Texas Rangers told the shackles are off on base paths

Posted Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A few notes observations from the morning of the Rangers' first full-squad workout of spring training:

Manager Ron Washington addressed his players, coaches, trainers and front-office members before the club headed for the back fields. The message was the same as always: Stay healthy and pay attention to the fundamentals.

Washington said about 10 or 11 players spoke up during the meetings. Among them were the main newcomers, A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman.

Washington also said that the shackles are off this season on the base paths, but don't expect to see Berkman and Pierzynski running at will.

Berkman, by the way, will work at his own pace this spring to get ready for the season. He's coming off knee surgery and just turned 37. He's knows what he has to do, said Washington.

Mike Olt will work primarily at third base, his primary position, and in right field as the Rangers get him more comfortable there in the case of an injury or a 50-game suspension to Nelson Cruz.

Early on, Kyle McClellan has impressed Washington. The right-hander is competing for a roster spot, and could end up as the No. 5 starter or with a key bullpen role.

Between players and coaches, there are more Rangers jerseys on the back fields than in the crowd at a Rangers Ballpark sellout. A lot of bodies wearing blue Texas jerseys.

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