SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels met with the media for nearly 20 minutes Tuesday and addressed a number of topics. Here are his comments on some of the topics:
Bullpen composition: I think we have a number of guys that are throwing the ball well and have put themselves in good position. With the bullpen, you're always looking to improve. I think last year we had a little more of a set pen from Day 1. We knew coming in this year with (Joakim) Soria and (Neftali) Feliz coming back over the course of the season, and some of the younger guys playing different roles, the pen may continue to grow once we break and then, in the season, as we establish the roles. I like our candidates.
Joakim Soria's recovery: Knock on (wood) he's doing very well. He'll introduce his breaking ball on the side, and we're being overly cautious. If this was the first time he was having the surgery, I wouldn't rule out him being ready for Opening Day. Because this is the second time he's had it, the rehab protocol that was laid out was to build an extra month in there, which I think was wise. We knew that going in. We're being intentionally deliberate. We don't want him to have any setbacks. He's looked very good to this point.
Kyle McClellan's role: I think the first thing first is we have to see how he does today. Before we continue to stretch him out, I think a lot of that will depend on how he throws, how he feels. I think he is capable of filling a variety of roles if he is 100-percent healthy. Whether there is time to get him ready as a starter is really going to depend on how he is feeling and how quickly he is ramped up. Based on how he is feeling now, I think he will be ready to be in the mix for a spot on the club, I just don't know whether he will be stretched out enough to be a starter. He may be. I think we are probably right at that point now where he still could do it.
Fifth starter competition: Our depth is being tested. We have a couple of guys who are throwing well. We'd like to have more. I'm not so concerned about who it will be on Opening Day, but more the next injury, the next issue. It's baseball. It's going to happen. We're going to get some of these guys back. Knock on wood, we're getting good reports out of the training room, but until they do our depth is a little bit of a concern for me.
Going outside the organization to add players for the start of the regular season: I would expect the 25 will come out of that room (Rangers clubhouse). I won't 100 percent rule out an outside acquisition, and we do our due diligence and make our calls, things can come about, but you have to be prepared to go in house.
Center-field battle: There are times you come into camp, and you have a competition with four or five guys and none of the four or five impress. This is just the opposite. There is nobody that hasn't played well. Leonys (Martin) has stepped up. (Craig) Gentry is outstanding, not only in performance but I think his mindset and his confidence is really impressive. (Julio) Borbon has played very well, and so have Engel Beltre and Jim Adduci. It's not a situation where anyone is playing themselves out of it.
Is the center-field job an open battle? We talk about this every spring. It's not three outfielders. It's four or five or six over the course of the season that you are going to need. So I don't view it so much as who is going to win the position and be in there Opening Day. We need multiple guys to endure the rigors of the season.
The mix of outfielders: We've felt good about it coming in (to camp). We got a lot of questions about guys that were out there and why we didn't make bigger plays on them. This is why. We didn't know every one of them was going to have a great spring. We like the mix. We like their ability. Everybody came in good shape physically, a good state mentally and they are all playing well. It's spring training, so I don't want to overstate it but we like what our outfield mix is.
Jurickson Profar: I think the two terms you hear from the staff are smart and polished given his age and given where he is at and I think that is the separator. Obviously, there's very good ability and the unique skill set, but that's what separates him. Smart players are usually winning players. He's young, he's going to make mistakes, but with his baseball intelligence, it will accelerate that development.