 100 percent yet, but in a couple days I will be fine," Rios said. "Obviously I want to be out there trying to get ready. But I'd rather this happen now than during the season. We'll take care of it, and when it's ready to go, I'll go out there."
Soto has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on Feb. 22 to have a bone removed from his left ankle. He is catching live batting practices and is expected to play in a game by Saturday. Profar has been limited to designated hitter duty because of shoulder tendinitis but is throwing long toss at a distance of 120 feet.
Prospects Odor, Sardinas head seven cuts
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Top infield prospects Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas were among seven players sent back to the Minor Leagues during the first wave of spring cuts made by the Rangers on Wednesday.
Both are expected to play at Double-A Frisco. Odor will be at second base, and Sardinas will be at shortstop. The Rangers, as in the case with Leury Garcia and Jurickson Profar two years ago, do not plan on having them play multiple positions to increase their versatility for a possible future utility role.
"Odor is a natural second baseman, and Sardinas is as natural of a shortstop as you'll ever see," manager Ron Washington said. "They need to focus on those two positions."
Washington also told both players they don't need to worry about when and where they might end up in the big leagues, even though the Rangers have shortstop Elvis Andrus signed through at least 2018 and second baseman Profar under their control through '19.
"Andrus and Profar ain't blocking anything for them," Washington said. "Those kids are just in Double-A ball. I told them to go play Double-A ball or wherever they're going to play and be there. When it's their time, no one will be able to keep them out of the big leagues."
Both players were 4-for-15 in Cactus League games. But more valuable was the early work they got every day from Washington. The Rangers' manager loves teaching infield defense, and that was especially true in working with Sardinas and Odor.
"I have no issues with how they went about their business," Washington said. "In fact, the thrill was all mine to be able to work with them on a consistent basis that I did. I only get a chance to work with those kids in Spring Training, and they certainly made my 2014 Spring Training enjoyable. Just to be around them and have a chance to come out in the morning and have some fun and continue to pass on some things I know about the game -- to watch them take and use it is a thrill. We will see them again, because both of them can play. They showed a lot of maturity, they applied the things that we were doing and they were involved in everything."
Sardinas is ranked as the Rangers' No. 2 prospect by MLB.com. He played in 97 games at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and 29 at Double-A Frisco last year, hitting .288 with 81 runs scored, 19 doubles and 32 stolen bases. Odor, ranked No. 4, played in 100 games at Myrtle Beach and 30 with Frisco, hitting a combined .305 with 85 runs scored, 41 doubles, 11 home runs, 78 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.
Thoracic outlet syndrome to sideline Adcock
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-handed pitcher Nate Adcock will miss the first half of the season after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. Adcock will undergo surgery on Thursday in Dallas to have a rib bone removed. The bone was pressing on a nerve and causing numbness in the right arm and hand.
Adcock was signed as a Minor League free agent this winter. He pitched for the Royals in parts of 2011-12, going 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA in five starts and 31 relief appearances.
Adcock was assigned to Minor League camp along with four other pitchers. Also sent down were right-handers Ben Rowen, Wilmer Font, Lisalverto Bonilla and Armando Rodriguez. Rowen came to camp dealing with biceps tendinitis and is still not throwing off a mound. He was 6-1 with a 0.69 ERA in 51 games last year between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock.
• The Rangers play the Giants at 8:05 p.m. CT on Thursday. The game will be live on MLB.TV, and instant replay will be available for both managers.
• Martin Perez, Michael Kirkman, Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria and Rafael Perez will pitch against the Giants. Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers will pitch Friday against the Reds, and Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch will pitch Saturday at Oakland.
• Infielder Kensuke Tanaka had more dental work done on Wednesday to repair the three broken teeth he suffered during Monday's game against the Reds.
• Minor League games begin Thursday. The Rangers will be playing the Royals' farm teams, with Triple-A and Double-A being played on the Texas backfields while the Class A games will be on the Kansas City side of the complex.
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.