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Griffin all but cements rotation spot in win

March 28, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has only officially announced Yu Darvish as the Opening Day starter.The rest of the Rangers rotation is obvious, if not officially announced, and will include A.J. Griffin as the fourth starter. Griffin locked down that honor by holding the Rockies to two runs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has only officially announced Yu Darvish as the Opening Day starter.
The rest of the Rangers rotation is obvious, if not officially announced, and will include A.J. Griffin as the fourth starter. Griffin locked down that honor by holding the Rockies to two runs over 5 1/3 innings during a 4-3 win at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Tuesday.
He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out two while throwing 89 pitches. It wasn't overwhelming, but it more than suits the Rangers' needs from their fourth starter.
"I've done my best," Griffin said. "My last previous few outings I was a little sharper. I fell behind today but I battled through it. I missed barrels for the most part and kept guys off-balance. I'd like to get ahead of hitters more, but you've go to go with what you have and work through it."
Banister is holding off announcing his rotation until everybody clears Spring Training healthy.
The Rangers are lined up to have Darvish, Martin Perez and Cole Hamels pitch the first three games against the Indians in the season-opening series. Griffin's first start will likely be April 7 against Oakland.

Due to two early off-days, the Rangers won't need a fifth starter until April 15, and will likely use an extra reliever for at least the first 10 games.
By then, Andrew Cashner could be over his biceps soreness and be ready to join the rotation. The Rangers also could get Tyson Ross back by the first week of May, once he completes his recovery from offseason surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
At that point, the Rangers might find out they have an excess of starting pitching, which would also constitute a rare moment. A Rangers starter who gets on a roll and can maintain it for an extended period of time usually has a way of sticking in the rotation.
"All I can do is take care of what I need to do," Griffin said. "That's how baseball is. It's unfortunate but I got my break when a guy got hurt. It's a continuous cycle. Guys get hurt all the time. You just keep working hard and stay positive, and good things will happen."
Hauschild cements spot on roster
Rule 5 Draft pick Mike Hauschild has all but locked up a spot on the Opening Day roster as a middle reliever. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief during the Rangers' win Tuesday. He now has not allowed a run in 9 2/3 innings.

The Rangers tested him by bringing him in with one on and one out in the sixth. Texas wanted to see him respond to entering with runners on base, and he struck out two to get out of the inning.
"Those type of situations, you have to be able to get out of them," Banister said. "That's what we were looking for and he did. Hauschild continues to throw the ball well."

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.