Texas Rangers

Calm day before Texas Rangers’ spring turned up a notch

The Rangers offered an off day for position players before Wednesday’s first full-team workout of the spring.

That is except for catchers, who went through drills in an abbreviated practice Tuesday morning before calling it a day.

Pitchers still worked out and threw, but the only one who pitched off a mound was Jeremy Guthrie, the veteran right-hander the club signed a few days ago to battle for the fifth starter spot. He was making up for missed time.

The entire team has reported and is in Arizona except Tanner Scheppers, who headed back to Arlington for surgery, and Josh Hamilton, who was in Alabama on Monday having his left knee examined. He’s expected back Wednesday.

“They’ve been going at it hard,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “The grind is getting ready to start. [We told them] go enjoy your day and hopefully with what we challenge them with [Wednesday] it’s a much more sharper effort.”

The catchers had a short day, too, but were working on taking throws at home plate and batting practice.

“It was an easy day for us, too,” Robinson Chirinos said. “They always say catchers work harder than everybody. We just want to get better as a group. Personally, that’s what I’m trying to do and you can’t get better sitting home watching TV.”

Beasley ready to ‘fight’

Third-base coach Tony Beasley begins chemotherapy treatments on Monday in Avondale, Ariz., about a 20-minute drive south of Surprise. He’ll have a port inserted in his chest on Thursday. The port allows for a catheter to be connected to a major vein to administer the chemo. Beasley was diagnosed with rectal cancer in January.

“It’s good to get going and start the fight,” Beasley said Tuesday morning, sitting next to Banister during his usual morning Q&A with the media. Beasley said the doctors don’t think the treatment will hinder his work, at least not physically. The port may limit his movement while on the field instructing players, but he’s not overly concerned with that.

“I can still be visual in my teaching as well,” he said. “I can still be the eyes, making sure we’re paying attention to detail. Watching every single guy.”

The club, doctors and Beasley all agreed staying engaged with the team will be good for him during his treatment.

“When I’m out here it’s not even a thought,” he said. “You get so focused on doing stuff and watching certain guys and reevaluating talent. There’s a philosophy involved and what we need to accomplish and that takes me away from what’s going on.”

Banister, who has known Beasley since the early 1990s when they were both in the Pirates’ organization, said he’ll treat Beasley as a good friend first.

“This is the new normal for Tony for a while,” he said. “My role is going to be the same it has been for quite some time. We’re friends first, we then have a manager-coach relationship.

“If he needs somebody to challenge him mentally because of where he’s at I hope I’m aware enough to be able to do that. And then on the other side, be a friend. I told him his job is to put his fist up and fight and let us carry some of the load for him.”

Pitcher signs

▪ Right-hander Kevin Lenik, 24, was signed to a minor league deal. He pitched for Cal-State Dominguez Hills and in the California Winter League. He was the lone player out of 80 who participated in Rangers tryout camp Monday.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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