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Bibens-Dirkx eyes another role in The Show

Right-hander in Rangers camp on Minor League deal
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx had a couple of interesting job possibilities this spring.

One was to be the pitching coach at Boise State under head coach Gary Van Tol, who is trying to revive that program after 37 years. He was Bibens-Dirkx's pitching coach the University of Portland.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx had a couple of interesting job possibilities this spring.

One was to be the pitching coach at Boise State under head coach Gary Van Tol, who is trying to revive that program after 37 years. He was Bibens-Dirkx's pitching coach the University of Portland.

"Not yet," Bibens-Dirkx said. "Definitely not yet."

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He was also approached by a couple of Japanese teams about taking the same route as Nick Martinez and Tanner Scheppers. Instead, Bibens-Dirkx re-signed with the Rangers. He is here on a Minor League contract, but he is in a big league camp for only the second time in 12 years. The other was with the Nationals in 2012.

"It's a little bit different, but it is exciting," Bibens-Dirkx said. "We have a really good squad. I would like to make the team out of camp, but being a 'JIC' last year wasn't so bad. I got to throw quite a bit. Hopefully I can throw as well as last year and see what happens."

A "JIC" is a guy brought over in Spring Training from the Minor League camp to be ready to play in a Cactus League game just in case something happens. Bibens-Dirkx had a 1.50 ERA in six games last year, and that was the first step toward being called up in May. He ended up 5-2 with a 4.67 ERA in six starts and 18 relief appearances for the Rangers and would rather give the big leagues another shot than go to Japan.

"Not after the year I had last year," Bibens-Dirkx said. "I have another opportunity. They keep giving me a jersey. Until that stops, I'm going to keep on going."

Video: Rangers bolster rotation after signing Minor

Colon doesn't change Minor
The Rangers are bringing veteran Bartolo Colon into camp on a Minor League contract, but that doesn't change the plan for Mike Minor. He was signed to a three-year contract in the offseason with the idea of giving him a chance to start, and the Rangers will still do that. He was in the Royals' bullpen last year and hasn't started since 2014.

"I know in [2013], he had 200 innings, so at least he has been there and done that," pitching coach Doug Brocail said. "I'm excited because the kids are going to show us immediately what they have and what they don't have. If he is up to the task, we are going to run with it. If not, we know he can go to the bullpen. But right now, he's a starter."

Rangers beat
• The Rangers aren't expected to announce the signing of reliever Seung Hwan Oh until Wednesday at the earliest. That's when they can put pitcher Joe Palumbo on the 60-day disabled list while he is recovering from Tommy John surgery and make room on the 40-man roster.

• The Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization are working out at the Rangers' complex and Michael Choice is one of their outfielders. He was sold to the Heroes by the Brewers last summer and decided to re-sign with them this winter. Said Choice, "I love it. It's a chance to play, make some money and put up some numbers so I can get back here. If not, I'll go back and make more money."

• Among the pitchers who threw in the bullpen on Tuesday were veteran relievers Alex Claudio, Jake Diekman and Tony Barnette. Cole Hamels is also in camp.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Texas Rangers, Austin Bibens-Dirkx