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February 28, 2012

Tuesday morning in Surprise: Rotation matters

The Rangers saw two of their young starters wear down some late last season, so they just used the off-days and All-Star break to get Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison some time off. The Rangers will have two more starters this year worthy of some extra monitoring, Yu Darivsh and Neftali Feliz.

Manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers will open the season with a five-man rotation, and the possiblity of six-man rotation has not been discussed. Washington seemed to think of it as a long shot Tuesday morning. He called Darvish and Feliz thoroughbreds, and doesn't want to put any limitations on them.

With Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando stretched out a starters this spring but likely headed for the bullpen, they could very well take a load off the rotation early on by pitching multiple relief innings.

Washington has been keeping an on eye on the field of left-handed candidates for the bullpen. The most interesting candidate would appear to be Martin Perez, the Rangers' top pitching prospect who is being groomed as a starter. Washington said that if Perez is the best lefty in camp this spring, it would lead to a "discussion" whether to put him in the bullpen or continue to let him grow as a starter at Triple A.

Lefty Joe Beimel (elbow stiffness) said that he will throw Wednesday.

The players association is holding its annual meeting with the Rangers this morning, which is expected to delay today's workout until at least noon. Players were expecting to get a breakdown of the new CBA and a full discourse on the Ryan Braun testing saga.

-- Jeff Wilson

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