The Japanese media are pretty pumped up about Yu Darvish's third spring start today because, they say, Ryan Braun will be making the trip with Milwaukee to Surprise. Darvish is scheduled to pitch four innings or throw 65 pitches.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux said that Darvish is somewhat frustrated by his problems commanding the fastball, but tempered that by saying that Darvish says this isn't unusual for him at this point of spring camp.
Brandon Snyder will start catching some bullpen sessions and could see time in games later this spring as the Rangers consider him for the bench role. Snyder was drafted as a catcher, but the Orioles converted him to first base after a left shoulder injury. Baltimore also had a pretty good catcher in Matt Wieters.
Snyder has also been working with Gary Pettis in the outfield. A right-handed hitter who can play the corner infield spots, the corner outfield spots and catch in a pinch sounds like a strong candidate for the Opening Day roster.
Manager Ron Washington has written up a pretty strong lineup for today's game against Milwaukee. The relievers working behind Darvish are also familiar names.
Brewers lineup: Rickie Weeks, 2b; Nyjer Morgan, cf; Ryan Braun, lf; Travis Ishikawa, 1b; Alex Gonzalez, ss; George Kottaras, dh; Jonathan Lucroy, c; Norichika Aoki, rf; Cesar Izturis, 3b.
Brewers pitchers: LHP Randy Wolf, RHP John Axford, RHP Jose Veras, RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Zach Braddock.
Rangers lineup: Ian Kinsler, 2b; Elvis Andrus, ss; Josh Hamilton, cf; Adrian Beltre, 3b; Michael Young, 1b; Nelson Cruz, rf; Mike Napoli, c; David Murphy, lf; Mitch Moreland, dh.
Rangers pitchers: RHP Yu Darvish, RHP Tanner Scheppers, LHP Joe Beimel, RHP Mark Lowe, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, RHP Joe Nathan.
-- Jeff Wilson