3/27/2014 12:03 A.M. ET
Figueroa wins spot in bullpen
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pedro Figueroa, a power-throwing left-hander who impressed early in camp, has won a job in the Rangers bullpen.
Figueroa is a left-hander who has always been able to throw hard, but struggled with command issues. This spring he pitched seven innings in the Cactus League and did not walk a batter while striking out six. He gave up three runs on seven hits.
"We always knew he had a big arm," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's not just a left-on-left guy. He can throw multiple innings. He has had command issues in the past, but he has thrown quality strikes here in camp. This gives him an opportunity to show what he can do."
Figueroa has pitched in 24 games and 24 2/3 innings with the Athletics over the past two years, with a 4.38 ERA, 24 hits, 18 walks and 17 strikeouts. At Triple-A Sacramento last season, he allowed 33 walks with 49 strikeouts in 59 innings.
Figueroa joins a bullpen that already includes closer Joakim Soria, left-hander Neal Cotts and right-handers Alexi Ogando and Jason Frasor. That leaves two spots open.
Rule 5 Draft pick Seth Rosin, claimed on waivers from the Dodgers on Wednesday, is one candidate. The others are right-handers Shawn Tolleson and Daniel McCutchen and left-handers Ryan Feierabend and Michael Kirkman
Lewis, Ogando miss out on starting rotation
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Colby Lewis and Alexi Ogando wanted to be in the Rangers' rotation by Opening Day. They are not. Instead the Rangers are going with rookie Nick Martinez as their fifth starter and the two veterans don't appear thrilled with their current situation.
The Rangers want Lewis to pitch in at least one more Minor League game and build up his stamina. Lewis doesn't sound particularly excited about the prospect and still has the option of taking his free agency on April 10 if he is not added to the Major League roster by then.
Whatever Lewis is feeling, he's not talking about it.
"I'm healthy, that's all I got," Lewis said tersely after pitching five scoreless innings in the Rangers 5-3 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon.
Lewis has not pitched in the Majors since July 18, 2012. He had surgery on his right flexor tendon in 2012 and hip replacement last August. The Rangers are thrilled with what Lewis has shown so far and the progress he has made, but don't want to bring him back too quickly.
"Colby feels great and looks good," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We just want to make sure we are smart about it. So far there have been no issues and everything has been very positive. We want to make sure it stays that way."
The Rangers want Lewis to build up his pitch count. He threw 72 pitches on Wednesday afternoon, allowing four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. They would like for him to be up to 90 to 100 before joining the Major League rotation.
"He threw the ball well today," manager Ron Washington said. "He moved the ball around, got his fastball off the middle of the plate and was able to spot it. He did a good job."
Lewis' next step is to pitch in a Minor League exhibition game between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. After that, the Rangers will make a decision on what's next. Washington said Lewis is just missing stamina.
"Everything else is good," Washington said. "He just has to get his stamina back. He should be at 90 pitches his next time out."
The Rangers considered moving Ogando back into the rotation after Yu Darvish went down with stiffness in his neck. But they decided they were better off with Ogando in the bullpen and Martinez in the rotation temporarily.
"I'd like to start, but it's not my decision," Ogando said.
Martinez, an 18th-round draft pick in 2011, wasn't even on the big league roster and pitched just five games at Double-A Frisco last year after being promoted from Class A Myrtle Beach. But he was pitching well in Minor League camp and threw two scoreless innings against the Reds on Tuesday in Goodyear. On Wednesday he found out he was in the Major League rotation.
"It's a little surreal, I can't believe this is happening," Martinez said. "I was a little shocked at first. My family is going crazy back home. My dad is probably still crying back home."
Rangers claim veteran Murphy to help at second base
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have claimed infielder Donnie Murphy off waivers from the Cubs and he could end up being their Opening Day second baseman against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.
Murphy, a right-handed hitter, has eight years of Major League experience with the Royals, Athletics, Marlins and Cubs. He is a career .215 hitter with a .280 on-base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage. He spent last season with the Cubs, hitting .255 with a .319 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage. He also hit a career-high 11 home runs in 149 at-bats.
In his career, Murphy has played 106 games at third, 73 at shortstop and 65 at second base. He has also made two appearances in the outfield.
"He's got good makeup, gritty, a gamer," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's got some pop and hits left-handers. We felt he was a nice fit for us."
Daniels said Murphy will most likely be on the Opening Day roster although the Rangers are still evaluating their second base and utility infield situations. Adam Rosales, Josh Wilson and Kensuke Tanaka remain in camp as well. Wilson started at second base on Wednesday against the Mariners.
Jurickson Profar was supposed to be the Rangers starting second baseman on Opening Day but is sidelined for 10-12 weeks with a torn muscle in his right shoulder.
Holland joins fight to strike out cancer
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland is joining Cardinals reliever Jason Motte and other Major League players in the fight against cancer.
"Let's Strike Out Cancer" was started by Motte to help people directly affected by the disease. He has since enlisted the MLB Player's Association and other players from all thirty teams to join the fight and fans can help by purchasing any K Cancer t-shirt. With the purchase of any K Cancer tee, five dollars will go to the Jason Motte Foundation, and five dollars will go to another player's charity.
Holland's t-shirts are available at the 108stitches.com website. Holland is in the process of deciding which charity his t-shirts will benefit.
"My focus is going to be on kids with cancer," Holland said. "They deserve it more than anything. It's devastating. To see kids with cancer hits me really hard and I want to do anything I can to help them and see their dreams come true."
The website 108stitches.com went live on March 17, with 108 Stitches showcasing the "Strike Out Cancer" tees in each team's colors. Each is promoted by a different player who agreed to join Motte in a partnership that will benefit multiple charities. Each participating player has chosen a charity that will benefit from the T-shirts sales, and for each shirt sold, $5 will go to the Jason Motte Foundation and $5 to a charity of that player's choice. A full list of recipient charities will be listed on the 108 Stitches website soon, along with a photo of each player rep in his team-colored shirt.
"At the end of the day, it's about reaching people," Motte said. "Baseball is great and everything, but there are other really important things going on out there that affect a lot of people. Wearing these T-shirts shows people that they're not alone. They're not sitting there doing chemo by themselves where no one cares. People do care, whether it's friends, family or baseball players. There are people who this has touched and this has affected. This is something we're trying to do to get the word out there and try to raise money to help."
Holland was the 2013 recipient of the Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award for his many contributions to the community. His charitable efforts include donations to the Children's Medical Center in both Fort Worth and Dallas.
Rangers claim Rule 5 pitcher Rosin
SURPRISE Ariz. -- The Rangers have claimed right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin off waivers from the Dodgers and will look at him as a possible candidate for the bullpen.
They will have to make a quick decision. Rosin was drafted by the Mets from the Phillies' organization in the Rule 5 Draft and traded to the Dodgers. He has to be on the Opening Day roster and stay there for the entire season or offered back to the Phillies for $25,000. The Rangers will watch him this weekend and see if he is worth carrying as a long reliever.
"We've had solid reports on him," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's a strike thrower with good life on his fastball."
Rosin pitched 11 innings in four games in the Cactus League this spring, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on 10 hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts. He spent last season at Double-A Reading in the Eastern League and was 9-6 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 starts and three relief appearances.
Choice wins fourth outfield spot
SURPRISE -- The Rangers informed rookie outfielder Michael Choice on Wednesday that he has made the club. Choice was impressive from the first day of camp and went into Wednesday's game against the Mariners hitting .367 with four home runs and 15 RBIs.
"Making the 25-man roster is one of the hardest things to do," Choice said. "It's an awesome feeling."
As a right-handed hitter, he gives the Rangers some balance in the outfield. Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo and center fielder Leonys Martin are left-handed hitters, as is designated hitter Mitch Moreland, who can also play the outfield.
Jim Adduci, who was Choice's primary competition, is still in camp and was hitting .325 for the spring going into Wednesday's game. But he is a left-handed hitter and the Rangers wanted a right-handed hitter as their fourth outfield. Engel Beltre, another outfield candidate, is being placed on the 60-day disabled list. He is sidelined with a fracture in his right tibia.
• Geovany Soto underwent surgery in Arlington on Wednesday to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. The surgery went as expected and Soto is expected to be sidelined 10 to 12 weeks.
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus had another productive throwing session on Wednesday and the Rangers still expect him to return to the field on Friday or Saturday in San Antonio.
• Tanner Scheppers starts against Quintana Roo on Thursday in Arlington, but will only pitch one inning in preparation for his Opening Day start on Monday. Martin Perez is also scheduled to pitch along with Justin Germano, Shawn Tolleson and Pedro Figueroa. Alec Asher, who figures to be in the Double-A rotation at Frisco, is also on the list of pitchers to throw against the Mexican League team.
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.