The second day of workouts for Texas Rangers and pitchers saw the arrival of shortstop Elvis Andrus, and, suddenly, the nice, quiet clubhouse of two days was a thing of the past.
To say that Andrus is loud is an understatement, and he hasn't even blasting his tunes yet. And he even acknowledges it.
It's not a bad thing, except for unsuspecting eardrums. In fact, there seemed to be more pep in players' steps. The young players, it seemed, were more at ease.
Elvis left the building early on his first day. Adrian Beltre is the only regular position not in camp, and he isn't expected until Sunday at the earliest. Non-roster invitees Darwin Barney and Trevor Plouffe haven't shown up yet to launch their bids for roster spots.
Andrus wasn't the most newsworthy arrival Friday. That honor belonged to his presumed backup.
Here's the Surprise Five from Friday.
1. Jurickson Profar was like a magnet Friday morning as he reported to walked into the clubhouse. As soon as he walked into the clubhouse, the media was pulled right to him.
It's been that way since he burst onto the Rangers' scene in September 2012, made their Opening Day roster in 2013, and was destined to be their second baseman for years to come entering the spring of 2014.
Now, it's a surprise that he's still with the organization, which either can't find a trading partner or doesn't want to trade him.
Profar is caught in a Catch-22. He wants to stay with the Rangers, but he wants to play every day. That's not going to happen, at least not this season. But if Andrus is going to opt out of his contract after this season and actually signs elsewhere, Profar gets his playing steady playing time.
Andrus has become a key component to the Rangers' offense, is one of the most durable players in the majors, and has a chance to become the face of the franchise. The Rangers recognize all of that.
Profar is the better defensive player. His offense, while not at the level of Andrus' the past two seasons, isn't a drastic drop-off. What essentially was a full season at Triple A last year helped Profar feel the effects of playing every day.
He's still standing. His right shoulder is still attached to his body. He's still with the Rangers. He's still young, turning 25 next week.
If he can survive one more season in a reserve roll, if the Rangers still can't find a trading partner and if Andrus decided to leave, Profar might get his wish.
That might be too many ifs.
2. Edinson Volquez is returning to the Rangers, though almost certain to not pitch for the Rangers this season. The snark on Twitter was instantaneous and predictable.
Why not bring back those two, Twitter joked?
Volquez was also the main player, along with Danny Ray Herrera, sent to Cincinnati on Dec. 22, 2007, for Josh Hamilton.
The Reds need to sign Hamilton, Twitter yukked.
Hardy har har.
Volquez, who signed a two-year minor-league deal, will spend much of the year rehabbing at extended spring training and might pitch somewhere in September, 13 months after his 2017 Tommy John surgery.
The deal, general manager Jon Daniels admitted, is for 2019. If Volquez, who threw a no-hitter June 3, can be effective upon his return, the Rangers will have a needed starter in their rotation.
Cole Hamels, Doug Fister and Matt Moore could all not return after this season.
Daniels said that they offered Volquez a one-year contract last off-season, but he bit on a two-year deal from Miami. The Marlins cut him in December but still owe him $13 million this season. The Rangers will pay him a minor-league salary this year.
This deal has a chance to turn into a good one.
3. As Daniels was talking about the Volquez deal being for 2019, he said that the minor-league deal for Shawn Tolleson was also about 2019. The assumption would be that the same holds true for Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Both are recovering from Tommy John surgery, and both have reached 75 feet in their throwing programs. Tolleson said he felt a little something not right last week, so he is taking the week off and might have to regress back down the throwing ladder.
Tolleson has quite a story to tell of the past few years. He lost his job as Rangers closer in 2016, then lost his job in the majors. While that was happening, his father was battling cancer and still is to this day.
Tolleson signed a deal last off-season with Tampa Bay, but never pitched for the Rays before having surgery in May.
Rather than wallow is the lows, Tolleson remains upbeat and is able to have fun with his teammates. He frequently wears a smile and seemed genuinely glad to see all the reporters who chronicled his Rangers highs and lows.
He is a case study in perspective. As bad as things are — his father receives nothing but bad news from each visit to the oncologist and Tolleson is now a two-time Tommy John recipient — he knows the priorities in life.
Guess what? Baseball isn't atop the list.
"God has really blessed me, and I have no reason to be anything but joyous about life," Tolleson said. "At the end of the day, I haven’t been very good at baseball in a couple of years. If that’s the worst thing that’s happened to me, I’m doing pretty good."
4. Daniels was just a wealth of information during his update on the Volquez signing. Well, he didn't have much to say about where things stand with Seung-Hwan Oh, not even giving a nudge in the right direction, but he did talk about Andrew Cashner.
Cashner, the Rangers' best starting pitcher last season and a former TCU star, signed a two-year contract Thursday with the Baltimore Orioles that averages out to $8 million per season.
Piece of cake, even with the Rangers' owners walking around with their pockets turned inside out.
Daniels said that the Rangers had contact with Cashner within the past two weeks, laying out what they were willing to pay him (not disclosed by Daniels) and that they asked him if he would be willing to work in relief.
Cashner was an All-American closer at TCU and debuted in the majors out of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen. Daniels didn't say what Cashner thought about that idea, but the fact that he signed with the Orioles to be in their rotation for two years kind of speaks for itself.
One of the issues with Cashner is that he doesn't strikeout many hitters. Part of that is by design after he went primarily to sinkers rather than trying to overpower hitters with heat. Doing that, he said, is better for his health.
Gee, a pitcher who proactively tried to stay healthy and had an ERA under 3.50 last season? The Rangers couldn't use that (insert Al Czervik-style eye roll here).
Alas, another pitcher who love being in DFW and wanted to pitch for the Rangers will pitch elsewhere in 2018. Hmm.
5. Robinson Chirinos wants to catch more than 100 games. In listening to him talk Friday morning, it sounded like he wants to catch 130 games.
While 32 games of a full season, 130 is a big number these days in the catching world. Only two catchers topped 130 games started last season, Yadier Molina and Martin Maldonado, and Salvador Perez will likely to do this season if he stays healthy.
But that's always the catch with catchers. They are a foul tip or a home-plate collision away from the disabled list. With Chirinos' most recent DL injury, it was an inside fastball from Garrett Richards that hit him while batting.
Among the points manager Jeff Banister made when asked about the importance of keeping Chirinos healthy was the Rangers' need to find a decent backup. He doesn't need to be Johnny Bench, but he can't be John Coctostan.
So, a battle that needs to be watched this spring will be waged behind Chirinos, primarily between Brett Nicholas, Juan Centeno and Curt Casali. Don't underestimate the power of having a spot on the 40-man roster, which Nicholas and Centeno have.
Nicholas is a left-handed batter, and that could also boost his case.