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Minor still under consideration for rotation spot

Lefty worked as reliever for KC last year; Profar has edge on utility role; Trevino may break camp with club
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' decision to move Matt Bush back to the bullpen does not change Mike Minor's situation. Manager Jeff Banister said Minor is still being considered as a candidate for the rotation, even though he was an effective reliever for the Royals last year and hasn't worked as a starter since 2014.

"We will continue to move forward with him in the rotation," Banister said. " ... In Bush's situation, we made the move based on how dynamic he is, weighing the options of starter versus how dynamic he can be in the bullpen."

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' decision to move Matt Bush back to the bullpen does not change Mike Minor's situation. Manager Jeff Banister said Minor is still being considered as a candidate for the rotation, even though he was an effective reliever for the Royals last year and hasn't worked as a starter since 2014.

"We will continue to move forward with him in the rotation," Banister said. " ... In Bush's situation, we made the move based on how dynamic he is, weighing the options of starter versus how dynamic he can be in the bullpen."

The Rangers were encouraged by how Minor handled his last outing against the Athletics, throwing four scoreless innings with just one hit and no walks.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"Minor's last outing showed a lot of what we speculated would see from him," Banister said.

Bush went into camp hoping to be a starter, but the Rangers ended that experiment on Sunday. Bush will remain the bullpen as a multiple-inning middle reliever. The Rangers envision him as a "bridge" between the starters and the late-inning relievers.

"I am very happy," Bush said. "I get to go back to doing what I know how to do. I feel like we have a great team this year, plenty of good starters, and this is a role they need me to go back to."

Minor made 110 starts for the Braves from 2010-14, before arm injuries caused him to miss the '15 season and led the Royals to use him as a reliever last year. Bush has been used strictly as a reliever in his two years with the Rangers.

"Jeff Banister, Jon Daniels, the pitching coaches -- they know what they are doing," Bush said. "I just go with the flow. They made their decision on where they need me and that's all. They know what they are doing and I feel it's the right decision."

Profar has edge at utility
The Rangers have multiple candidates for the role of utility infielder, but Banister suggested Jurickson Profar has the edge over Darwin Barney, Hanser Alberto and Trevor Plouffe.

"We break today, there's a case for Jurickson being a significant player on this team," Banister said. "One of the brighter spots of all of Spring Training has been Profar. Told you that from the very beginning -- when he walked in and just his attitude, the maturity of him, how he's doing his work, I see Jurickson playing a significant role on this team."

Video: TEX@CWS: Profar doubles home Choo in the first

Barney and Plouffe are both accomplished Major League veterans who are in camp as non-roster invites. Both are likely to see opportunities elsewhere if they don't make the Opening Day roster.

Trevino under consideration
The Rangers still have five backup catcher candidates in camp after Brett Nicholas was designated for assignment last week. Rookie Jose Trevino is one of them, and Banister said he is getting real consideration for the Major League roster, even though he has yet to play above Double-A.

Trevino's bat and offensive abilities are still developing. But he has won Minor League Gold Glove Awards for his defense in each of the past two seasons and is the Rangers' 20th-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

"As we sit right now, you've got to consider all of our options," Banister said. "Jose has had a nice camp. We know defensively who he is, that decision hasn't been made just yet. We still have ongoing meetings, we've liked what we've seen."

Rangers beat
• Right-hander Ronald Herrera, who was acquired from the Yankees in November, remains limited because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He is hoping to get clearance from Dr. Keith Meister on Thursday to accelerate his throwing program, but it's likely that he'll start the season either on the disabled list or in extended spring training.

• Pitcher/outfielder Anthony Gose rejoined Texas on Monday. He was a Rule 5 Draft pick by the Astros who was returned the Rangers.

Tim Lincecum is listed for another 35-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.

Up next
Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches against the Brewers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Maryvale Baseball Park. Hamels has three starts left before what is expected to be his Opening Day start against the Astros on March 29. The game will be broadcast live on MLB.TV and texasrangers.com.

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.

Texas Rangers, Mike Minor, Jurickson Profar, Jose Trevino