Rangers set lineup for Cactus League opener

Rangers set lineup for Cactus League opener

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers open their Cactus League season against the Royals on Wednesday, and manager Jeff Banister has already posted the lineup.

It's the first indication of how the Rangers' lineup will look to start the season. The revelations are in the lower half of the order. The first five are the same as the way the Rangers finished last season: center fielder Delino DeShields leading off, followed by right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, designated hitter Prince Fielder, third baseman Adrian Beltre and first baseman Mitch Moreland.

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Gear

In the spring opener, the Rangers will follow with left fielder Justin Ruggiano, second baseman Rougned Odor, shortstop Elvis Andrus and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

Ruggiano is filling in for Ian Desmond, who just arrived in camp on Monday to begin his transition to left field. Andrus and Odor are flipping spots in the order. Andrus batted seventh against the Blue Jays in the American League Division Series.

Odor is the wild card in the lineup because he's the most unknown about what he can do offensively. The Rangers pretty much know what they are going to get from the rest of the lineup. They also know that Odor hit .299 with 15 home runs, 52 RBIs and a .527 slugging percentage in 91 games after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 15. He also just turned 22.

"He could go off the charts," Banister said. "The bank of information is still small."

Worth noting

• The Rangers are working out Ruggiano at first base this spring. He has never played there before, but it could be an important part of his game if he is the Rangers' fourth outfielder. The Rangers like that Ruggiano can play center, and it would be a bonus if he can play first.

• The Rangers still want Ryan Rua to focus on playing left field, even after acquiring Desmond, rather moving around to different positions.

Said Banister, "There are some preliminary talks on how Desmond impacts everybody else, but right now we want Rua to play left field, be comfortable and compete. Last year was a tough one, right now we want to give him the opportunity to show us where he is."

• The Rangers have all players under contract after working out 2016 salaries with pitchers Nick Martinez, Yohander Mendez and Alex Claudio. They were not forced to automatically renew any players' contract.

Colby Lewis pitches for the Rangers on Wednesday, and Derek Holland pitches on Thursday.

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