Notes: Solak in left; Ciuffo denies A's no-no

March 10th, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- started in left field for the Rangers on Monday night against the Athletics. There is a good chance he’ll be out there on Opening Day with expected to open the season on the injured list with a fractured jaw.

“If the season started today, Solak will get a lot of playing time out there,” manager Chris Woodward said.

The Rangers are hopeful that Calhoun won’t miss an extended amount of time but still must prepare for his absence. General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers don’t expect to go outside for help at this point.

“Not immediately, no,” Daniels said. “It’s always on our mind, are there players available, whether trade or free agent, that can help us. We are going to prepare to go with the best group we can assemble here in camp. Obviously you don’t want to lose anyone, but it’s an opportunity for some other guys get in there a little bit and take a look at them.”

Among the free agents still available is , but the Rangers have not discussed pursuing him. Solak is one of three internal candidates to replace Calhoun, along with and .

Solak has played 60 games in left field in the Minor Leagues, so he is not exactly a novice at the position. He has more experience there than in center. He threw out Sean Murphy trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning on Monday night.

Heineman, who came to camp with a shot at being the club's fourth outfielder, is off to a good start, going 9-for-25 (.360) in his first 13 games. He hit just .213 (16-for-75) in 25 games with the Rangers last season. But over 149 games in Triple-A the past two years, he slashed .307/.371/.463 with 19 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Garcia, 27, is another Triple-A player with intriguing numbers, as he hit .253/.301/.517 with 32 home runs, 96 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. However, he did strike out 159 times in 491 at-bats. His throwing arm is considered plus or above -- he recorded 17 outfield assists in 2019.

The Rangers could also use in left field. He is supposed to be their primary designated hitter, though that could change if someone like hits his way on to the team.

Rangers avoid no-hitter

The Rangers came close to getting a no-hitter thrown against them in a 5-0 loss to the Athletics on Monday night. The Rangers went 7 1/3 innings before looped a single off Oakland's fourth pitcher of the night, reliever Jordan Weems.

Ciuffo, starting in place Robinson Chirinos, was the only player in the Rangers' lineup not projected to be in the Opening Day lineup. The Rangers' first six hitters were Choo, Elvis Andrus, Danny Santana, Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor and Todd Frazier.

They were followed by Ronald Guzmán, who is trying to win the first-base job, and Solak. Ciuffo, a non-roster invitee, has had a good spring, going 1-for-3 on Monday night and is now 7-for-17 (.412) in nine games.

Rangers beat

• Reliever Nick Goody continues to be one of the most impressive pitchers in camp. He struck out the side in the sixth and has only allowed one hit in six innings this spring. He has 14 strikeouts and just two walks.

• Right-hander Juan Nicasio followed Goody with a scoreless inning in his first outing since Feb. 29. Nicasio, who had been dealing with a sore back, allowed one hit and struck out two.

• The Giants are planning to pitch right-hander in relief against the Rangers on Wednesday. He is the son of Hall of Fame catcher , now a special assistant with the Rangers. Rodríguez has made one career start against the Rangers, coming on Aug. 24, 2018, when he was a rookie. His dad is expected to be at the game.

He said it

“It’s tough walking in here and not seeing Willie’s smiling face.” -- Solak

Up next

Left-hander Mike Minor pitches against the White Sox at 3:05 p.m. CT Tuesday in Glendale. This will be the second start of the spring for Minor, who pitched three scoreless innings against the D-backs on Thursday. The White Sox will counter with Michael Kopech.