Rangers hoping Beltre can return later in May

Ross progresses in rehab; Griffin feels good after complete game

Rangers hoping Beltre can return later in May

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are becoming cautiously optimistic they could get third baseman Adrian Beltre back before the end of May.

Beltre, who is on the disabled list with a strained right calf, took batting practice on Saturday and fielded ground balls at third base. The grounders were not hit right at him, causing Beltre to move laterally to field the baseball, another good test for his calf.

"Very positive," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It was as good as he has felt through this entire process."

Beltre has been on the disabled list since the start of the season and has not started running full speed yet. Most of his running has been on the treadmill, but the intensity continues to be increased with each workout.

Ross throws simulated game

Right-hander Tyson Ross threw three innings and 45 pitches in an extended spring training game in Arizona on Saturday. He allowed one run on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts while feeling good physically.

Ross is expected to pitch another game in extended spring training Thursday and stretch to four innings and 60 pitches. After that, he will likely make at least two starts in the Minors before he becomes a Major League option.

The Rangers signed Ross in the offseason knowing he had surgery on Oct. 13 to relieve symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder. His return has been delayed by back spasms a few weeks ago that have since dissipated.

Griffin feeling good

Right-hander A.J. Griffin said he has had no issues in recovering from his shutout of the Padres on Tuesday. Griffin threw the first complete game by a Rangers starter this season and finished with a season-high 104 pitches.

He said he is good to go for Sunday's start against the Athletics.

"The innings were pretty crisp for the most part," Griffin said. "There weren't any long innings. I felt as good as I have felt out of any outing my whole career. I stayed inside my delivery, I wasn't trying to do too much. I wasn't putting much stress on my shoulder and just staying on top of the baseball. Try to keep doing what I have been doing and executing pitches."

Griffin's shutout

Rangers beat

• Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies against the Rangers during their three-game series next week. He is currently set to pitch Wednesday. He is one of five players traded by the Rangers to the Phillies for Cole Hamels.

• The Rangers will also run into Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander next weekend in Detroit. He is scheduled to pitch Saturday in the second of a three-game series.

• Left-hander Brett Martin, who is the Rangers' No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been placed on the disabled list with mild back spasms. He is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in five starts with Class A Advanced Down East.

Top Prospects: Martin, TEX

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.