Earning it. 319 comments

Mitch Moreland went 2-3, scored two runs, drove in three, and made some very solid plays at first.

Jake Smolinksi went 3-4 with a triple, scored a run and drove in two, and made a great diving catch in foul territory.

Combine those two performances with the lack of performance from Brewers starter Taylor Jungmann, who gave up seven runs while only getting one out (on a run scoring fly ball) and walking four of the first five batters he faced, and you get a picture of why Texas jumped all over Milwaukee 12-5 yesterday in Surprise.

While Moreland, by vitute of his contract and some incriminating photos he must possess of Jon Daniels, has DH locked down going into the season, Smolinski is in a dog-fight for the starting left field job against a crowded field in which Ryan Rua entered the spring as the odds-on favorite, and Ryan Ludwick was brought in as the odds-on safety net.

But something is happening in spring, just like it did in his limited, but eye-opening, time with the Rangers in 2014. Smolinski is upsetting a lot of plans. The guy seems to hit the ball hard every time. Even his outs are loud.

And he is Rusty-Greer-like in his relentless pursuit of fly balls.

Cynics will say it’s spring. And the reality is, it’s just spring. These games don’t mean anything in the standing. But they do mean something to the players trying to secure a job.

Never forget that’s what it is. A job. These players are simple people applying for a job. This is their livelihood. This is their paycheck. These meaningless games are important to the few players who are on the bubble.

This is a job application.

Right now, you’d have to admit Smolinksi is nailing the interview.