Rangers' Davis scratched due to knee sprain

Rangers' Davis scratched due to knee sprain

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ike Davis, who is trying to make the Rangers as a backup left-handed-hitting first baseman, was scratched from Thursday's lineup with a mild sprain of his right knee.

Davis was originally scheduled to start at designated hitter while Prince Fielder is back in Texas doing a sleep study. Davis is listed as day to day, but the Rangers have already had to be cautious with him this spring because he underwent left hip surgery in September.

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Davis is in camp on a Minor League contract, and the battle for one of four jobs off the bench is highly competitive. The Rangers already have three spots set aside for the backup catcher, extra middle infielder and a fourth outfielder who can play center field.

That leaves one more spot. Davis is in the mix, but so are others, including outfielders Ryan Rua, Drew Stubbs, Patrick Kivlehan and Justin Ruggiano. Davis has almost no experience playing the outfield.

Davis hit .227 with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs for the Mets in 2012, but just a combined 23 home runs and 104 RBIs over the past three seasons while dealing with the hip and other physical issues.

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.