Rangers spring break: Frasor freaked at first by hero Maddux

Posted Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Star struck

Jason Frasor grew up idolizing two pitchers in Chicago — first Rick Sutcliffe, then Greg Maddux.

So when Frasor came to Texas a year ago after 11 seasons mostly with Toronto, he was nearly star-struck to have Maddux as a pitching coach in spring training.

“It was just weird to have the best pitcher of all-time, in uniform, 5 feet away from you,” said Frasor, who was 4-3 in 49 innings of middle relief work in 2013. “I felt pressure, you know? I’m worried about him when I should be focused on what I’m doing.”

It’s not only that Maddux, who is in his third season as a special assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but Frasor grew up watching Maddux break in from the Wrigley Field bleachers.

“Sometimes I didn’t like pitching when he was standing behind me or next to me,” he said. “I just didn’t want the best pitcher of all-time judging me. Last year, it was weird. This year it’s a little easier to deal with it.”

Frasor, 36, is the second oldest player in the Rangers clubhouse. Jose Contreras is 42. He stands out from almost everyone else in the room by reading a newspaper story about Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“The older I get, the more interested I get in [politics]. The world is a mess nowadays so I just like to try to understand why,” he said. “I like history and I love learning about history.”

Word from Wash

“Once he told me he missed the tag and Rosie told me he missed the tag; under normal conditions, if that happens, I’m just going to go back to the dugout. But that was the closest play we had all day so I thought we’ll put it to work and we did.” — Manager Ron Washington on using the new replay system Tuesday despite knowing a reversal was a long shot.

He said it

“Now I know I need to do at least a program during off-season. You learn from experience and I learned from that one. I learned, from now on, I need a program.” — Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who missed the past five spring games with a sore throwing arm after not throwing over the winter.

Injury update

OF Engel Beltre (left shin splints): day-to-day.

RHP Matt Harrison (lower back stiffness): Threw off full mound.

LHP Rafael Perez (hamstring): Pitched in Tuesday’s game with no issues.

RHP Ben Rowen (biceps tendinitis): Throwing out to 60 feet.

RHP Miles Mikolas (elbow): Throwing from 120 feet.

RHP Shawn Tolleson (Shoulder): Throwing from 120 feet.

INF Jurickson Profar (right shoulder tendinitis): Throwing from 90 feet and to bases.

C Geovany Soto (foot surgery): Progressing with tee work, soft toss and hitting in the cage.

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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