Lots of stuff out there on Mark Teixeira in the news today, just hours after his bombshell comments to the media in which he ripped Rangers' management and ownership.
But first thing's first: Teixeira will rejoin the Rangers for Friday night's game in Anaheim, with T.R. Sullivan reporting that Victor Diaz will be optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma to make room on the 25-man roster. Diaz has a very odd batting line this year, going .240/.259/.538 with 9 HR in 104 AB. Ron Washington's sporadic usage of Diaz over the last few weeks seems a bit odd, but nice power numbers can only mask an terrible on-base percentage for so long, I suppose.
Evan Grant has a real nice article out tonight on Teixeira's remarks yesterday, and not surprisingly, the front office is less than pleased:
Owner Tom Hicks and general manager Jon Daniels on Thursday acknowledged disappointment in Teixeira's criticism of management before a one-game rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco. But, Daniels said, Teixeira's comments won't have an impact on whether the team trades him. The Rangers are listening to offers, but they aren't soliciting them.
Grant also includes perhaps the most definitive list to date of the teams interested in Teixeira, which includes the Angels, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Orioles and Giants. Even though Jon Daniels says the Rangers aren't actively shopping him, I think Tex is as good as gone.
Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also believes that to be the case, although she seems to be on Teixeira's side.
On a related note, Tom Hicks says that Texas will not be having a fire sale as the trade deadline approaches. There's also this snippet, which makes it sound like he's a lot angrier at Teixeira's comments yesterday than Evan Grant let on:
"I was very disappointed with his statements, but I'm not going to talk about it publicly," Hicks said.
First round draft pick Blake Beaven has signed a letter of intent to pitch for Navarro College, in an apparent attempt to show the Rangers he's "serious about his contractual demands." He's also signed a letter of intent with the University of Oklahoma. I don't have a problem with this latest negotiating tactic by Beaven, but I'm starting to wonder if Daniels wishes he had selected a player that would have been less of a headache at pick #17.
Vicente Padilla made his first rehab start with Double-A Frisco tonight; needless to say, things didn't go real well. Padilla surrendered four runs in 2.2 innings to Corpus Christi, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out four.
The account of Padilla's performance over at Lone Star Ball is even more frightening, with Padilla's fastball apparently topping out at 91 MPH during the first two innings. He struggled badly in the 3rd inning, throwing "50% junk balls" in the low-60's range. Frisco's trainer visited with Padilla on the mound before he was yanked from the game. Needless to say, this sounds like a very bad development, and the path towards Tommy John surgery may have just been reopened.
Aki Otsuka played catch in Anaheim on Thursday for about 10 minutes, and while his sore right elbow is feeling better, he's still not 100% yet. The Rangers aren't expecting to place him on the disabled list, and he'll likely pitch sometime this weekend.
The DMN's Richard Durrett did a chat session today, including the usual barrage of questions on Teixeira.
Mike Heika writes about Marlon Byrd's unexpected season, with Byrd crediting hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo for fixing a hole in his swing that left him vulnerable to the inside fastball. With Byrd now 143 AB deep into the season and still toting an OPS of .976, it's starting to appear that this is just more than a really long hot streak.
The second half of the Rangers season begins on Friday night, with Kevin Millwood and Kelvim Escobar squaring off against each other.
Let's just hope the All-Star break hasn't killed all of our momentum.
Friday, July 13th Game Preview
Texas Rangers (38-50) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (53-35)
Kevin Millwood (6-7, 6.16 ERA) vs. Kelvim Escobar (10-3, 3.19 ERA)
9:05 PM CST in Anaheim, California (Angel Stadium of Anaheim)
TV: KDFI/My27 | Radio: KRLD 1080 AM