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February 21, 2013

Thursday from Surprise: Rangers set to begin Cactus League games

Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre won't be in the lineup for Friday's Cactus League opener against the Royals. Both are dealing with minor injuries and the Rangers aren't going to push either one.

That means Mike Olt will start at third base, and Jeff Baker will be the designated hitter. Leonys Martin will be the starting center fielder, manager Ron Washington said.

Washington said he will rotate the center field spot between Martin, Craig Gentry and Julio Borbon but didn't have a definitive plan. There will be opportunities to play those three on the corners, as well, once Nelson Cruz leaves to join the Dominican team for the World Baseball Classic.

Olt will get some time in right field this spring, but Washington is waiting for Gary Pettis to give his approval.

Here are a few other notes from the morning:

* The Rangers have six players on WBC rosters -- Derek Holland (United States), Elvis Andrus (Venezuela), Nelson Cruz and Leury Garcia (Dominican), Jose Felix (Mexico) and Engel Beltre (Spain). Garcia is still undecided as to whether he'll join the Dominican team, though.

* The Rangers held a social media session Thursday morning and it went well. But don't expect Ron Washington to be joining Twitter anytime soon. "I don't think nobody is interested in what Ron Washington has to say," he said.

-- Drew Davison

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