3/16/2014 3:04 P.M. ET
Tolleson raises bullpen candidacy
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have a new entrant into the competition for a spot in the bullpen. The only question is if there is an actual spot in the bullpen to be won, but right-hander Shawn Tolleson caught the Rangers' attention with a scoreless inning against the Athletics on Saturday in his first appearance in the Cactus League.
Manager Ron Washington said Tolleson's stuff was "electric" and the Rangers want to see him pitch again.
"For the first time out, it was impressive," Washington said. "We're going to give him a day off and bring him back, see how he continues to progress."
Tolleson missed almost all of last season with the Dodgers because of surgery on April 25 to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. The Rangers claimed him on waivers this winter but prior to the injury he was a rising star in the Dodgers farm system and went 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 40 games in the big leagues in 2012.
'I just wanted to attack hitters and throw all my pitches for strikes," Tolleson said. "I'm here to make an impression and make the team. All I can do is get outs."
The Rangers bullpen right now includes right-handers Joakim Soria, Tanner Scheppers, Neftali Feliz and Jason Frasor, and left-handers Robbie Ross and Neal Cotts. That leaves one spot open for a long reliever and Tolleson doesn't really fit that role.
But Scheppers is still getting strong consideration for a spot in the rotation. If he ends up being a starter, it could open up a spot in the bullpen for Tolleson or somebody else.
Profar may play second base on Monday
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jurickson Profar could play second base as early as Monday after he passed one final test on his shoulder. Profar went through cutoff and relay drills on Sunday morning without any problems in his right shoulder.
"I'm ready to go," Profar said Sunday. "Everything went well."
Profar has not played second base this spring because of tendinitis in his shoulder. He also had four wisdom teeth taken out on Thursday, but the pain and the discomfort from that procedure has subsided. Now there is nothing left to address other than actually playing on defense.
"We'll see how he comes in tomorrow," manager Ron Washington said. "If he comes in feeling good, he'll probably play."
Profar has been used strictly as a designated hitter this spring and entered Sunday with 40 at-bats, the most on the Rangers. He has been able to do everything except throw.
"I want to play but I also want to get to 100 percent for the season," Profar said. "This is still Spring Training. I don't want to hurt it and not be ready for the season. My thing is to be ready for the season."
Adrian Beltre is taking the same approach with a tight left quad muscle. He was out of the lineup for the third straight day on Sunday although he was able to jog without any problems. He still hasn't tested it with a full-out sprint.
"I'm not going to force anything," Beltre said. "There's no doubt if this were the regular season, I would be playing. But it's not something I want to take into the season."
Frasor, Cotts enjoy quiet, productive spring
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Relievers Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts are enjoying quiet springs. That's a good thing for the Rangers with so many other issues swirling around their pitching staff. It's also good for Frasor and Cotts after a turbulent spring in 2013.
Frasor, who has not allowed a run in the Cactus League, and Cotts both had a 6.14 ERA in Spring Training last year. Frasor was still on the team for Opening Day but was 0-1 with a 3.86 through the end of May with only 14 innings pitched. But he was 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA in his final 41 appearances and earned a more prominent spot in the bullpen. He was also quick to re-sign in the offseason.
"This has been better than last year, that's for sure," Frasor said. "What I say? I feel good and my stuff is better. I came out of Spring Training last year a little blah. Nothing hurt, nothing crisp. I feel way ahead of last year."
Cotts, after being out of the Major Leagues for four years, did not make the team out of Spring Training as a non-roster invite. But he pitched well for Triple-A Round Rock, got called up on May 21 and was 8-3 with a club-record 1.11 ERA.
Cotts gave up six runs on March 5 but has been sharp his last two outings. He doesn't have to win a spot so he can experiment on a few things like a changeup or a sinker rather than relying strictly on the fastball and slider.
"I'm still approaching this spring about the same," Cotts said. "I'm not easy on myself, I want to do well. If I don't get results, I get mad. It's a work in progress."
• Shin-Soo Choo is still dealing with some inflammation in his left elbow and is being used at designated hitter as a precaution.
• Geovany Soto and Leonys Martin played in Minor League games on Sunday so they could bat leadoff an extra inning and get extra at-bats.
• Tommy Hanson is scheduled to pitch five innings in a Minor League game on Monday because Matt Harrison and Joe Saunders are pitching in the Cactus League night game against the Royals.
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.