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May 04, 2011

Rangers GM talks about Tommy Hunter's future role

Tommy Hunter pitched four innings in a rehab appearance for Frisco Wednesday, allowing two runs and throwing 71 pitches. Hunter will likely need two more starts before he can help the Rangers. Where he will help them remains to be seen.

Hunter said he just wants to contribute. That may come in relief if the Rangers can't find a spot for him in the rotation. Texas GM Jon Daniels said he expects Matt Harrison to rebound from back-to-back bad starts. If he does, there may not be a rotation spot available for Hunter, who won 13 games last season.

"I wouldn't rule it out right now," Daniels said. "We're building him up to start that way he can go either way. I'm operating under the assumption Matt Harrison is going to kind of bounce back. If he does, there's not anybody who deserves to come out of the rotation. Tommy's one of the 12. That's the way I look at it. He's a winning piece. We'll find the best role for him."

Hunter did pitch in relief in college and for Team USA. That's not lost on Daniels.

"That's not our focus," Daniels said. "We're building him up to start. We know what he can do. He gives you consistent outings. He takes you deep in the game. But if the other five guys are going good that maybe something we look at."

- Anthony Andro

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