Rangers educated on domestic violence during meeting

Rangers educated on domestic violence during meeting

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers began Saturday morning with many of their players doing their yoga workouts together in the back. Then all players were required to convene in the meeting room in center field for a more serious discussion.

Representatives from the Players Association were there to conduct a Major League Baseball initiative concerning domestic violence. The meeting lasted over an hour.

"Just make sure everybody is aware of it," said Derek Holland, the Rangers' player representative. "Obviously it's come up in the NFL and now NASCAR. Now we need to make our guys aware so they don't get put in that situation. It's pretty obvious what it's all about and what the message is. Guys need to take it seriously."

"It's something we should all be educated on and be sensitive to it," manager Jeff Banister said. "It has taken us a long time to get to this point. I applaud our industry taking the steps to educate our men on it because there is absolutely zero excuse."

Worth noting

Colby Lewis is expected to pitch the Cactus League opener on Wednesday against the Royals (game will start at 2:05 p.m. CT). Yovani Gallardo, Alex Gonzalez and Lisalverto Bonilla are also scheduled to pitch. The goal is two innings from each of them.

• The Rangers have intrasquad games on Sunday and Monday. But a wet forecast for Sunday is threatening that plan. The forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon. Pitchers will be limited to one inning in intrasquad games.

Yu Darvish will start Sunday's intrasquad game for one team, with Nick Tepesch on the mound for the other team. Darvish will be followed by Holland, Ross Detwiler, Anthony Ranaudo, Ross Wolf and Alec Asher. Tepesch will be followed by Nick Martinez, Ross Ohlendorf, Anthony Bass, Jerad Eickhoff and Luke Jackson.

• Relievers will be on the mound in Monday's intrasquad game. One side will have Jamey Wright, Tanner Scheppers, Neftali Feliz, Kyuji Fujikawa, Jon Edwards, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Keone Kela. The other side will have David Martinez, Shawn Tolleson, Roman Mendez, Phil Klein, Spencer Patton, Alex Claudio and Martire Garcia.

• Hitting coach Dave Magadan has been impressed with the early work of outfielder Ryan Rua. Said Magadan, "He's got a look in his eye and a very workmanlike attitude. He is really swinging the bat well. They are all swinging the bat good, but he stands out."

Outlook: Rua, OF, TEX

• Rain forced the Rangers to work out indoors on Saturday. But all the relievers who were supposed to throw live batting practice did so in the indoor cages. Magadan said the hitters could use a slow day. They have been averaging about 300 swings a day with all the work they are putting in during the regular workouts.

Michael Kirkman, who is sidelined with an impingement in his left shoulder, is throwing long toss and is close to going off a mound again. Edgar Olmos remains sidelined with an impingement in his left shoulder.

• Banister on reliever Tolleson: "He reminds me when I watch him and the way the ball comes out of his hand as a guy who loves to be on the mound, loves to compete and is not afraid of competition."

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.