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March 26, 2013

Leury Garcia, Nick Tepesch win Rangers roster spots; Jurickson Profar to Triple A

The Rangers have narrowed in on their Opening Day roster after announcing that Leury Garcia will be the utility infielder and Nick Tepesch will be the No. 5 starter.

Jurickson Profar was one of four players -- along with Jim Adduci, Eli Whiteside and Nate Robertson -- who were informed that they will open the year at Triple A Round Rock.

The Rangers have not made a call on their remaining bullpen spots as they are deciding whether they will take two or three relievers until the No. 5 starter is needed April 9. The Rangers could take two relievers and outfielder Julio Borbon.

General manager Jon Daniels said that he does not expect to add a player from outside the organization who would unseat Garcia or Tepesch, neither of whom have played above Double A.

"I don't expect that to happen," Daniels said.

Tepesch will start Wednesday in a minor-league game, April 4 for Triple A Round Rock and April 9 in Arlington against Tampa Bay in his major-league debut.

"He earned it," Daniels said. "It was a mix of everything. Nick impressed everyone."

Garcia won the job because he has terrific speed, is a switch hitter and can play shortstop. The Rangers also want Profar to play every day rather than sit on the bench and risk stunting his development.

Daniels said that Garcia is the only player in the majors who has an 8-grade arm and speed who is a switch hitter and can play shortstop, second base and center field. That skill set made him more attractive than any veteran who has become available the past few days.

"Garcia is better than those guys," Daniels said. "Obviously, anything could happen, but we're not looking at something along those lines."

-- Jeff Wilson


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