Rangers keeping a close eye on Fujikawa

Rangers keeping a close eye on Fujikawa

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Kyuji Fujikawa is scheduled to pitch in relief on Friday against the Athletics. The Rangers are watching him closely to see if he is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery or if he'll need more time in the Minors.

Fujikawa, a former dominating closer in Japan who underwent the procedure on June 13, 2013, has not allowed a run in four Cactus League games, but he hasn't looked as sharp in two camp games, allowing two runs in three innings.

Fujikawa said he is right where he needs to be.

"This is still Spring Training, not the regular season," Fujikawa said. "It's only going to get better. Coming into Spring Training, the surgery was out of my mind. As a player, I am really confident. I am not sure what my role will be, but I'll be confident whatever the situation is."

Manager Jeff Banister is reserving judgment.

"The guy is coming off Tommy John," Banister said. "There are good days and bad days. He has logged a couple of good ones. Let's see that continue."

Worth noting

Shin-Soo Choo played in a Cactus League game on Thursday night for the first time since March 15. Choo was limited to designated hitter duty while dealing with soreness in his left triceps. Choo is on a throwing program, and the Rangers still feel he'll be able to play right field in plenty of time for Opening Day.

Lisalverto Bonilla started in a Class A game on Thursday and gave up six runs in five innings. He allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out six.

Anthony Ranaudo starts for the Rangers on Friday in Mesa while Yovani Gallardo pitches in a Minor League camp game back in Surprise. Jon Edwards is starting on Saturday against the Padres in a game in which the Rangers will use relief candidates. Nick Tepesch pitches against the Dodgers on Sunday.

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.