Brandon Allen has been through his fair share of organizations in nine years of professional baseball. He came up with the White Sox and has been traded to the Diamondbacks, A’s, Rays and … the Hawks.That is the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Central League. Allen approved of the Rays selling his rights to the Japanese team last season.“It was a good experience,” said Allen, who played 12 games in Japan. “It’s a very neat, very organized community, and they treated me well and treated me with respect. All in all, I enjoyed myself.”Now, Allen is with the Rangers after signing a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league camp. The 27-year-old native Texan is looking to make the team as a bench player who can play first base and left field. What was the biggest difference between playing in the U.S. and Japan? It’s different type of baseball. Over there, there is a lot of speed, a lot of contact. They don’t have that power threat that most teams have here. They might have one power guy in the lineup whereas in America you’d find three or four guys. Going over there as an American — it was a big-time adjustment, but it was good baseball. Did you have celebrity status over there as a big leaguer? Yeah, they always had a group of photographers out there. I think it was an exciting time for them and for me. I definitely think they respect what we as Americans bring and were excited. Was it a challenge to break into another culture? It takes a while. It’s that language barrier. But if you respect the game and play hard, you’re going to be welcomed anywhere. It’s the same over there. If you play it hard and play it the right way, you’re going to be a favorite. Being from Montgomery, did you grow up rooting for the Rangers? Not really. I just loved the game of baseball, and whoever was on TV, I liked to watch. I just enjoyed watching the game, so I didn’t have a huge team I rooted for. How has camp gone so far? It’s good. I like the pace we’re going at so far, and it’s been good to be a part of the Rangers. I wanted to sign early in the offseason, and the Rangers came to my agent and I with an offer [that was signed Dec. 6]. I’m glad to be here.They said it“It’s not going to be Carl Lewis-esque.” – Lance Berkman before he ran the bases“We just want to make sure he knows where the batter’s box is.” – base-running coach Gary Pettis after Berkman ran the basesNumber108Combined age of Lance Berkman, Adrian Beltre and Joe NathanInjury report DH Lance Berkman (mild right calf strain): listed day-to-day RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery last July): throwing out to 150 feet RHP Roman Mendez (surgery for stress fracture in elbow last November): throwing out to 150 feet RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John elbow surgery last August): throwing out to 60 feet RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John last April): threw 35-pitch bullpen session Friday RHP Justin Miller (Tommy John last April): threw 20-pitch bullpen session Saturday RHP Matt West (Tommy John last August): throwing out to 60 feet RHP Wilmer Font (mild shoulder tendinitis): throwing out to 120 feet 3B Adrian Beltre (right calf inflammation): listed day-to-day RHP Kyle McClellan (general soreness): will throw live batting practice today RHP Tanner Scheppers (strained left hamstring): Pitched Friday but will take a couple days off OF Engel Beltre (left shoulder soreness): scratched from Saturday’s game and is listed day to dayVideos of the dayWatch Yu Darvish throw some live batting practice to minor leaguers and, as always, catch manager Ron Washington’s daily media briefing on our Foul Territory blog at star-telegram.com/rangers.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison