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.