SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers relievers Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria have 458 saves between them over a combined 17 years in the Majors. That leaves them 150 saves short of the record 608 that Mariano Rivera has over his 18-year career.
Rivera officially announced on Saturday he will retire after the upcoming season, and he commands great respect from those who have also been in the closer's role.
"It's amazing how long he has been able to do it," Nathan said. "Any time you put up numbers like that, it means you've been doing it a long time and have a good team behind you. He'll be the first to say how fortunate he is to have had good teams and good teammates.
"He's the greatest closer in the game. His career was great to follow. He's a guy who is never in trouble and never does anything bad. I'm glad he'll be able to enjoy his family. It will be great to see him pitch this year. He's the best."
Rivera is a 12-time All-Star, with Nathan having served as one of his setup relievers on occasion.
"I was able to get a chance to talk to him briefly at the All-Star Games," Nathan said. "The only thing I spoke to him about pitching is to see what his cutter is about. But it's not a pitch you can teach. With his arm slot and how the ball comes through his hand, it's his pitch that works for him."
"He was a guy I always paid attention to, because he's not flashy after a save. He gets a save and walks off the field. That's something I've always respected and done it myself."
Rivera has 38 career saves against the Rangers, the most all time by an opponent. Troy Percival is second, with 25 followed by Dennis Eckersley and Francisco Rodriguez, both with 24. Rivera has blown five saves against the Rangers, but the leader in that department is Jeff Montgomery with eight.
Set to debut Tuesday, McClellan eager to compete
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers right-hander Kyle McClellan is ready to pitch in a game and compete for a spot on the Opening Day staff.
McClellan, who has been bothered by soreness in the back of his right shoulder, pitched batting practice on Saturday without any problems. He will likely make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday against the Brewers.
"I got loose great and felt good," McClellan said. "I didn't think about anything on the mound except making pitches. It was exciting to ramp it up and face hitters again."
McClellan, who was signed by the Rangers to a Minor League contract on Jan. 15, underwent shoulder surgery on July 10 last summer whilewith the Cardinals. He came into camp at full strength, but he was shut down after the first week because of soreness in his shoulder muscles.
McClellan, who was used primarily as a reliever during his five seasons with the Cardinals, came into camp as a candidate to be the Rangers' fifth starter. His physical issues have dropped him back in a race being led by Robbie Ross, but McClellan still has a chance to catch up if there are no more setbacks.
Ryan returns from Dallas meeting with owners
SURPRISE, Ariz -- Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan was back in camp on Saturday after flying back to Dallas for a meeting with co-owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. The meeting was designed to help clarify Ryan's future with the Rangers.
A resolution could be reached that would allow Ryan to remain with the Rangers and there is a possibility that a formal announcement will be made at some point this weekend, according to a source.
Ryan has not spoken to the media since reports surfaced that he was considering stepping down as early as the end of Spring Training. Eight days ago, the Rangers announced that general manager Jon Daniels was also being given the title of president of baseball operations and Rick George was named president of business operations.
Ryan was hired by former Rangers owner Tom Hicks to be the club president on Feb. 6, 2008. He added the title of CEO after the group led by Davis and Simpson bought the team in 2010. Ryan has been involved in every aspect of the day-to-day operations of the franchise for the past five years, but it has not been made clear what his responsibilities are after the promotions for Daniels and George.
Weather conditions make Moreland a scratch
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Mitch Moreland was scratched from Saturday's split-squad doubleheader because of tightness in his right quad. The Rangers did not want him on the field because of the cold weather and wet fields from the overnight rain.
"It's not serious, but considering the weather and the field conditions, we're going to hold him out," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.
Moreland is off to a strong start this spring with eight hits in his first 24 at-bats. His two home runs are the most on the team, and going into Saturday's game, he was tied with Nelson Cruz for the team lead with six RBIs.
The Rangers are also without catcher Eli Whiteside, who is sidelined with a strained calf muscle. He is expected to miss three to five more days.
• Derek Lowe is scheduled to make his first appearance in a Cactus League game on Friday against the Giants, according to pitching coach Mike Maddux. Lowe will likely pitch one inning.
• Rangers manager Ron Washington on Jose Felix being Mexico's starting catcher in the World Baseball Classic: "To be playing in that kind of situation can't do anything but help his development. We know what he brings to the table, now he has a chance to play for his country. His country thinks a lot of him, and he's done a good job."
• The Rangers have 154 players in Minor League camp after all position players reported on Friday. That includes outfielder Jairo Beras, who was signed as an amateur free agent last year but has been suspended for a year for age misrepresentation. He can practice with the Rangers and play in any games that do not have an admission charge.
• Right-handed reliever Wilmer Font is scheduled to throw batting practice on Sunday. If that goes well, he could pitch in a Cactus League game for the first time. He has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.