3/21/2014 1:48 P.M. ET
Wilson benefits from playing time
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Wilson was in the Rangers' lineup on Friday for the third straight game, batting second and playing shortstop. Wilson is getting extra time because Elvis Andrus is sidelined with a sore right elbow.
The Rangers expect Andrus to be ready for Opening Day. But Wilson has made the most of his playing time in enhancing his bid to be the Rangers' utility infielder with six hits in his last 14 at-bats. He got off to a shaky start defensively, but has benefited from early work with manager Ron Washington.
"I'm still here and getting a chance to play," Wilson said. "You can't beat that."
Wilson, 33, has been in professional baseball since 1999 and has played with 12 organizations. He has played in 386 Major League games over parts of six seasons, with a career .225 batting average along with a .278 on-base percentage and a .317 slugging percentage. Wilson has played all four infield positions, made a token appearance in the outfield and has even pitched in three games.
Wilson is competing against Brent Lillibridge and Adam Rosales for the job. Lillibridge has played well in camp but is currently sidelined with a tight right hamstring. Rosales, who is the only of three currently on the Major League roster, is 4-for-18 with 11 strikeouts this spring.
Lewis looks like old self in Minor League start
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Colby Lewis doesn't have his pitch count up as high as the Rangers want, but he is throwing well. One scout who watched him throw on Thursday in a Minor League game said Lewis' stuff is back and he's pitching like he was two to three years ago.
Lewis allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings against Triple-A Omaha and finished with 57 pitches.
"I got what I needed," Lewis said. "I got up and down, got my pitch count up and got some quick outs. I feel the ball is coming out of my hand sharp and breaking. I'm throwing all my pitches for strikes. That's what I need to do to pitch in the big leagues."
Lewis will get one more start on Tuesday, either in a Minor League game or against the Reds in Goodyear. At some point, the Rangers have to make a decision. Lewis is in camp on a Minor League contract and has the right to take his free agency if he is not on the Opening Day roster.
The Rangers want Lewis to be able to throw 100 pitches in a game if he is going to be in the rotation. Lewis is hoping to throw 75 on Tuesday. If he's on the Opening Day roster, Lewis could throw in a simulated game on the Sunday before the season starts and get his pitch count up to 90-100. That would put him in position to start the fifth game of the season, on April 5 against the Rays.
The other option would be to have Lewis pitch in one Minor League game and not be added to the Major League roster until April 9. The Rangers have an off-day on April 3 after they open the season with a three-game series with the Phillies. That means they won't need a fifth starter until April 9 against the Red Sox. If the Rangers wait until then to add Lewis, it would allow them to carry an extra player or reliever for the first eight games.
Andrus out another week with sore right elbow
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is going to be sidelined for another week while recovering from a sore right elbow.
Andrus was examined by Dr. Keith Meister on Friday and was cleared to start a seven-day throwing program on Saturday. Meister has recommended Andrus complete that program before playing in another game. The Rangers only have eight exhibition games left before they open the regular season on March 31 against the Phillies. The Rangers' last exhibition game is March 29 against the Astros in San Antonio.
Andrus, who has never been on the disabled list in his Major League career, has not played since Monday because of the elbow. He also missed four games early in the spring because of a sore shoulder and elbow.
Andrus is 11-for-35 in the Cactus League. He won't play shortstop before the Rangers leave Arizona, but he is able to get his at-bats in a Minor League game. That was the plan for Andrus on Friday.
• Reliever Roman Mendez has been optioned to the Minor Leagues.
• Pitcher Justin Germano has returned to camp after being away for a week dealing with a personal matter.
• Kevin Kouzmanoff, who is looking good to win a job on the bench as the backup first and third baseman, entered Friday's game with a .447 on-base percentage that was the eighth best in the Cactus League.
• Tommy Hanson will pitch against the Royals on Saturday and Joe Saunders is scheduled to face the Padres on Sunday. Both games are in Surprise.
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.