Guthrie sees 'plenty of time' to secure job

Veteran makes scoreless debut in bid for Rangers' rotation

Guthrie sees 'plenty of time' to secure job

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jeremy Guthrie has won 91 games in 12 seasons in the big leagues, so he knows how to get himself prepared for a regular season. So even after making a belated spring debut in Tuesday's 10-3 win over the A's because of early lower-back stiffness, he said he still has plenty of time to be ready for Opening Day.

"I feel like even if you can max out at 90 pitches in spring, you're good to go when you get to the regular season," said Guthrie, who pitched two scoreless innings. "There's plenty of time as long as I continue to pitch every five days."

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Guthrie, 36, signed a Minor League deal with Texas and finds himself in a battle for the fifth spot in the Rangers' rotation. It's a bit different for a guy who has routinely been an assumed member of a big league rotation for the last eight seasons.

"I don't know what the [Rangers'] plan is," Guthrie said. "I don't know any plan. I know there's a lot of arms and a lot of pitchers that are throwing great, so when the opportunities come, I'll take them gladly."

Odor scratched

Rougned Odor was itching to get on the bus to play against the A's in Mesa, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister was having none of it.

Odor arrived at the complex in the morning with tightness in his right oblique muscle, and that was enough for Banister to scratch him from the afternoon game. Pedro Ciriaco got the start at second base in Odor's place and was second in the hitting lineup.

"He came in and had a little tweak on the side," Banister said. "No sense in pushing it, just get some treatment. He wanted to continue. I made the decision to take him out. It wasn't him. He wanted to come over here and play, and there was no sense in it for me."

Holland optimistic after second start

Left-hander Derek Holland got his work in Tuesday, going three innings and giving up two unearned runs on three hits against the A's with two strikeouts. He said he was very pleased with his progression.

"I was out there just trying to do what I was supposed to do -- attacking the zone, work off my fastball," Holland said. "The main thing was being able to throw my off-speed for a strike, and I was able to do that."

Holland admitted that there were still some moments of frustration.

"There's still a lot of things that are going on in my head that I'm not happy with, but that's how we are," Holland said. "If you want to make yourself better, you've got to be tough on yourself."

Griffin eager for more

A.J. Griffin might seem like a longshot candidate for the fifth spot in the Rangers rotation given the fact that he hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2013, having missed all of '14 with elbow surgery and most of last season with shoulder surgery. But his scoreless, 12-pitch tuneup in one inning of Sunday's game has him excited to get back on the mound soon.

"I wanted to throw more, but it was good to get my feet wet a little bit," said Griffin, who won 14 games for Oakland in 2013. "It was fun. [My arm] feels good. … I'm able to use my whole body rather than just throw with all arm right now. And just the action on my pitches, everything has been a lot better.

"I feel pretty good now and I'm ready to roll. I'm just excited to hear when I get to pitch again."

Worth noting

• The Rangers will host a 'B' game on Thursday on a back field in Surprise vs. the Padres, and it's likely that Cole Hamels will get the start to continue his progression.

"It's similar to what he's done in the past," Banister said. "So we're trying to keep him on that schedule."

• The Nomar Mazara spring joyride continues at the plate. The outfielder, ranked No. 18 overall on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, singled in a run and is now hitting .571 with seven RBIs this spring.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.