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March 30, 2013

Rangers notes: Final roster spot to be decided Saturday afternoon

Manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers will annouce who has secured the final roster spot Saturday afternoon following the final exhibition game against San Diego. The finalists are outfielder Julio Borbon and right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and Cory Burns.

The spot could very well end up going to Borbon, who is out of options and would not clear waivers. The Rangers don't just want to give him away, so they might keep him until they need another 40-man roster spot April 9 for No. 5 starter Nick Tepesch.

If it comes down to an extra reliever, Burns could get the spot over Lindblom, who had an up-and-down spring. So did Burns, who hit a rough patch in the middle of camp, but he finished strong and gives a unique right-handed look for hitters. Both pitchers can be optioned to the minors.

Washington also hasn't met with Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin to tell them who will get the start in center field Sunday in the opener against Houston. If center field is going to be a true platoon, the left-handed-hitting Martin will get the start against Astros right-hander Bud Norris.

But Gentry, a right-handed hitter, made an impression on Washington, who also has shown a soft spot for the more experienced player when it comes to Opening Day nods.

Leury Garcia, who has made the Opening Day roster as a backup shortstop/utility player, will start at second base Saturday bevore shifting to center field. He hasn't played the outfield all spring, but did so last year in Round Rock and over the winter in the Dominican League.

Joe Ortiz, who has also made the Opening Day roster, will be eased into the major leagues by working low-leverage situations to start the season. Washington, though, said that the Rangers might have to use him in tough spots and won't be afraid to do so. That's similar to what happened last season with Robbie Ross.

-- Jeff Wilson






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