Notes: Mike Olt to get more reps in minors

MESA, Ariz. -- Highly-regarded prospect Mike Olt was one of four players optioned to Round Rock (AAA) on Tuesday as part of 12 roster moves announced by the Texas Rangers.

Olt saw a lot of time this spring at third base and also played a few games in right field, a new position for the 24-year old whom the Rangers see as a key future contributor to their team.

With Mitch Moreland at first base and Adrian Beltre at third, Olt needed to add another position to his arsenal to increase his versatility and clear a path to the major leagues. He is expected to play both third and outfield with Round Rock.

"He'll go down there, get the repetitions, play everyday and get into game mode and the rest will take care of itself," manager Ron Washington said. "We get to the point in spring where we are going to play the regular guys more and he just needed to go somewhere where he could get regular work. That is why we sent him down.

"He did extremely well (in the outfield)."

Olt struggled at the plate early in the spring and Washington commented that he wanted to see the powerful, 6-foot-2, 210-pounder swing the bat more often. His play didn't diminish the positive outlook on his future in the lineup. However, with depth in the outfield, more seasoning will improve his chances to earn a regular spot on the major-league roster.

"It's good to be able to get more reps and get back on track," Olt said. "I view this as a positive. They want me up here as an everyday guy, not a bench guy, so I'll get my reps and get back on track."

Olt leaves major league camp with a .194 average this spring with two home runs and five RBIs.

A supplemental pick in the 2010 MLB Draft (49th overall), Olt split time between Double-A Frisco and Texas last season. He hit .152 in 33 big-league at-bats with no home runs, five RBIs and 13 strikeouts. This season would mark the first time Olt plays in Triple-A.

LHP Jeff Beliveau, OF Engle Beltre and RHP Wilmer Font were also assigned to Round Rock.

In addition to those moves, Texas announced eight players were reassigned to minor-league camp: 1B Brandon Allen, C Juan Apodaca, RHP Colin Balester, LHP Neal Cotts, C Jose Felix, RHP Evan Meek, INF Brandon Snyder, OF Aaron Cunningham and RHP Yoshinori Tateyama.

Including the three Rangers still playing in the World Baseball Classic, Texas has 45 players on its major league spring training roster.

Other team notes:

  • A delayed broadcast of today's game can be heard at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN 103.3 FM.

  • LHP Derek Holland will make his first appearance since returning from the WBC. He allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings against Tucson in a minor-league start for Round Rock (AAA).

  • Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings in a game with High-A Myrtle Beach and allowed one hit and no walks while striking out four.

  • LHP Matt Harrison is scheduled for a minor league game Thursday.

  • Going into Tuesday, Elvis Andrus had a 10-game hitting streak, batting .393 (11-28) in that span.

  • Jeff Baker was third in the majors and second in the Cactus League with a .467 batting average going into Tuesday's play.

  • Wednesday marks the third and final off day during the spring schedule. The club does not have another off day until April 1, the day after opening the season in Houston.

  • Nelson Cruz and Leurys Garcia (Dominican Republic) will be in San Francisco for tonight's WBC final before returning to the Rangers. Jurickson Profar (Netherlands) went 0-for-3 with a walk in last night's semifinal against Puerto Rico, also committing a throwing error. It was Profar's only WBC game, as he was an injury replacement for the semifinals.

  • Derek Lowe is scheduled to start for the Rangers on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is not likely to pitch three innings again, as he did in Monday's emergency start in place of Yu Darvish.