The first of two intrasquad games is about three hours away, and excitement has gripped the city of Surprise, Ariz. The lineups are posted in the clubhouse and will be shortly in this post. The most significant and possibly overblown aspect is that Ian Kinsler is the leadoff hitter for one of the teams. It's newsworthy in that it confirms what manager Ron Washington was thinking six weeks ago when he said he was toying with the idea of hitting Kinsler first over Elvis Andrus. Click here for the story that was published Jan. 5.
As recently as 24 hours ago, Washington said that the regular-season lineup remains in the air.
Michael Young is not here, tending to family matters, and Adrian Beltre is not playing because of a mild calf strain. So, Mike Napoli is the DH and Chris Davis is playing third for the road team. Dave Bush is its starter, and C.J. Wilson will pitch for the home team even though he has been stricken with a cold.
Road team lineup: Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, Mitch Moreland, Yorvit Torrealba, Chris Davis, Julio Borbon.
Home team lineup: Engel Beltre, Andres Blanco, Brian Barden, Chad Tracy, Matt Treanor, Endy Chavez, Taylor Teagarden, Doug Deeds.
Brandon Webb played long toss yet again this morning. The clubhouse closed before he finished his work, so an update will come later. The soonest he could be on the mound is Sunday, though weather could scrub that. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low-50s with rain.
Omar Beltre's spinal surgery Wednesday went as well as could be expected, said assistant GM Thad Levine, and the right-hander could be in camp this weekend depending on his comfort level. He is six weeks to two months away from any kind of baseball activities.
-- Jeff Wilson