Ranaudo among Rangers' arms getting healthy

Ranaudo among Rangers' arms getting healthy

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rangers officially lost Yu Darvish for the season on Friday, but other pitchers are on the mend.

Anthony Ranaudo reported no problems with his right elbow after arriving to the clubhouse on Friday. He was pulled from Thursday's start against the White Sox when he experienced discomfort in the elbow, but it was a precautionary measure. He could be ready to pitch again as early as Tuesday against the Dodgers, although the Rangers have not announced their pitching plans that far ahead.

Tanner Scheppers came through Thursday's throwing session without any problems. He has been sidelined with a sprained right ankle, but he will need just one more session off a mound before he is ready to pitch in a game.

Derek Holland will pitch in a 'B' game on Saturday in Peoria, Ariz. It will be his first outing of the spring after dealing with soreness in his left shoulder for a couple of weeks.

Ranaudo makes early exit

Michael Kirkman, who was dealing with an impingement in his left shoulder early in camp, is scheduled to pitch in his second Cactus League game on Saturday against the Padres in Peoria. Anthony Bass will start the game.

Klein off to fast start

In the intense competition for a spot in the bullpen, right-handed reliever Phil Klein has been impressive early in the Cactus League season. Klein has faced eight hitters and retired them all, including four strikeouts.

"Competition brings out the best in every one," Klein said. "They brought a lot of guys in camp, but I'm not worried about that. I'm just making my pitches and doing the best I can."

Klein has faced three left-handed hitters and struck out two. That's noteworthy because left-handed hitters batted .308 off him last year, while right-handers hit just .073. Klein relies mainly on a fastball and slider, but he is trying to develop a changeup to help deal with left-handed hitters.

"I have a new grip and it is feeling pretty good," Klein said. "I wanted to give myself something for left-handers and that's the pitch to do it."

Worth noting

• The Rangers have hired former Astros broadcaster Dave Raymond to back up Steve Busby on the game telecasts. He will do seven of the 12 broadcasts from Spring Training to help ease Busby's workload.

• Manager Jeff Banister on outfielder Jake Smolinski: "Straight bulldog. Wants to post up in the box and beat you every day."

• Banister refers to outfielder Jared Hoying as a guy who "digs it out of the dirt." Banister said that means, "A guy who doesn't do one thing better than others but he finds a way. He is willing to be multi-functional on the field and do what it takes to help his ballclub win."

Mitch Moreland is slated to bat third as the designated hitter on Saturday against the Padres. Adrian Beltre is batting fourth and Prince Fielder is in the fifth spot as Banister continues to experiment with his lineup. Moreland is 2-for-9 with a home run in his first three games.

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.