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March 18, 2009

Wednesday spring update: Lineup, injuries

The Rangers will make the short trip to Peoria in a couple hours to face the Padres. This is the lineup:

Ian Kinsler, 2b

Frank Catalanotto, dh

Josh Hamilton, cf

Nelson Cruz, rf

David Murphy, lf

Chris Davis, 1b

Travis Metcalf, 3b

Taylor Teagarden, c

Elvis Andrus, ss

The obvious omission from the lineup card is, once again, Hank Blalock. The Rangers insist that the tightness he feels in his left quadriceps is not an injury that would keep out during the regular season, but they also expected that he have been able to play by now. It's only spring, they say, so expect Blalock back within the next few days.

Right-hander Luis Mendoza said he will throw a bullpen session today followed by live batting practice Thursday, and lefty C.J. Wilson is playing long-toss day and expects to join Mendoza in the live BP session. Both are nursing blisters on their middle fingers, but neither has missed a day of throwing since the blisters broke last week. Again, the Rangers said the blisters are so minor that neither would miss time had the injuries occured during the regular season. Assistant general manager Thad Levine said he is confident that Wilson will be have enough work this spring to be ready by Opening Day.

Two others: Righty Tommy Hunter (groin) is progressing well and could begin a throwing program before the weekend, and lefty Joe Torres has been shut down with the same back issue that bothered him earlier in camp.

-- Jeff Wilson

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