Happy trails, John Koronka.
Per Jamey Newberg, the 27-year-old lefty has been claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Indians and optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Koronka was designated for assignment July 1st to make room for Desi Relaford on the 40-man roster, leaving John Rheinecker as the only player left from the three-way Juan Dominguez trade on March 31st of last year.
Koronka was 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA in two starts this season with the Rangers. Best of luck to you, John.
The Rangers have set their starting rotation for the second half of the season, with Kameron Loe getting the promotion to the #2 spot in the rotation. Texas will roll out Kevin Millwood on Friday night, followed by Loe, Brandon McCarthy, Jamey Wright and Robinson Tejeda. I'll be curious to see how Ron Washington juggles the rotation when Vicente Padilla comes back, and whether Wright or Tejeda will get bumped. Of course, that's assuming he does come back this year, and nothing's guaranteed.
Mark Teixeira is still on pace to rejoin the Rangers on Friday, as he will make just one rehab start on Thursday with Double-A Frisco. Everything we're hearing out of Tex seems to indicate he's swinging the bat well and feels healthy, but Evan Grant includes this slightly unsettling note:
Teixeira is, however, a historically slow starter for the season. And after his previous trip to the DL, which included that one-game rehab after 15 days off, he hit .200 over his first month back with a .395 slugging percentage.
In addition, Adam Morris apparently heard some rumors over this past weekend in the Metroplex that the Rangers aren't real thrilled about Teixeira's refusal to make more than one rehab appearance in the minors. If that's true, you can tack on another item to the list of things that are currently aggravating the Rangers about Teixeira. I very much doubt that Teixeira's comments to the media earlier this week expressing his desire to play for Baltimore are sitting well with the front office.
Evan Grant also discusses some possibilities for the outfield situation when Teixeira returns, suggesting that Sosa should get less playing time against right-handed pitchers. One quick glance at his batting splits should tell you why.
For what it's worth, he has been quite good against left-handed pitching this year, something that I thought would be the case as far back as February. Unfortunately, Ron Washington probably won't completely phase Sosa out against right-handers, and that will probably cost the Rangers a few runs the rest of the way, or until Sosa is traded or released. Yeah, I'm not going to hold my breath on that.
Akinori Otsuka will be available immediately following the All-Star break, according to Washington:
"Each day he says he's better," Washington said. "I think he got the rest he needed and he'll come out in the second half and get going again."
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Gil LeBreton has a piece out praising Texas for not giving up when they were 23-42, and Mercedes Mayer talks about how the turnaround by the starting pitching has fueled the rebirth of the Rangers.
Mayer has a less pleasant article out as well, highlighting former Rangers who are having good years. There are some on that list that I don't really have a problem with, since they're either overpaid now or weren't that great when they were with Texas, such as Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee, Doug Brocail, and Francisco Cordero. Of course, there's also the obvious few that make me cringe, like Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez and Travis Hafner.
In the Dallas Morning News, Jean-Jacques Taylor gives Ron Washington some credit for the Rangers' turnaround, saying that his managerial philosophies are beginning to rub off on the players. With Jon Daniels recently receiving a one year contract extension, I don't think that Washington's job was in a whole lot of danger, but the 15-8 run has certainly given him some much needed cushioning from the hot seat.
Kevin Sherrington has an excellent interview out with Rangers owner Tom Hicks, which is definitely worth a read. He admits that the A-Rod/Chan Ho/Juan Gone/Jay Powell/Todd Van Poppel type signings of the early 2000's were "bad ideas," which leads me to question the validity of that Bergen Record report the other day which stated Hicks was interested in resigning A-Rod.
Hicks also says that he was against the Chris Young trade when it happened, and doesn't regret letting Kenny Rogers walk after the 2005 season. There's also this interesting note:
Hicks says Daniels has admitted to him that trading Young was a mistake. But he also notes that he didn't overrule his young GM, something he's never done.
He's come close. Daniels went to Hicks last winter and asked if he'd be interested in Barry Bonds. Hicks said no.
Johnny Whittleman, who's hitting .288/.405/.529 with 14 HR in 278 AB for the Class-A Clinton Lumberkings, hit a solo home run for the U.S. in a 7-2 loss to the World Team during Sunday's All-Star Futures Game.
Knock 'em dead tomorrow night, Mike.