ARLINGTON -- A slight suggestion from Rangers catching instructor Hector Ortiz has helped Yorvit Torrealba with his throwing. When Torrealba was in his crouch, his feet were parallel. Ortiz suggested he drop his right foot behind his left to get him in a better throwing position with a runner on first.Torrealba was 5-for-8 throwing out runners in Spring Training and threw out the only attempted basestealer against him on Opening Day. "It makes it easier to move faster and easier to make a good throw to second," Torrealba said. Ortiz is a former Major League catcher, who played in seven games for the Rangers in 2002. He has been in their farm system since 2006, managing the Arizona Rookie League Rangers to the playoffs last year.
Players make the right moves on Opening Day
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington sent Craig Gentry in to play defense in the ninth inning on Opening Day. The Rangers had a 3-2 lead against the White Sox going into the ninth and Washington wanted Gentry to replace David Murphy in left field.Gentry and Josh Hamilton decided otherwise. They talked about it on the bench and decided it was better if Gentry played center and Hamilton moved to left. Washington acceded to their wishes. "I'm glad they worked that out so I didn't have to get involved," Washington said. "Hamilton told me, 'I have no problem moving to left.' I said, 'Thank you, Hamilton, I love you.' I wasn't going to move Hamilton out of center. I was glad they made the decision. I'm not going to overrule my players when they say something is best. "Hamilton is a team player and that was a team move. He was looking out for his teammates and that's what we do around here. I thought that was class." That was one of two decisions made by his players that Washington liked on Opening Day. The other was made by Elvis Andrus after Ian Kinsler led off the first inning with a double to left. Andrus, trying to get the runner to third base, made one attempt to hit the ball to the right side and then got the job done with a sacrifice bunt. Andrus was bunting on his own and Washington approved of it. "When I saw them making decisions on their own, the manager loves it," Washington said.
Adams locked in to the eighth inning
ARLINGTON -- Alexi Ogando struck out the side in the seventh inning on Friday and needed just 14 pitches to do it. But, with the Rangers leading the White Sox by one run, Washington went right with Mike Adams to pitch the eighth inning.The move reinforced Washington's desire for Adams to be his eighth-innning reliever rather than sticking with the hot hand. "I was going with Mike Adams, that's his job," Washington said. "The first game of the season, that's his job. Yesterday was the perfect day for the way we have our bullpen set up." In Game 6 of the World Series last year, Washington stayed with the hot hand. Derek Holland had retired four straight hitters going into the eighth inning and left him in to pitch. Holland, with a 7-4 lead, gave up a one-out home run to the Cardinals' Allen Craig and a two-out single before Adams came in to pitch. "I know my role coming into the season," Adams said. "There wasn't any question about it and I'm comfortable with it. I think we all know our roles in the bullpen, and it's going to make guys better. You're able to mentally prepare." Ogando was the first pitcher in Rangers history to face three batters on Opening Day and strike out all three. He is the first Major League pitcher to do that on Opening Day since Mariano Rivera for the Yankees on April 2, 2007, against the Rays.
Three things from Washington
Manager Ron Washington talking about ... ... the Rangers receiving their American League championship rings before Saturday's game: "Not winning the World Series is not going to take away from our accomplishment. I'm going to take the ring and feel proud of it. We played, what, 179 games? There were 28 other teams sitting at home wishing they had a chance to lose. We're proud of what we accomplished and we're going to make you even more proud as we go through the 2012 season." ... getting every player into a game the first week of the season: "So everyone gets the jitters out. When I came into the big leagues, the manager got me into a game the first week. I might have to sit the next two weeks, but I got in the first week. It doesn't mean you get to start a game, but it does mean you get to get in a game." ... the Rangers' 3-2 victory on Opening Day: "I remember four years ago people saying you couldn't pitch here. There was a 3-2 ballgame at the Ballpark in Arlington yesterday. That's pitching."
The Rangers won on Opening Day even though they were outhit by the White Sox and even though they did not draw a walk. The Rangers hadn't won a game like that since April 21, 2009, against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Yu Darvish on Opening Day: "It was very exciting." Colby Lewis is one of five pitchers in the past five years to get a victory on Opening Day and also record nine-plus strikeouts. The other four were Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw and Jered Weaver. The Rangers are facing five straight opposing right-handers -- Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood -- and aren't scheduled to face another left-hander until Seattle's Jason Vargas on Thursday.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.