Rangers sign Loewen to Minor League deal

Lefty reliever has Spring Training invite; Jeffress in good spirits; Beasley healthy, ready to work

February 13th, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have signed left-handed pitcher to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Loewen spent most of last season at Triple-A Reno, where he was 5-3 with a 3.91 ERA in 39 relief appearances and one start. He pitched in eight games with the D-backs and allowed 10 runs in six innings.

Loewen is 10-8 with a 5.85 ERA in 29 starts and 34 relief appearances with the Orioles (2006-08), Phillies ('15) and D-backs. From 2009-14, he switched to the outfield and played in 14 games for the Blue Jays in '11 before going back to pitching.

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Loewen comes to camp competing for a spot as a left-handed reliever. He is also on the roster for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic

Jeffress feeling good

Right-handed reliever is in Rangers camp early. He lives in central Phoenix, which is a 45-minute drive from the team's complex in Surprise.

He is in good spirits and feeling good.

"Everything else is smooth," Jeffress said. "I started throwing the beginning of January, not pushing it too much, and my first bullpen was the second week of February."

Jeffress said he is doing well emotionally and spiritually. The Rangers acquired him from the Brewers on July 31 last season, but he missed much of September while undergoing alcohol rehabilitation treatment. He returned for the final week of the season and was included on the postseason roster.

He said everything continues to go well.

"I go home every year back to Virginia to see my mother and father and they kept me level-headed," Jeffress said. "Make sure my mind is right so I can come into the season ready to go.

"There wasn't too much to think about. The thing is not get big-headed. Stay humble. Baseball is fun, but the only way you can keep it fun is if you stay humble."

Beasley back to work

Third-base coach Tony Beasley arrived at the complex at 8:30 a.m. MST Monday ready to go to work.

"This is official today," Beasley said. "This is Spring Training. I'm back to work."

Beasley was on limited duty last season while recovering from rectal cancer. He heard the news just before he was supposed to go to Spring Training.

"Last year I wasn't here at this time," Beasley said. "I had to sit at home. No, last year at this time I was in the hospital in Houston getting tests and stuff."

Beasley was medically cleared this offseason and did work at the Rangers' minicamp in January. But this is back to the everyday grind of baseball that goes on daily for another 7-8 months.

"I'm looking forward to everything basically," Beasley said. "Just being able to get back on the field, give 100 percent to the team and the organization and not be limited in any way."

Rangers beat

• Mike Napoli, who agreed with the Rangers on a one-year contract, still has not completed his physical. An official announcement is not expected until Wednesday at the earliest.

• Pitchers and catchers officially report on Tuesday, but many are working out already. was among those throwing off flat ground on the backfield.

• Many Rangers Minor League players are working out in camp, including pitchers Mike Matuella and Jake Lemoine. Matuella missed almost all of last season with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, while Lemoine has yet to pitch professionally due to shoulder issues. Both were highly regarded prospects from the 2015 Draft. Matuella is throwing on flat ground while Lemoine is throwing off the mound.

• The Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Bobby LaFromboise to a Minor League contract without an invitation to big league camp. In his career, he is 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 27 games with the Mariners and Pirates.