One of the perils that comes with big league veterans pitching in minor league games during spring training is that the hitters don’t have a lot of patience.
It can be difficult to work on things such as pitch sequences to get ready for the regular season. Fortunately for Colby Lewis, he knew what to expect Monday in a Triple A game on the back fields.
Lewis had to pitch an extra inning to reach his pitch count as a team of Oakland minor leaguers didn’t put up much fight. The right-hander allowed only one hit, a ground-rule double, in five scoreless innings and said he is on the right track for the regular season.
“I was only supposed to go four, but I kept getting ahead with strike one and they would swing at the next pitch or two pitches later,” said Lewis, who threw 52 pitches (38 strikes) and struck out three. “I feel really good. I feel like my stuff is where it’s supposed to be.”
Anthony Ranaudo worked 12/3 scoreless innings in a Double A game, walking two and striking out two. The walks didn’t bother him because he was trying to sharpen his breaking ball by throwing it in unusual counts.
Ranaudo’s elbow also wasn’t a factor. He left his Cactus League start Thursday after feeling discomfort, but it has been a normal spring sensation for him since an elbow injury at LSU.
“I didn’t even think about it out there,” said Ranaudo, who is vying for the fifth spot in the rotation. “It didn’t concern me. It feels great.”
Regulars to rest
Manager Jeff Banister will use the only off day of camp Wednesday to help give Rangers regulars an extended spring break before they ramp up activities ahead of the regular season.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos was the only everyday player in Monday’s A-game lineup against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. For established players such as Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland, the day off Wednesday will allow Banister to give his mainstays consecutive days to recharge.
Choo, Fielder and Moreland won’t play again until Thursday. Adrian Beltre was off Monday but will play Tuesday at Surprise Stadium.
“Give them an opportunity to get their legs back underneath them and exhale a little bit and be able to push through to the end,” Banister said.
The Rangers close camp April 1, play exhibition games April 3-4 at Globe Life Park and open the 2015 season April 6 at Oakland.
▪ Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf continues to believe that he will miss only a few days with a right groin injury that cut short his start Sunday. The native Texan played catch Monday and went through a workout.
▪ Outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. could play Tuesday if he has no lingering tightness in his right hamstring. The Rangers are off Wednesday but want to see if DeShields can go without using it as another recovery day.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760