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Back spasms have Andrus out as precaution

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus sat out of Wednesday's workout while dealing with back spasms. The Rangers said it was more precautionary than anything because it is early in Spring Training.

If this were the regular season, Andrus would have been in the lineup. He usually is.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus sat out of Wednesday's workout while dealing with back spasms. The Rangers said it was more precautionary than anything because it is early in Spring Training.

If this were the regular season, Andrus would have been in the lineup. He usually is.

Video: Outlook: Andrus attempts to build on surprising 2017

Andrus is entering his 10th season with Texas, and he has never been on the disabled list. He played in 158 games last year and at least 145 per season since he was a rookie in 2009. The shortstop played in 147 games in '16, even though he was bothered by a sports hernia for much of the season.

"I think that is my No. 1 goal every year -- play as much as I can and fight through injuries," Andrus said. "Find a way to be there for my team."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Andrus said he learned that from Michael Young and Adrian Beltre.

"They told me your body could be feeling [terrible] and you still might go 4-for-4," Andrus said. "If something is bothering you, why take a week off? You can still find a way to help the team. That's the thing I admire about other players is playing every day."

Bochy speaks highly of Moore

The Rangers acquired left-handed starter Matt Moore in a trade from the Giants this offseason. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the Rangers are getting a "good one," even though Moore struggled in San Francisco.

Tweet from @Sullivan_Ranger: Matt Moore throwing a batting practice session pic.twitter.com/60aXOFElnd

"I loved my time with Matt," Bochy said. "Matt was a great teammate. I thank him for all he did. Never missed starts. He had some struggles last year. I remember bringing him [to the office] and maybe giving him a break, skip a start, catch his breath. He insisted no, he wanted to get back out there. That's the competitor that he is. He really pitched well at the end of the year."

Moore was 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 31 starts for the Giants in 2017. He had a seven-game stretch from Aug. 18 to Sept. 20 in which he was 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA before allowing eight runs in 1 1/3 innings in his final outing.

"Everybody has their ups and downs in this game," Bochy said. "Mostly his command would get away from him, and his delivery would get out of sync occasionally. But he found it. ... If you look at his last few starts, he was throwing the ball well."

Outfielders parading to mound

Minor League first baseman/outfielder Royce Bolinger is being switched to pitcher after five seasons. He had a couple of appearances on the mound at Gonzaga during his college career.

Bolinger follows Jairo Beras and James Jones, two other former outfielders who were switched to the mound in the past couple of years. Beras had a 5.02 ERA in 14 appearances in Class A last year, and then went to Instructional League for more work.

"The big progress we saw was in Instructional League," farm director Jayce Tingler said of Beras. "It's upper 90s [mph]. ... One thing we have worked on is his slider. It is a live arm. It's easy strikes. What we were most encouraged with was how he picked up his slider and how well he was able to throw it for strikes. He's got real weapons. If he stays healthy, he could pitch in the upper levels in a short time."

Jones, who played for the Mariners in 2014-15, was switched to the mound after being acquired by the Rangers. He underwent Tommy John surgery in '16, but is at full strength again. Jones was a pitcher in college at Long Island University.

"Guys are buzzing about him, especially the rehab guys who have put a ton of time into it," Tingler said. "He's healthy and throwing his fastball very well -- mid-to-low 90's, pretty good breaking ball."

Rangers beat

• The Rangers worked out Wednesday morning in 40-plus-degree temperatures. Beltre stayed indoors doing his work. The Rangers are letting Beltre take it slow this spring because he has a history of minor leg issues in Spring Training.

• Because of the condensed Spring Training, the Rangers will not have any intrasquad games before the Cactus League opener on Saturday against the Cubs.

• Moore, who has been dealing with soreness behind his right knee, threw live batting practice without any issues on Wednesday.

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, Elvis Andrus