In his fourth, and probably final, at bat of the day on Wednesday Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play to end the eighth inning. Cruz is 2 for 4 on the day. He is expected to head back to the Rangers following this game.
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz popped out to right field in his third at bat Wednesday afternoon against Sacramento. Cruz is 1 for 3 so far today.
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, on a rehab assignment for a sore hamstring, singled to center in his second at bat. Cruz is 2 for 2 so far in Wednesday’s game.
Rangers outfielder, on a rehab assignment for the Rangers, singled in his first at bat against Sacramento.
The moment that everyone knew was coming arrived Saturday afternoon as the Rangers recalled RedHawks starter Derek Holland.
Holland will be inserted into the rotation for Matt Harrison who will be placed on the DL with bicep tendinitis.
Holland is scheduled to start next week against Oakland. If he pitches well, he’s almost certain to wrestle the No. 5 starter spot away from Harrison who is injury prone and has been so-so this season when healthy.
Holland was 5-1 with a 0.93 ERA in Oklahoma City. When spring training ended he was tasked with improving his change up and slider. He apparently satisfied Rangers brass who had doubts about him after injuries and poor outings doomed his bid to win the job out of spring training.
So it looks like Rangers starter Matt Harrison experienced some shoulder tendinitis (or stiffness, you be the judge) after his last start. A start Harrison didn’t pitch particularly well in anyway. Ditto for the one before that.
It looks like if Derek Holland is going to make it to the big leagues it could come at the expense of the first guy in the rotation that gets hurt. In this case, it may be Harrison who isn’t considered the prospect Holland is.
With Holland’s sub 1.00 ERA in six starts for the RedHawks, he’s done what the Rangers have asked him to do improving on his secondary pitches, albeit against Triple-A hitters. Still, Texas has to be thrilled with his progress.
The caveat to all this is they may elect to wait a little longer. Holland was brought up too early last year and it showed at times. The bet here is that if someone like Harrison gives up his rotation spot to Holland, he won’t get it back.
There are two things the Texas Rangers have been known for over the last decade (or longer). Bad pitching and a lineup that could turn even the biggest ballparks into pinball machines.
Oddly, the Rangers seem to have solved their starting pitching problem. The rotation is steady if unspectacular. Rich Harden seems to be coming around. CJ Wilson has been okay. Colby Lewis has proven to be a workhorse. And if those guys don’t work out there’s always Derek Holland and Tommy Hunter waiting in the wings.
But the offense, the thing the Rangers used to be known for, just isn’t there as the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant points out. The Rangers, when it comes to plating runs, are average.
And that could have an impact here at home. The RedHawks are one of the best hitting teams in the PCL. Justin Smoak has already been plucked from Bobby Jones’ flock. Chad Tracy, Brandon Boggs and Mitch Moreland can all hit, even if Moreland has started slow. Of that group Tracy seems the most likely to get a call up. Texas seems willing to reward players with promotions. Tanner Scheppers is the latest going from Frisco to OKC barely unpacking his bags in Double-A.
Another tough break for former Stillwater High School product Josh Fields who is out for the season with a hip injury.
Fields has had a tough couple of years in baseball since his breakout season in 2007. He’s been injured. Back and forth between the minors and now this injury which will no doubt not help his cause.
And hip injuries are nothing to play with. They can be serious and in some cases career ending as was the case with Bo Jackson and others over the years. Fields is scheduled to have surgery on his right hip soon with the hope of getting his recovery off and running as soon as possible.
Fields didn’t have an at bat this season in the majors and you have to figure it will be difficult for him to win a job next season as well. Former Okarche pitcher Chris Schroder, in town with Triple-A New Orleans, reflected today on the fleeting nature of pro sports. A career can end at any time, not that Fields’ will. But there’s a long road ahead for the 28-year-old.
The Rangers unleashed a flurry of roster moves Tuesday afternoon so much so that Bobby Jones was working two phones after the Redhawks loss to Memphis.
Here’s what happened:
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been optioned to OKC. That means he is no longer on a rehab assignment and has been added to OKC’s roster.
- Max Ramirez has been called up by Texas. He rushed to make a flight to Dallas after the game.
- Taylor Teagarden has been optioned to the Redhawks. No surprise here as he was hitting .037 in 27 plate appearances with the big league club.
- Craig Gentry was recalled by the Rangers. The 26-year-old centerfielder coached first base for OKC Tuesday morning and STARTED in center for the Rangers Tuesday night.
Salty should remain with OKC for at least another week to 10 days, or however long it takes for his sore back to be completely healed. The Rangers are also working him through a new pre-game stretching routine aimed at helping him remain healthy long term.