BAPR Plus: Texas Rangers

Consider this your Cliff’s Notes for catching up with what is happing in big league camps around Florida and Arizona. We’ll let other guys write about the established big leaguers, while we focus on which prospects are on their way to making the big league club, and which ones would like spring to be over. The Rangers don’t have a whole lot of prospects in big league camp, so Rangers fans you have my apologies for sometimes leaving them out of Baseball America Prospect Report, but on some days it’s hard to find anyone to include in the BAPR.

Who’s Hot: BA correspondent Evan Grant’s projected Opening Day roster doesn’t include one rookie on it, and few rookies have gotten chances during Rangers spring training. Left fielder Jason Botts has hit .321/.406/.464 in 28 at-bats, but with the lineup set in the outfield, he still knows that he’s heading to Triple-A barring an injury.

“I’ll go down and work hard and be ready when and if they need me,” Botts said. “I want to play here for the Rangers. I know I have to stay patient. If I have to wait for my opportunity to play, I will. I just want to show them as much as I can right now.”

Who’s Cold: Wes Littleton came into spring training slated to have a spot in the Rangers bullpen after he went 2-1, 1.73 in 36 innings with Texas last season. But a 24.00 ERA (8 BB, 6 hits and only 2 Ks in 3 IP) has him trying to fix some screwed-up mechanics. His once firm hold on a bullpen job is slipping away.

“If he keeps going out and giving outings like he did [Sunday],” Washington said. “He’ll get more opportunities. He’ll get the ball again the next couple of days. He’s still here, so he’ll continue to pitch. But it has to get better.”

The remaining members of the once-vaunted DVD trio (Thomas Diamond, Edinson Volquez and John Danks) are also struggling. Diamond is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery, while Volquez was never even really considered for a big league job before being sent to Triple-A. In 2.2 IP he walked three and didn’t strike out a batter. Danks is part of the battle for the White Sox fifth-starter’s job, although Brandon McCarthy, the key player in the trade that sent Danks to Chicago, has earned the No. 3 spot in the Rangers’ rotation.

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