Rangers cautious with DeShields' sore knee

March 3rd, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Center fielder  was out of action for the second straight day on Sunday as the Rangers played a pair of split-squad games against the Dodgers and Padres, but manager Chris Woodward said he is acting out of an abundance of caution.

“His biggest value and his biggest asset are his legs,” Woodward said. “He’s one of the most impactful guys when he gets on base.”

Part of Woodward’s thinking is that DeShields is trying to rebound from a difficult season in which he hit just .216 with a .310 on-base percentage in 106 games.

“He wanted to get a lot of at-bats in Spring Training, we talked about that,” Woodward said. “I think he had something to prove. His offensive year wasn’t as good as he wanted last year, and he wanted to put into play the things that he’s been working on in the offseason."

DeShields is hitting .308 (4-for-13) with a double and two RBIs through five Cactus League games, but he's been dealing with a sore right knee since colliding with the center-field wall during the first game of the exhibition season.

“Getting him three days off, it allows me to [get him 100 percent]. If he’s 100 percent moving forward, now I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” Woodward said. “If I have to go every other day, it takes him out of rhythm. I’d rather him play three or four days in a row, or two or three days in a row, than go every other day, because that’s how you build up the consistency in your approach and your at-bats.”

Nostalgic Woodward faces former team

As the Dodgers’ third-base coach the last three seasons, Woodward played an important role in their recent run of success that included three division titles and two World Series appearances.

For the first time since being named as the Rangers’ skipper after the 2018 World Series, Woodward faced his old club on Sunday and spoke fondly of his time with the Dodgers.

“It’s a tremendous organization,” Woodward said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those three years in L.A.. A ton of good people, a lot of good memories, obviously getting to the World Series a couple years. ’17 was a pretty special year for what we accomplished and how good a team we had, and the belief in that clubhouse was pretty special. It was really cool to be a part of.”

The Rangers fell to the Dodgers, 6-3.

Split squad thumps Padres

In split-squad game against the Padres in Surprise on Sunday, the Rangers scored eight runs in the third inning and cruised to an 11-3 victory. Eight of the nine Rangers starters had at least one hit, with Rougned Odor (2-for-3, two RBIs), Asdrubal Cabrera (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Danny Santana (2-for-3, two RBIs) leading the way. Brock Burke started and pitched two scoreless frames for the win.

Farrell undergoes further examination on broken jaw

Right-hander Luke Farrell saw a dentist/facial surgeon for further consultation after he was hit in the right side of his jaw by a line drive while pitching the ninth inning against the Giants on Saturday in Scottsdale. Farrell left the game with assistance and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a non-displaced jaw fracture.

Worth noting

• Hunter Pence (sore right shoulder) has been limited to designated hitter duties but will probably be ready to play the outfield within a week, Woodward said.

• Shin-Soo Choo, who was sent home to Texas last week to receive an anti-inflammatory shot in his left shoulder, played on Sunday for the second time in the past three games and will be ready to play in consecutive games soon.

• Woodward said the Rangers are nearing the phase of spring when longer outings by starting pitchers and will necessitate "B" games for relievers.

Up next

Edinson Volquez gets the start on Monday as the Rangers face the Rockies at 2:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium.