Always a legendTexas Rangers minor league infielder Ryan Rua wasn’t even 18 months old when Ivan Rodriguez made his big-league debut with the Texas Rangers on June 20, 1991.But, as Rua grew up playing baseball in Ohio in the mid-to-late 1990s, Rodriguez was establishing himself as one of the all-time great catchers in the game.And Rua, 23, knows he had a moment of a lifetime on Sunday morning, taking batting practice with Rodriguez on the mound.“It was fun and a great experience with him being one of the best to play the game,” Rua said. “It’s something I’ll definitely remember.”Rodriguez, affectionately known as “Pudge” in Texas, is in camp for the next week and will be working with the young catchers and minor leaguers. The Star-Telegram caught up with him after he threw his BP session. How does the arm feel? It feels great. I always keep myself in shape and always keep working out like I did when I played. My arm feels fine, but we’ll see tomorrow. How does it feel to be in Rangers gear again? Very good. It’s always nice to be back on the baseball field and just working with the kids and being around and seeing the coaches I played with. It’s nice. It’s time for me to come back to baseball and so far I’m enjoying it. I’m going to be here a week, and I’m just going to do the best I can to work with the catchers and all the players here, so they can get better. Do you enjoy working with the minor leaguers? Yes, absolutely. I enjoy working with everybody, to be honest. But the minor leagues are the future of the organization and the most advice I can give them, the better. How do the young catchers look so far? Great. They’re doing good and I’m going to watch them play again and hopefully they’ll do good. I’m here to work with them and any way I can help, I’ll be here for them. Finally, your overall impressions on Day One? It’s the first time I’m here in Surprise, and it’s a great facility. Great place to come and play. I’m very happy and glad to be here. There’s a lot of talent here to put in good shape and I think I’m here for a week to do that.He said it“The show the Dominicans are putting on right now is unbelievable. I think they’re the team to beat, hands down.” — Derek Holland on his favorite to win the WBCNumber0 Catchers with more Gold Gloves than Ivan Rodriguez, who won 13.Injury report RHP Colby Lewis (flexor tendon surgery in July): Threw bullpen session Thursday. LHP Martin Perez (broken left ulna March 3): Expected to miss two months. RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right lat muscle): Sidelined for 3-4 weeks before he’ll resume a throwing program. RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John elbow surgery in April): Threw a bullpen session Thursday. RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John elbow surgery in August): Throwing out to 75 feet. C Eli Whiteside (mild left calf strain): Day to day. RHP Wilmer Font (mild shoulder tendinitis): Pitched Sunday vs. Seattle.Videos of the daySee what Ivan Rodriguez said upon his arrival to camp, and get the latest from manager Ron Washington about Robbie Ross on our Rangers blog, Foul Territory, at star-telegram.com/rangers.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison