The Dallas Morning News

Mazara named AL Player of the Week,

Outfielder collects another award during season’s first month

- By EVAN GRANT Staff Writer egrant@dallasnews.com Twitter: @Evan_P_Grant

ARLINGTON — Now that he’s a veteran, Nomar Mazara is not eligible to repeat the honor he took home last April as the AL’s Rookie of the Month.

But he’s got an early lead on the others for Player of the Month award.

Mazara, who made his major league debut a year ago Monday, was named the AL’s Player of the Week for the first week of the season. Mazara batted .417 with a pair of home runs and a major league best nine RBIs for the first week. His 1.212 OPS ranked fourth in the AL.

“This is a guy who absorbs informatio­n as good as any young player I’ve ever been around,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Mazara on Friday. “He logs it in, understand­s it. Now I think he has a greater sense of how to use that informatio­n. As he gets older, stronger, more experience­d, it’ll start to trend upward. This is a special player who I believe has a special IQ for hitting.”

A year ago, Mazara was called up on April 10 and made his major league debut with three hits, including a home run, against the Los Angeles Angels. He went on to hit .333 for the month with an .852 OPS to win the AL Rookie of the Month award. He won the May award, too, making him the early favorite for Rookie of the Year, but he struggled down the stretch.

Mazara returns to the site of his debut Tuesday. He has so far created nothing but good memories against the Angels. He has hit safely in all 16 of his games against Los Angeles and put together a .397 batting average and 1.126 OPS in 58 atbats. He has five homers against the Angels.

Cashner update: Still hoping to convince the Rangers he’s ready to join the rotation for Saturday’s start at Seattle, right-hander Andrew Cashner pitched five scoreless innings against young San Diego minor leaguers in an intrasquad game Monday in Surprise, Ariz. Cashner allowed four hits, a walk and struck out seven. He threw 76 pitches.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail has said he believes it is unlikely that Cashner would be activated for the Saturday start. The Rangers would like him to build to closer to 90-100 pitches before being activated. Cashner will join the Rangers on Tuesday in Anaheim to determine the next step.

The other options for the Rangers on Saturday are righthande­r Nick Martinez, who pitched five innings of one-hit ball for Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, right-hander Dillon Gee and right-handed knucklebal­ler Eddie Gamboa, who was scheduled to pitch for Round Rock on Monday.

 ?? Rose Baca/Staff Photograph­er ?? Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara led the major leagues with nine RBIs after the first week of the season. The 21-yearold was named the American League Player of the Week.
Rose Baca/Staff Photograph­er Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara led the major leagues with nine RBIs after the first week of the season. The 21-yearold was named the American League Player of the Week.

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