For those of you Texas Rangers fans planning to take the 8:25 p.m. flight Thursday from DFW International Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor, please accept these apologies in advance.
The Surprise Five's offspring are scheduled for their annual trek to spring training and, so far in their young lives, they have proven to be in need of improvement with their flying skills.
The 5-year-old should be fine. The 3-year-old could be a problem. The missus will do her best to keep our daughter from being a terror.
With any luck, the lights will be off and the kiddos will both fall asleep. They need their rest for their first day in camp Friday.
There wasn't much rest for most Rangers regulars or the newest Rangers pitcher.
Here's the Surprise Five from Thursday.
1. Tim Lincecum threw off a mound for the first time since signing on with the Rangers and, interestingly, it was his first time in a long time throwing off a dirt mound.
His work at Driveline in Kent, Wash., was all done indoors, and the change from a mat to the real deal isn't an insignificant one. But he was pleased with his 35-pitch bullpen session, which he said was thrown at around 65 percent effort.
Pitching coach Doug Brocail was pleased with it, too.
"It kind of surprised me," he said. "It's kind of a different delivery than I remember. It came out a little bit better than I was expecting."
Beyond that, though, not much else is known about what is next for Lincecum. He will throw multiple bullpen sessions before graduating to live batting practice/a simulated game and then an actual game.
It could take 10 to 14 days.
"Right now, I don't know yet," Lincecum said.
He is operating with Opening Day as his target, but it's probably a stretch to think he will be the closer on March 29. However, because he is throwing only 35-45 pitches in his bullpen sessions, he can throw more frequently and build up more quickly. As a reliever, it won't take as long for him to stretch out to where he needs to be.
Lincecum is also planning to work out of the stretch full time, and, yes, he was wearing No. 44. That means ...
2. ... Destin Hood had completed the transition to No. 14, and he couldn't have been more willing to surrender No. 44 to Lincecum.
The outfielder, in camp on a minor-league deal, said that he contacted Lincecum via text as soon as he heard that Lincecum wanted to wear No. 44 to honor his late brother.
Hood was wearing it because he likes the number 4, which was taken, and, as a contributing factor, because he and Henry Aaron, who wore No. 44 during his remarkable career, are both from Mobile, Ala.
"I totally understand why he needed it, so I'm not going to stand in the way at all," said Hood, who connected for his first spring homer in the Rangers' 5-4 win over the White Sox. "I texted him and said, 'Hey, it's all yours. Do what you want to do.' Tim's reason is way more important than my reason."
Lincecum said that he appreciated how considerate Hood was during the process, and said that he would gladly fulfill a hope of Hood's this spring — that Lincecum can autograph a ball for his daughter.
If roster decisions were made solely on the quality of a person, Hood would easily be on the team. He's behind some familiar names — despite having a solid spring showing — in the competition to be one of the Rangers' Opening Day outfielders.
One of the other contenders is ...
3. ... Ryan Rua, who is starting to get hot like he normally does this time of year.
This is the fourth straight spring in which Rua has come to camp competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster, so he knows the drill. He gets to play regularly early on and finds a rhythm.
Hmm. So Rua, who won the left-field job in 2015 only to be injured and never get a shot at the job again, does well when he plays regularly, huh? Maybe he needs the chance to play regularly in the regular season.
"I don't make that decision," he said.
In the "not all-in" season the Rangers are embarking upon, one in which they want to see what their young players have to offer, regular playing time for Rua would make sense. They know he can hit lefties, a strength that might have attached an inaccurate label to him.
"When you're playing at the highest level, it's tough when you're not in there every day," Rua said. "But it's something I have experience with now. It's been my role the last couple years. It's not all offense for me. It needs to be defense. It needs to be running. It needs to be the total package."
Willie Calhoun was the left fielder Thursday, and he had trouble running down one of the two triples the White Sox collected against Rangers starter ...
4. ... Cole Hamels, who in the second, third and fourth innings saw a runner reach third base with less than two outs, and twice he got out of it without a run scoring.
Hamels allowed one run in on four hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out four. But it was a grind, as the White Sox threatened three times and as Casey Gillaspie made Hamels throw 12 pitches for the final out he would record.
That at-bat, which ended in a strikeout, pushed Hamels' pitch count to 63, the highest by a Rangers pitcher this spring. He more than just got in his work.
"It was good just from the standpoint of getting in the stretch and having to grind," Hamels said. "When you have guys on third with less than two outs, you don't want them to score and you know it's going to be a battle."
The left-hander, who figures to be the Opening Day starter, wasn't happy with his fastball, which he didn't establish early in counts, but was pleased with the action on his breaking pitches.
He also said that he will be throwing fewer two-seam fastballs this season in an effort to strike out more batters. His four-seamer helps him accomplish that on its own and in setting up his off-speed pitches.
"Strikeouts are what people want to see," Hamels said. "I won't mind if I get back into that."
Hamels' next start could be next Thursday after the Rangers' lone off day of camp, by which time ...
5. ... The Wilsons will be back in Texas after four days in Arizona.
Drew Davison (remember him?) will leaving that pesky Cowboys beat behind for five days covering the Rangers. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison, if you don't already.
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