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March 15, 2012

Thursday morning from Surprise: Texas Rangers announce cuts, Hamilton in lineup

It's been a busy Thursday morning for the Texas Rangers at the Surprise Recreation Campus. Here's a few notes from today:

* The Rangers announced four cuts on Thursday. Right-handers Matt West and Wilmer Font have been optioned to High A Myrtle Beach. West is sidelined with an elbow issue, while Font is coming off Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery. Also, Kelvin De La Cruz has been optioned to Double A Frisco, and Fabio Castillo has been sent to minor league camp.

Assitant general manager Thad Levine said the moves were made primarily to allow more opportunities for the pitchers competing for big league spots.

* Josh Hamilton is in today's lineup, batting third and playing center field. He exited Wednesday's game with what the team called "a jammed right heel."

* Manager Ron Washington has returned to New Orleans to attend the funeral of his brother-in-law. Washington will rejoin the Rangers in Las Vegas. Bench coach Jackie Moore will manage the next two days.

* Catcher Mike Napoli continues to progress from left groin soreness. He is progressing into catching drills today, but has yet to return to game action. When he's deemed ready, he will likely DH before moving back to catcher.

* Matt Harrison and Derek Holland are the scheduled starters in Las Vegas this weekend. Scott Feldman and Robbie Ross will start the games back in Arizona.

-- Drew Davison

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