SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) With Tony Beasley starting chemotherapy treatment, the Texas Rangers have brought in Spike Owen as their interim third base coach.
Owen arrived in the big league camp after workouts Sunday, a day before Beasley's first chemotherapy session in Arizona.
Beasley has been in spring training with the team after being diagnosed with rectal cancer during the offseason.
''We're going to continue to treat Tony similar to how we treat our players in a sense that we're going to let him tell us what he's capable of doing on a daily basis, but also being mindful of his treatments and recovery,'' manager Jeff Banister said of his longtime friend. ''Tony has said it best, the ability to be around the club is therapy for him.''
Owen, a former big league infielder, is the manager at Hickory, the Rangers' Class A team. He has been in the Rangers organization as a coach since 2009, including time as the minor league infield coordinator and on the staff at Triple-A Round Rock.
''Obviously it's a tough situation,'' Owen said. ''Just hold it down for him until he's back and able to do it.''
Banister said Owen would also help with the infield and baserunning.
The Rangers have also made a preliminary inquiry with Major League Baseball about whether Beasley could be in the dugout if Owen is still serving as the interim third base coach when the regular season begins. That is not an issue during spring training games, which for the Rangers begin Wednesday.
''We don't want to put him necessarily out there in a situation where we don't know how Tony is going to feel,'' Banister said. ''So we're going to get Spike going and then we'll take whatever happens after that.''
The plan is for at least four chemotherapy treatments every two weeks during spring training. Doctors have told the 49-year-old Beasley that there could be periods of fatigue after treatments.