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Rangers remove 4 NRIs from spring roster

Casali, Hood, Delabar, Plouffe informed they won't make team; Chavez to focus on bullpen role
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have trimmed their Spring Training roster by telling four non-roster players they will not be making the team.

Catcher Curt Casali has been given his release so he can pursue an opportunity with another team. The move means that Juan Centeno will likely make the team as the backup catcher, with Brett Nicholas and Mike Ohlman likely headed for Triple-A Round Rock.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have trimmed their Spring Training roster by telling four non-roster players they will not be making the team.

Catcher Curt Casali has been given his release so he can pursue an opportunity with another team. The move means that Juan Centeno will likely make the team as the backup catcher, with Brett Nicholas and Mike Ohlman likely headed for Triple-A Round Rock.

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Outfielder Destin Hood and pitcher Steve Delabar have been told they are not making the team. Hood is headed for Round Rock, and Delabar has been asked to do the same.

"We want them to stay with us," manager Jeff Banister said. "Destin Hood has been a guy in camp who has shown us what kind of talent he has. Delabar is an interesting guy, a right-hander with experience and a former All Star. He still has an upside."

Video: COL@TEX: Delabar fans Patterson in the 6th inning

Hood hit .313 with six doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs in 32 at-bats this spring. His demotion leaves the Rangers with Ryan Rua and Carlos Tocci as the right-handed candidates to platoon with Drew Robinson in left field. Hood will play the outfield in Round Rock, but he will also get time at first base. That's the one advantage that Rua has over him.

"I did all I could," Hood said. "I can't be disappointed. I'll go to Triple-A and keep playing. It is decision-making time, and the decision wasn't in my favor. It could be different in a few months."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The Rangers have told infielder Trevor Plouffe that he is not making the team. The eight-year veteran was signed to a Minor League contract mainly as insurance in case something happened to Adrian Beltre. Nothing did.

Plouffe expressed no interest in going to Triple-A. He has left camp to consider his options.

Spring Training information

Chavez to pitch in relief
The Rangers have told pitcher Jesse Chavez he will be used mainly in relief. Chavez can do both and could be used as a starter in an emergency. But the Rangers want him to focus on preparing as a reliever.

The Rangers are preparing to go with a rotation of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Bartolo Colon is still in camp and pitching against the Mariners on Thursday night in Surprise.

Colon could also work in relief, but the Rangers appear to be holding on to him in case Perez is not fully recovered from a broken bone in the tip of his right (non-throwing) elbow. Right now, though, it appears as if Perez will be ready to start the season.

"We still have to work through that yet," Banister said. "We are not at the point where he is [pitching] on a set day, but all things being equal, he is going to be available to us."

Video: TEX@KC: Chavez tosses three perfect frames vs. Royals

Rangers acquire infielder
The Rangers have acquired infielder Eliezer Alvarez from the Phillies for cash considerations. Alvarez was at Double-A Springfield in the Texas League last year and played in 54 games, hitting .247 with a .321 on-base percentage and a .382 slugging percentage. He is on the 40-man roster but has options.

To make room, the Rangers placed pitcher Ronald Herrera on the 60-day disabled list. He is sidelined with inflammation in his right shoulder, a problem that curtailed his 2017 season in the Yankees' organization.

Rangers beat
Alex Claudio has retired 18 of 21 batters faced this spring, and opposing batters are hitting .125 off reliever Kevin Jepsen.

• Reliever Tony Barnette remains day to day with tightness in his lower back.

• The Rangers have won just two of 15 road games this spring. They have lost 12 and tied one.

Up next
The Rangers have a split-squad day on Thursday, and both games are at night and will be broadcast on MLB.TV. Minor starts against the Reds at 8:05 p.m. CT in Surprise, and Colon will start against the Mariners at 8:40 p.m. in Peoria. Matt Bush and Jake Diekman are also scheduled to pitch against the Reds. Perez is scheduled to pitch Friday at San Diego.

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