Diving into the depths: Texas Rangers

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Texas Rangers
Rotation
1. Scott Feldman
2. Rich Harden
3. Colby Lewis
4. Tommy Hunter
5. Brandon McCarthy
6. Derek Holland
7. Matt Harrison
8. Neftali Feliz
9. Dustin Nippert
10. C.J. Wilson
11. Guillermo Moscoso
The additions of Harden and Lewis would seem to ensure that both Feliz and Wilson will remain in the bullpen for now. Holland might have a chance to crack the rotation, but McCarthy is the favorite and Harrison will be a factor if he shows up healthy after shoulder surgery.
Eric Hurley, another pitcher coming back from shoulder surgery, isn’t expected to be a factor during April or May.
Bullpen
1. Frank Francisco
2. C.J. Wilson
3. Neftali Feliz
4. Darren Oliver
5. Darren O’Day
6. Chris Ray
7. Dustin Nippert
8. Derek Holland
9. Doug Mathis
10. Warner Madrigal
11. Clay Rapada
12. Geoff Geary
13. Pedro Strop
14. Willie Eyre
15. Ben Snyder
16. Luis Mendoza
17. Michael Kirkman
The bullpen looks pretty strong with Wilson and Feliz in setup roles. O’Day was stellar last year, so there should be five spots spoken for. Ray, who was picked up for Kevin Millwood, will get every opportunity to secure one of the openings, while the other could go to more of a long man, possibly Nippert or Holland.


Catcher
1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
2. Taylor Teagarden
3. Toby Hall
4. Max Ramirez
5. Kevin Richardson
First base
1. Chris Davis
2. Matt Brown
3. Justin Smoak
Second base
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Joaquin Arias
5. Ray Olmedo
Third base
1. Michael Young
2. Khalil Greene
3. Esteban German
4. Matt Brown
5. Chris Davis
Shortstop
1. Elvis Andrus
2. Khalil Greene
3. Joaquin Arias
4. Ray Olmedo
Given that they don’t seem to have a lot of faith in Teagarden, the Rangers might yet add a catcher to help protect them in case Salty’s shoulder problems limit him during the season. I can’t imagine that Hall will prove to be the answer.
Left field
1. Josh Hamilton
2. David Murphy
3. Craig Gentry
4. Brandon Boggs
Center field
1. Julio Borbon
2. David Murphy
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Craig Gentry
Right field
1. Nelson Cruz
2. David Murphy
3. Vladimir Guerrero
4. Brandon Boggs
Designated hitter
1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Josh Hamilton
3. Max Ramirez
Borbon has already been penciled in as the leadoff man, and it appears that Kinsler will hit down in the lineup. I can see Borbon excelling as a fantasy outfielder, but I doubt he’ll have a great OBP in front of Young and Hamilton.
The Rangers could still add another bench bat to go along with Murphy, Greene and the backup catcher. As is, German could be considered the favorite for the last spot.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.