There's very little out there today on the Rangers, being that it's an off day, so here's a few random notes that are floating around:
Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. has been promoted to AA Frisco, after posting a line of .230/.314/.496 in 244 AB for high-A affiliate Bakersfield this year. The 23-year-old Mayberry is showing some nice pop in his bat, clubbing 16 HR during that same span, but the fact that he's hitting .230 is a serious red flag.
As you may recall, Mayberry was taken by John Hart in the 2005 draft after Mayberry had spent three years at Stanford. Theoretically, a college player with that kind of experience should be polished enough to be somewhat ahead of the curve developmentally. Nice thought, but then we learned that Mayberry would essentially need his entire swing reworked, and that he would require about 1500 minor league at-bats to work all the kinks out. Great!
Well, Mayberry now has 968 official at-bats under his belt in the Rangers organization, and here's the basic state of things: he's a 23-year-old first round "prospect", hitting .230 in A-ball, surrounded by competition that's several years younger than him. I certainly wish Junior the best, and I hope he can still make a meaningful contribution at the big league level for the Rangers somewhere down the line, but things are not looking good right now.
One poster from the Newberg Report forum quips that Mayberry's promotion "wreaks of a last ditch effort" by the Rangers organization to try and get something out of him before having to admit that he's a bust. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but he's certainly not done anything of note lately to earn his promotion; he batted .194/.265/.355 in nine games this month for Bakersfield. Small sample size and all, but the point still stands.
There is one possible silver lining surrounding Mayberry's poor batting average, though: his BABIP, or batting average on balls put into play, is just .241 this year. The Hardball Times writer Chris Constancio notes that the average hitter's BABIP is usually in the .300 to .320 range for most levels of the minor leagues. Keeping this in mind, Mayberry's unusually low BABIP would seem to suggest that he's been quite unlucky at the plate this year. We'll have to see if his fortunes change in Frisco.
By the way, Jacoby Ellsbury, who the Rangers passed on in favor of Mayberry in that 2005 draft, is now at Triple-A Pawtucket for the Red Sox. He was promoted earlier this year after batting .452/.518/.644 in 73 AB for Double-A Portland. His home run power has not exactly filled out yet, but he's still miles ahead of Mayberry right now.
Jean-Jacques Taylor has a column out today for the Dallas Morning News, saying that the Rangers should ride things out with Ron Washington. Despite this team's struggles, I'd have to say that I agree at this point.
Rotoworld is well known for taking humorous pot shots at players, and their latest update on Jamey Wright did not disappoint:
Jamey Wright (shoulder) is expected to come off the disabled list Saturday.
Wright got knocked around for six runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sunday, so he's in midseason form.
And finally, T.R. Sullivan has an amusing recap of Dog Night on his blog, including several pictures of his dog, Toby. The official attendance of last night's game was 24,129, but 338 dogs came out to the Ballpark as well. Roaming FSN reporter Jim Knox milked Dog Night for everything it was worth, including doing an awkward dance with an especially large dog, and watching uncomfortably as one woman futilely attempted to make her pit bull do a trick for the TV cameras. It was both entertaining, yet an absolute trainwreck at the same time.
UPDATE: Rangers' GM Jon Daniels just commented on the Mayberry promotion on the Bob and Dan Show on the Ticket 1310 AM. He mentioned wanting to give Mayberry a "new challenge," and when Bob Sturm inquired about his poor batting average, Daniels more or less avoided the question, saying only that he'd like it to be higher.