A few random notes before tonight's series opener with the Detroit Tigers...
Per Pete Aldrich of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have recalled right-hander Scott Feldman from Triple-A Oklahoma to replace Vicente Padilla, who has been added to the 15-day disabled list with the aforementioned sore right triceps muscle. Feldman is 1-2 with a 6.66 ERA, 1.99 ERA and .304 BAA in 25.2 innings this year. Yuck.
Eric Hurley made his AAA debut today against the Pacific Coast League's Omaha Royals. Unfortunately, the results were less than glittering, with Hurley's final pitching line for the day looking like this:
5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR
Jim Byers, the radio voice of the Redhawks, says that the numbers are a bit misleading, thanks to a less than brilliant throw from Joaquin Arias that might have cost Hurley three runs. Much more encouraging is that Byers says Hurley was a "commanding presence" on the mound, with Hurley hitting 92-93 MPH on the radar gun. He threw 97 pitches on the afternoon.
Jason Botts also went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk, and Nelson Cruz went 2 for 4 with an RBI single, which turned out to be the only run that crossed the plate. The Redhawks lost 7-1.
Jamey Newberg has an interesting piece on Eric Gagne this morning, noting that last night was just the 3rd time all year that Gagne has been asked to pitch in back-to-back games. The first time was on April 22nd, when Gagne suffered a hip strain that put him on the disabled list for 18 days. He was dominant in his second such back-to-back appearance on June 8th against Milwaukee, striking out two in a perfect inning.
But last night, Gagne had absolutely nothing. He was hit hard, giving up just the 2nd and 3rd runs he's allowed all year, and threw just 10 of his 20 pitches in the 9th inning for strikes. Don't think for a second that other teams aren't taking note of Gagne's struggles last night, because if he proves incapable of pitching effectively on back-to-back days, it's going to dent his trade value significantly.
Gagne had this to say about his performance last night:
"I just didn't make my pitches. I felt great. I just left some pitches up and walked some guys. It happens."
Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson was a bit more direct:
"I blew it. It's my fault."
Jon Heyman of SI.com suggests that the Orioles might convince Texas to take Daniel Cabrera in a deal for Mark Teixeira, rather than Erik Bedard. Cabrera has immense talent and potential, and when he's on, he's as unhittable as any pitcher in baseball. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often with Cabrera, because he's incredibly wild.
Cabrera has cut his walk rate per nine innings from 5.62 BB/9 in 2006 to 4.28 BB/9 in 2007, but his strikeout rate per nine innings has also fallen from 9.55 K/9 to 7.25 K/9. Despite the lower walk rate, his WHIP is still 1.38 for 2007, along with a nice, mediocre 4.98 ERA. Personally, if Cabrera is the best piece the Orioles can offer in a hypothetical Teixeira deal, I'd probably walk away.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus is holding a chat session this afternoon, with several notes of interest about the Texas farm system. Among other things, Goldstein says that first-round pick Blake Beaven will eventually sign, despite his threats about going to Navarro College, and that he doesn't think Hurley pitching with the Rangers this year would accomplish much.
Pat Andriola of MVN's "Shea Faithful" wonders why the Mets traded away Victor Diaz for Mike Nickeas, who hit .213/.272/.287 in 136 at-bats for Double-A Binghamton this year. He was recently demoted to Single-A St. Lucie. It's certainly doesn't begin to make up for the Chris Young deal, but this has turned out to be a very nice little trade for Texas.
Texas will face Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Kenny Rogers and Justin Verlander in their four game series with Detroit this week. Let the fun begin.
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