BY RYAN ABER
The Rangers deal to get Cliff Lee on Friday afternoon had plenty of impact on the RedHawks.
Before Friday night’s game at Round Rock, Chris Davis–a Pacific Coast League All-Star and the league’s leading hitter–packed his bags for another call-up to Texas. Blake Beavan, who hadn’t even started yet for the RedHawks and who planned to have his fiancee Allison in the stands Sunday in what was to be his first Triple-A start, prepared to travel to wherever Seattle decides to place him, likely Tacoma.
It’s appropriate that the two are linked, just as they were with the RedHawks. Both are from Texas and grew up dreaming about playing for the Rangers. For Davis, it’s a reality again. For Beavan, his future lies in another organization.
Davis seemed outwardly at least to be the consummate professional in handling his demotion earlier this year when Justin Smoak was called up to take his place.
“He got sent down and understands that you’ve got to perform to get back,” RedHawks manager Bobby Jones said last week. “You never know what could happen, whether it be an injury or a trade, so you’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Davis did. And Friday, because of the trade, it paid off. Before Texas’ game against Baltimore on Friday night, Rangers manager Ron Washington said Davis would be the team’s everyday first baseman.
Instead of heading to Pennsylvania for next week’s Triple-A All-Star Game, Davis is heading for Arlington for what looks to be another long-term stint with the Rangers.
“Anytime you get sent down, it’s real easy to feel sorry for yourself and kind of hang your head but the fact that I went out there and played hard everyday and tried to get myself back up, and I just happened to make the All-Star team, that’s something I’m proud of,” Davis said.
He’s hitting .354 with 10 home runs and 56 RBIs for the RedHawks this year.
While Davis has been to the majors before, Beavan is still working his way there.
He’d just got the call up to Oklahoma City from Double-A Frisco after his start Monday, when Frisco manager Steve Buechele told him he was making the move.
“I was pretty excited,” Beavan said.
Beavan grew up in Irving, Texas, just down the road from Rangers Ballpark. He grew up wanting to play for the Rangers and when Texas selected him No. 17 overall in the 2007 draft, there was little doubt he would sign instead of playing baseball at the University of Oklahoma.
RedHawks manager Terry Clark said Beavan needs to work on his slider and changeup a bit but has the stuff to be a major league pitcher.
Beavan echoed Clark’s statements.
“I’m mainly working on just staying on top of my sldier, throwing strikes, limiting the walks,” Beavan said earlier this week. “I’m getting more comfortable with it.”
With Davis and Beavan gone, Cody Eppley was called up to the RedHawks. Eppley certainly isn’t the name that Beavan was, having been drafted in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft.
But at the levels he’s been at this year, Eppley has been extremely good out of the bullpen. Combined, he’s 3-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 40 2/3 innings pitches this season in Double-A Frisco (22 2/3 innings) and High-A Bakersfield (18 innings). All 33 of his appearances have been in relief.
BY RYAN ABER
Much the same as yesterday as we hope to get a doubleheader in tonight. The tarp is down as I type this (at 4:40 p.m.) so we’ll see.
-RedHawks pitching coach Terry Clark has seen fans jump out of the upper deck before, but the one he saw was intentional. A fan jumped onto the backstop netting in New York several years ago.
“Hopefully people will think a little bit more where they’re standing when they go jumping after a foul ball,” Clark said.
-Brandon Boggs was placed on the disabled list with a sprained left wrist that had been bothering him for awhile. In his place, Craig Gentry was activated from the DL. That leaves the RedHawks with three catchers still. Gentry is not in the lineup for the opener.
-Chatted briefly with Omar Beltre. He was disappointed with his performance in his first call-up to the Rangers but enjoyed the experience and said it will help him as he works his way back to the majors for the long-term.
-Blake Beavan will make his Triple-A debut on Sunday at Round Rock. Beavan was an OU signee before deciding to sign after being drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2007 draft.
-Today’s catcher watch: Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate for the opener. Kevin Richardson will DH.
-Doug Mathis pitched an inning in last night’s Rangers game, so he’s not going to be used as a starter this weekend by Texas. Matt Harrison is scheduled to start for the Rangers on Saturday, the same day he’s penciled in for the RedHawks.
BY RYAN ABER
Here are some pregame notes before the (hopeful) doubleheader tonight against Nashville:
-Omar Beltre is back with the RedHawks after struggling in his start last night. It’s no surprise that Beltre struggled a bit with his first experience in the bigs. He hadn’t pitched in a level above the Dominican Summer League in five years and is still adjusting to facing the type of talent he’s seeing this year at Oklahoma City and at Texas. Beltre will get back to the majors sometime but it might take him a little while.
With Beltre back down, Doug Mathis was called up to the Rangers, likely as a bullpen solution. Mathis (3-4, 5.09) was scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale. The Rangers are looking for a starter Saturday in what would’ve been Beltre’s place in the rotation. Matt Harrison, who started Monday for the RedHawks in his first start since being optioned, is a likely candidate.
-Blake Beavan, the Rangers first-round pick in 2007 (No. 17) was called up from Double-A Frisco. He last pitched for the Roughriders on Saturday and was 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts. Beavan had 68 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 110 innings pitched. The Irving, Texas, product is likely to remain with the RedHawks for the rest of the season.
-Outfielder Craig Gentry ran around the basepaths at around 3 p.m. and didn’t appear to show any effects from the strained MCL he suffered last week against Omaha. He’ll likely be activated for today’s game.
-Nashville’s 19 hits against the RedHawks on Monday were the most surrendered by the RedHawks this season. Nashville is the only team to score 10 or more runs against the RedHawks this season., The Sounds have accomplished that twice, the first time was June 18.
-Pedro Strop has been removed from the roster for next week’s Triple-A All-Star game. It isn’t likely Strop will be sent back to the RedHawks before the game. Chris Davis and Michael Kirkman (barring either being called up) will represent the RedHawks in the game.
Also around the league: Albuquerque’s John Lindsey, who was leading the PCL in hitting before suffering an injury last month, was activated by the Isotopes today and should play in the All-Star Game. Lindsey’s plate appearances have dipped below the minimum for the league leaders, so Davis (hitting .349 entering tonight’s game) is the official league leader.