Beltre needs couple more days to get going

Pitcher Jackson shut down for two weeks; Darvish looks 'really good'

Beltre needs couple more days to get going

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre wants to wait a few days before he plays in a Cactus League game. That's why he was out of the lineup on Wednesday for the opener against the Royals. He'll likely start on Friday against the Dodgers.

"When his legs feel good, we'll get him in a game," manager Jeff Banister said. "We'll give him the option and, when he is ready to go, we'll get him in the game. I don't think he is sore. He just came to me and asked if we could give him another couple of days."

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Beltre enters the season with 17 years and 96 days of service time. That ranks second among active players behind Alex Rodriguez, who has 21 years and 11 days. The next closest player to Beltre on the Rangers is Prince Fielder, who has 10 years and 68 days.

Other camp notes:

• Reliever Luke Jackson has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his lower back and will be shut down for two weeks. He'll be re-evaluated after that. Dr. Drew Dosset, who examined Jackson on Tuesday, told the Rangers that it might be an aggravation of an old injury. The two-week shutdown is to keep it from becoming a stress fracture.

"It's good news," Jackson said. "I wish it was three days and be back out there, but two weeks, I can deal with it."

Yu Darvish threw 20 pitches in his bullpen session on Wednesday with a catcher still setting up in front of home plate. The next step could be to begin throwing bullpen sessions at the normal 60 feet, 6 inches.

"He was really good," pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "He's feeling good and is showing he feels good. It's a process. I don't want him to get too happy. I don't want him to think we need to speed this thing up. We're going to stick to the plan."

• Pitcher A.J. Griffin is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Thursday. He has missed the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery and has been working with Brocail on the side on his mechanics. If the simulated game goes well, his next outing could be in a Cactus League game.

Derek Holland pitches against the Royals on Thursday with Chi Chi Gonzalez going Saturday against the Dodgers and Cole Hamels at the Giants on Sunday.

• Newly acquired Ian Desmond is still getting acclimated to the outfield and is not yet scheduled to play in a Cactus League game. But Banister said, "I don't foresee it taking very long. He may show up as a DH before he gets into the outfield."

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.