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March 31, 2012

Michael Kirkman to minors; lefty competition down to Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts

The Rangers sent five players to Triple A Round Rock on Saturday afternoon, including left-hander Michael Kirkman.

That leaves Neal Cotts, a veteran who hasn't pitched in the majors in two years but who does have World Series experience, and Robbie Ross, a starter who has never pitched above Double A, as the only two lefties competing for a bullpen spot.

The Rangers have had their discussion about Ross' future. While manager Ron Washington wouldn't divulge the detalis of the discussion, he said, 'It's playing itself out. He's still here."

Cotts has shown this spring that he has overcome elbow and hip problems. He opened camp in the minors but was moved to the big-league clubhouse during the first week of Cactus League games. He has shown the coaches that he has the stuff to get both lefties and righties out, as has Ross.

"They're not specialists," Washington said.

-- Jeff Wilson

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