SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have released veteran first baseman James Loney, the club announced on Monday.Loney was going not going to make the team and could have taken his free agency on Wednesday. Making the move on Monday gives him two extra days to find another opportunity.The Rangers have
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have released veteran first baseman James Loney, the club announced on Monday.
Loney was going not going to make the team and could have taken his free agency on Wednesday. Making the move on Monday gives him two extra days to find another opportunity.
The Rangers have also sent outfielder Jared Hoying and pitcher Eddie Gamboa to Triple-A Round Rock, and they informed pitcher Anthony Bass and catcher Steven Lerud they will not make the team.
Loney was signed to a Minor League contract to give the Rangers a left-handed-hitting option at first base and allow Mike Napoli to be used at designated hitter as needed. But that need has lessened since Shin-Soo Choo will be the Rangers' primary designated hitter and Napoli will be anchored at first base.
Hoying was competing for a spot as a reserve outfielder, but there was no room behind Carlos Gomez, Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Ryan Rua and Jurickson Profar.
This will be the fifth straight season Hoying has played for Round Rock, but he remains a viable option in case of injury.
Gamboa was acquired from the Rays just before Spring Training, and he has impressed the Rangers with his growing mastery of the knuckleball. He had a 2.12 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances. That was too small of a sample for the Rangers to get a real feel for Gamboa, and they are eager for an extended look at Round Rock.
Bass was signed to a Minor League contract after he spent 2016 in Japan. He pitched well for the Rangers in '15 as a middle reliever, but that job will likely go to Rule 5 Draft pick Mike Hauschild.
Bass will be allowed to seek a Major League job, and if he is unable to find one, he is expected to pitch at Round Rock.
Lerud will look for other opportunities that may not be available with the Rangers. Their Triple-A catching situation is crowded with Patrick Cantwell, Brett Hayes, Brett Nicholas and A.J. Jimenez. Nicholas is still recovering from left knee surgery and Jimenez is still in big league camp.
• Tyson Ross (shoulder surgery) will throw another live batting practice on Tuesday. It could be his final live session before pitching in a Minor League game.
• Andrew Cashner (biceps soreness) will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. He had no next-day issues after throwing 44 pitches over three innings in a Minor League game on Wednesday.
• Tanner Scheppers (abdominal strain) threw a bullpen session on Monday, his first time on the mound since being forced out of Friday's game against the Padres.
• Infielder Hanser Alberto is back in Texas to get a PRP injection for his sore right shoulder. He is being shut down from throwing for two weeks and will start the season on the disabled list.
• Gomez is day to day with a jammed left shoulder. He is expected to go through a full workout on Tuesday.
• Joey Gallo (strained left hamstring) is expected to play in a Minor League game Monday night.
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.