Around the Cactus League

Texas Rangers: Sammy Sosa and No. 1 starter Kevin Millwood will play in a "B" game Friday for the Texas Rangers
instead of the Cactus League opener.

Sosa and Millwood will be on a back field facing a team of
lesser-known players from the Kansas City Royals, the other club
that uses the complex, instead of the spring opener in the main

Millwood requested the "B" game assignment and is expected to
throw one inning. Rangers manager Ron Washington wants Sosa in that
game so he can get extra work. The 38-year-old former slugger is
trying a comeback with his original team.

In "B" games, there is the flexibility for Sosa to get
additional at-bats. Washington didn't say if Sosa would be the
designated hitter or play the outfield in the eight-inning game.

Washington plans for Sosa to play in the regular game Saturday
when the Rangers play the Royals again. Sosa, who last played in
the major leagues for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and is fifth on
the career list with 588 home runs, has said he will do whatever
Washington wants.

Elsewhere in the Cactus League:

Chicago Cubs: At Mesa, Ariz., Kerry Wood threw 27 pitches in live batting
practice for the Chicago Cubs. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said
Wood will throw another session of live BP on Friday and then the
team will determine when he'll get into a Cactus League game.

Wood, a former starting pitcher and staff ace, is making the
transition to the bullpen following offseason rehabilitation of a
rotator cuff problem. Wood did not undergo surgery, instead
choosing to strengthen the muscles around the rotator cuff.

The Cubs will ease him into action this spring. They plan to use
him as a one-inning reliever when the regular season starts.

"He's still not as sharp as he will be, but you wouldn't expect
him to be," Rothschild said. "The arm speed is there. The
velocity is pretty much there."

Colorado Rockies: Reliever Mike DeJean, recovering from a right shoulder injury that required an operation to
repair a frayed labrum and rotator cuff, hopes to begin pitching in the minors in three months.

DeJean starting throwing off a mound again on New Year's Day
only to realize he needed a cortisone shot in the A.C. joint for
arthritis. Now, his shoulder finally feels sound and strong.

He arrived at camp Monday and played some catch, threw long toss
on Tuesday and will throw his first 45-pitch bullpen session on
Wednesday before taking in the Rockies' first ball game from the

Oakland Athletics: A's shortstop Bobby Crosby decided to push back a
day his first live batting practice since last August.

Crosby continued his soft toss drills Tuesday and anticipates
facing a pitcher when the A's break camp from their minor league
complex at Papago Park and move into Phoenix Muni on Wednesday.

"If he plays the second half of the spring, he should have
enough time to get ready," Geren said.

Crosby appeared in just 96 games last, mainly because of a lower
back strain. His last plate appearance came in Toronto on Aug. 21,
when he drew a walk off Blue Jays' relief pitcher Brandon League in
the top of the seventh inning.

San Francisco Giants: Tim Lincecum got a pair of fly balls
and a four-pitch strikeout. Talk about an efficient work day.

San Francisco's top draft pick in 2006 threw all of nine pitches
in an intrasquad game Tuesday, seven for strikes. Aside from his
stint with Class A San Jose last summer, it was the first time the
strong-armed right-hander wore Giants across his chest in
competition -- and his bosses liked what they saw.

"He had an easy inning," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He threw
strikes and had good stuff. Well, he's impressive. Shoot, obviously
we think a lot of him. He has tremendous arm speed. You can tell
he's a good competitor and a great athlete, too. This kid has a
chance to be real special."

The Giants selected the 22-year-old Lincecum with the 10th
overall pick in last year's draft out of Washington and haven't
ruled him out as a possibility to make the opening day roster. Yet
he is being groomed as a starter and probably will begin the season
at Triple-A Fresno.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.