Camp notes: Rangers in talks with Coke; Choo takes field

Camp notes: Rangers in talks with Coke; Choo takes field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers, light on left-handed relief, could add a pitcher to their Spring Training roster. They are still in discussions with free agent Phil Coke.

The Rangers have just three left-handed relievers in camp. Alex Claudio is the only one on the 40-man roster, while Michael Kirkman and Martire Garcia are here on Minor League invitations. Ross Detwiler could end up in the bullpen if he doesn't make the rotation.

But the Rangers would like more left-handed options, and Coke is a seven-year veteran who was 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 games for the Tigers last season. One obstacle is the Rangers have a full 40-man roster. They would either have to take somebody off or sign Coke to a Minor League contract.

• Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is in camp early and worked in the outfield for the first time on Monday. He hasn't been out there since having season-ending surgeries on his left ankle and left elbow.

"I moved around, caught fly balls, threw the ball," Choo said. "I feel really happy and very excited to play the field. It made me smile. We took it light and easy, but I was happy to be out there again."

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• Many pitchers are in camp early. Among the pitchers who threw in the bullpen Tuesday were Tanner Scheppers, Detwiler, Alec Asher, Nick Martinez, Anthony Ranaudo and David Martinez. Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins watched them throw and said, "Everybody is in shape, looking good and ready to start camp."

• Pitcher Yu Darvish is not here yet but reliever Kyuji Fujikawa arrived Tuesday.

• First-base prospect Ronald Guzman has cleared all his legal issues in the Dominican Republic and is expected to report on time with the rest of the Minor Leaguers next month. Guzman was driving an SUV that was hit by a motorcycle that apparently ran through a stop sign. The motorcyclist was killed. Guzman was found not at fault and has been cleared to leave the Dominican Republic.

• Some Minor Leaguers are already working out in Surprise, including outfield prospects Lewis Brinson and Nomar Mazara.

• The Rangers have hired Francisco Matos as their Class A Hickory hitting instructor. Matos spent the past eight seasons as a hitting instructor in the Angels organization, most recently with Triple-A Salt Lake.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.