Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

February 11, 2013

Rangers: Big changes going to spring training

Corsicana —

For the first time since the Texas Rangers moved their spring training west a decade ago, Michael Young won't be walking into their clubhouse in Arizona this week.

Neither will slugger Josh Hamilton, the five-time All-Star and former AL MVP. And they're not defending an American League title either. They didn't win a game last October following World Series appearances the previous two seasons.

There are some significant differences as Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Surprise, Ariz., on Tuesday, three days before the reporting date for the rest of the squad.

"It's definitely going to be a different atmosphere," said 18-game winner Matt Harrison, the left-hander who got a new contract last month.

That doesn't mean the Rangers have lowered their expectations or feel they had a bad offseason even though they failed to keep Hamilton — they wouldn't have matched the $125 million, five-year deal he got from the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels — and missed out on signing top free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke. Young, the longest-tenured Texas player after 12 seasons, was traded to Philadelphia where he is expected to be a full-time starting third baseman again.

"I'm genuinely like our chances," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Obviously there were a couple of guys we were interested in early on that ended elsewhere. That's part of the deal. ... We like our club, and we like the possibilities ahead of us."

Especially with the starting rotation they have in place, likely for several seasons to come after the $55 million, five-year deal for 27-year-old All-Star lefty Harrison with a club option for 2018 that could become guaranteed.

Japanese ace Yu Darvish heads into the second year of a $56 million, six-year deal, though there are provisions that could allow the 26-year-old right-hander to become a free agent after a year earlier, after the 2016 season.

Derek Holland, a 26-year-old lefty, is under contract through 2016, with club options for two additional years. And Alexi Ogando, a 13-game winner and All-Star starter in 2011 before pitching out of the bullpen last season, is back in the rotation and under team control at least four more seasons, including his arbitration-eligible years.

"We've had some great individual performances, but to look up and have Matt and Yu and Derek and Alexi, and know that the core of the rotation is going to be here — these are accomplished young pitchers," Daniels said. "It is evidence that all the efforts we've made on the scouting and development side to put this young rotation together, that it's paying off."

Remember, this is a team that used to be known primarily for its slugging.

While there will be competition among several young pitchers in spring training for the No. 5 starting spot, the Rangers anticipate the return of veteran right-hander Colby Lewis by June or July from elbow surgery.

Darvish had a much more low-key arrival in Arizona on Monday than a year ago, when his every move was documented by international media as he made adjustments to a new country and a new league. He went 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA, 67 strikeouts and 15 walks over his last eight starts of the regular season.

"Compared to last year, I feel so much more at ease, after finishing my first year getting to know all the players, the coaches, the front-office personnel. ... I really feel I'm part of the team now. How I feel right now, it's a totally different feeling," Darvish said before getting to Arizona. "Last year, there was more of a rush, trying to prepare at a much quicker pace. This time, I'm going at my own pace."

Manager Ron Washington, getting ready for his seventh season with the Rangers, hopes Darvish can build on the consistency he showed the second half of his All-Star debut.

"I think what he accomplished was finding who Yu Darvish was, the same Yu Darvish we thought we had when we got him," Washington said.

Switch-hitting designated hitter Lance Berkman, signed after Hamilton's departure, is likely to take over in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The six-time All-Star was limited to 32 games last season for St. Louis because of a strained left calf and two operations on his right knee, but the Texas native expects to be ready for the regular season.

For now, the Rangers expect Nelson Cruz to be their everyday right fielder, though he is part of a Major League Baseball investigation being among several players named in a Miami New Times story about banned growth hormones and other banned performance-enhancing substances.

Cruz, third baseman Adrian Beltre and shortstop Elvis Andrus are among Rangers players expected to miss some of camp to participate in the World Baseball Classic. Top prospect Jurickson Profar, who could have a chance to make the 25-man roster, also might play in that international tournament.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • GC Baseball/Softball: Mildred names Zamzow new baseball coach; AD Chambliess to coach softball again

         The Mildred Eagles didn’t have to go far to find a new baseball coach to replace Aaron Tidwell, who left the diamond to take the job as the principal of Mildred High School.
        On Saturday, Mildred named softball coach Brett Zamzow its new baseball coach as Zamzow, who was Tidwell's assistant for five years,  moves back to baseball after spending a year coaching softball.
        To complete the move Mildred Athletic Director Billy Dan Chambliess will take over the softball team. Chambliess, who is the head football coach, spent fours years coaching softball before becoming the school’s AD last year. All four of his teams won district titles.
     

    July 26, 2014

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan; Remembering House and a better era

    The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
    In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • weights.jpg GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win

    His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
    “I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Reese mug.jpg Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking

    With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
    Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team

    Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 Kayana.jpg Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne

    Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
    Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
    More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced

    The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.

     

    July 22, 2014

  • UIL Football: State championships to be held at AT&T Stadium

    The 2014 University Interscholastic League Football State Championship games will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the League announced Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • All-State Baseball: Sunnyvale's Wilcox tops TSWA/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A team

    Sunnyvale's Jake Wilcox is player of the year on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A All-State Baseball Team

    July 22, 2014

  • GC Baseball: Kerens' Anderson makes TSWA/Collin Street Bakery all-state team at four positions

    Call it the rarest of rares, at least as far as all-state teams go. Brett Anderson of Kerens shows up on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery all-state team not one, not two, not three, but four times. Dawson's Lane Dotson was a second-team outfielder, and the Bulldogs' Trent Underwood made the third-team as a pitcher, and also garnered an honorable mention nod at first base. Kerens outfielder Brent Warren was also an honorable mention pick.

    July 21, 2014