A few things out there this afternoon:
- Starting catcher Yorvit Torrealba was pulled out of Sunday afternoon's game in Atlanta after 3.5 innings (and two errors) because, in the words of the Rangers, he was "out of gas," particularly after having caught 10 innings the previous afternoon/evening (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
[You could look at this from afar and say that this is a mere one-time blip on the radar borne from the oppressive heat/humidity in Atlanta yesterday ... but that may constitute ignorance of the bigger picture. After 73 total games played by Texas, Torrealba is on pace to log right around 975 innings behind the plate; this would work out to the rough equivalent of 110 full nine-inning games behind the plate. This doesn't sound like an insane workload request on the surface, but then you realize that Torrealba has logged 935 innings behind the plate only once in his career (in 2007), and only 795 innings behind the plate last season, and then you look a little bit closer at where he's played over the last five years: Denver (2006-09) and San Diego (2010), where the average daily temperatures during the summer months are significantly higher than they are in Arlington.
So, what we have here is a catcher who's pushing 33 (which is already getting into dicey territory), who is on a career-high playing-time pace, who's having his worst offensive season in six years (though he's coming around a bit, but there are still some concerns there), who's playing half of his games in a decidedly hotter environment than what he has grown accustomed to over his career ... and who now may be burning out even before Independence Day. That's a problem, and I don't think the Rangers see Taylor Teagarden as the answer to it. Either Mike Napoli is going to have to take on an increased catching workload, or Texas is going to have to make a trade for more help, because this is already kind of ugly and threatening to get uglier.]
- The hastening fade of the San Diego Padres (30-43; now 9.5 games behind the first-place Giants) has prompted ESPN.com's Buster Olney to suggest that their collapse will compel them to trade closer Heath Bell sooner than late July, since doing so would afford them the opportunity to ask for a greater return, and he again reiterates that the Rangers are a "strong potential fit" for his services (Twitter)
- Tanner Scheppers logged two perfect frames of four-strikeout baseball for Double-A Frisco last night (coinciding with his official activation from the disabled list after a two-plus-month layoff), with his mid-90s heater and plus-plus curveball clicking well, and he could return to Triple-A Round Rock rather shortly (Dallas Morning News)