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March 31, 2010

Andres Blanco, Joaquin Arias likely to open with Rangers

Gregorio Petit and Esteban German have been sent to the minor leagues, leaving Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias as the two infielders who will start the season on the Rangers' roster if Ian Kinsler starts on the disabled list. That appears almost certain to happen.

The Rangers have also sent Matt Treanor to Triple A and are trying to work out a trade with San Francisco what would allow them to send Rule 5 pick Ben Snyder to Oklahoma City, so the only decisions left to make on the Opening Day roster involved the corner infielder and second long reliever. Matt Brown and Max Ramirez are the front-runners there, and Doug Mathis and Willie Eyre are vying to be the last member of the bullpen.

Neither Brown or Ramirez has done much lately to seize the job, so the Rangers could look elsewhere for help. There is some interest in Mike Lowell, though his salary and injuries are working against a deal. Seattle released Ryan Garko on Tuesday, and he would fit the pre-requisites as a right-handed-hitting first baseman. There is no interest in Kevin Millar, who was released by the Chicago Cubs.

Mathis and Eyre, meanwhile, have been very good this spring. Mathis pitched five scoreless innings in a minor-league game Tuesday night and can provide more length than Eyre. But Eyre has been stretched over multiple innings and has not allowed an unearned run in 7 1/3 Catcus League innings.

-- Jeff Wilson

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