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March 29, 2010

Andres Blanco looks like roster fit

The Rangers' search for a utility infielder appears to have ended. Andres Blanco, acquired only two days ago, has made enough of an impression to convince club brain trust that he should be on the Opening Day roster.

Blanco wowed with his glove Sunday during his start against the Chicago White Sox with a terrific play while charging to his right to get Alexei Ramirez and also with a strong throw while turning a 1-6-3 double play. Manager Ron Washington worked with Blanco this morning at shortstop and second base, and believes Blanco could play third as well.

Joaquin Arias, Gregorio Petit and Esteban German remain in camp, but they haven't shown what Blanco did Sunday.

When asked if Blanco has answered all the Rangers' questions, Washington said, "He answers. He answers."

With Blanco in the mix, that leaves one bench spot remaining for a right-handed-hitting first baseman. The player who wins that spot might not be in camp, though. Matt Brown and Max Ramirez are in the running, with Brown having the edge.

But the Rangers are looking elsewhere. Mike Lowell is a possibility, though he is slowed by a bad hip and knee and Boston would have to taken on even more of his $12 million salary than had been agreed to before a deal for him fell through in December. Another possibility? Kevin Millar, who is in camp with the Chicago Cubs on a minor-league deal.

-- Jeff Wilson

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