ARLINGTON, Texas -- There was a time, not too long ago, that former Rangers first-round pick and Irving native Blake Beavan was convinced that he could pitch just as well as anyone in the Texas rotation. Beavan, taken 17th overall in 2007, was brash and confident.
But bus rides and minor league struggles will humble you. And to Beavan's credit, he's focused on getting better.
"It will be a good experience to get to pitch here," Beavan said. "It will be nice to be at the Ballpark in Arlington and be on the mound and not in the stands."
Beavan thought he'd be making that start in a Rangers uniform.
"That was the plan, but everything happens for a reason," Beavan said. "Seattle gave me that opportunity to come up to the big leagues and get that experience. Now I get to pitch against the Rangers at their home ballpark... should be fun."
Beavan made two starts against the Rangers last season, both at Safeco Field, and was 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA. In fact, all four runs he gave up were in one inning. He threw eight shutout innings in a 4-0 win over Texas on Sept. 16.
Beavan said the chance to make 11 starts in the big leagues in 2011 helped his learning curve tremendously.
"I feel like I've learned a lot. I feel like I need to do a lot more, just for me," he said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to get better and try to watch guys and pick peoples' brains and watch how guys go about their business and try to fine-tune myself and get to where I want to be some day. I'm trying to learn and figure things out."