Tagged: Kasey Kiker

How did I get so lucky? AKA Rangers’ Awards Banquet 1-29-10: Part 1

Oh, wow. Just… wow. I’m gonna have to split this one up because there’s so much to talk about!

Awards day:
I took the day off work, so I would have time to get ready. I woke up at 10:00 and had an appointment for a mani/pedi at 11:00. (For all of you guys out there, that’s a manicure and pedicure.)

Then I went over to my friend Rachel’s so she could help me with my hair and make-up (she sells Mary Kay). She also helped me choose my jewelry and which shoes to wear.

After that, I called my brother, cause he agreed to come to Fort Worth with me so I wouldn’t have to stay by myself overnight. Such a good brother!

We headed out to Fort Worth at got there about 4:30. I started getting ready around 5:00 and left my hotel at 5:45.

Now, I’ve never been very girly, and I never think I look very good. I mean, I love baseball, for Pete’s sake! I obviously don’t get dolled up very often. But let me just come out and say it: I looked amazing. I never look that good. But I was smokin’ hot, even if I do say so myself. 馃檪 Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you about my evening.

TR Sullivan was already waiting in the lobby of the Omni Hotel in when I got there, and he gave me my ticket. Then he told me we were waiting for Annette and Craig Leslie, because Annette was a surprise guest to present Michael Young with this Player of the Year Award.

Annette and Craig arrived about 10 minutes later, and TR handed them their tickets and explained the process. We said “see you later” to them and started upstairs to the banquet room.

As we were walking through the lobby towards the escalators, I saw Rusty Greer talking to someone just inside the front doors. I elbowed TR and said “That’s Rusty Greer!” We walked over to him and waited while he quickly finished his conversation.

Then I stuck my hand out and blubbered something like, “Hi Rusty, I’m a huge fan! You probably don’t remember me, but I’ve met you a couple of times before, and I just love you!” Or something to that extent.

Just FYI, I did a lot of ‘gushing’ and ‘blurting’ and ‘blubbering’ throughout the night. I felt like my mouth wasn’t quite connected to my brain.

But Rusty surprised me by saying, “Yes, I remember you.” I don’t know if he really did remember or if he was just being nice, but it made me feel good!

I followed TR upstairs, where we met a nice lady who offered to take us where we were going. “It’s kind of confusing, so just follow me.” I still didn’t know what was going on, so I just followed.

Pre-Awards Meet-and-Greet:
She led us through a curtain into a long hallway that was filled with people. As I looked around, I started noticing baseball players everywhere!! It dawned on me that we were in an exclusive area where we would get to hobnob with all of the Rangers until the event started!

As I was walking through the all people towards the back, I saw Kasey Kiker, my favorite minor league prospect. I grabbed his arm. “Kasey Kiker!! I love you!” I blurted out.

He responded, “Well I love you too. Who are you?” Ha ha ha! “My name is Katie, and I’m just a huge fan. You’re my favorite RoughRider,” I said. “Well thank you so much, I really appreciate that,” he said.

I continued towards the back to hang up my coat. TR stopped to talk to Jeff Wilson from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and he introduced us. “Oh yeah, I recognize you from your picture next to your posts on the blog,” I said.

Jeff said he was just about to interview Kasey Kiker, and I started gushing all over again. “I just love him!” I said. “Do you have a pen?” Jeff asked. “Yeah, sure,” I said, thinking he wanted to use it to take notes during the interview.

Then Kasey came over, said hi to me again, and shook my hand. Jeff looked at me and said, “Well, get his autograph!” I stammered, “Oh, I thought you needed it,” and I reached in my purse again to get my notepad.

Kasey seemed a little nervous too, maybe because he’s not used to people recognizing him, [or maybe because of how gorgeous I looked :)], but he finally signed the autograph. Yay!!

I spotted Jamey Newberg as I headed toward the coat rack, and he glanced at me. “Hi Jamey,” I said. I’ve been reading his blog for a while, so of course I know who he is. But then he surprised me.

“Hi Katie,” he answered. What? Jamey Newberg knows who I am?? Are you freaking kidding me???

After hanging up my coat in the back of the hallway, TR started introducing me to everybody. He was so great all night!! We would run into somebody, and TR would say, “Hey Katie, have you ever met [fill in the blank]?”

First was, “Hey, have you ever met Eric Nadel?” I shook Eric’s hand, and then we started talking about some doctors he had recently seen in the department where I work. He was very nice, and we even talked about another secretary that I work with that just had knee replacement surgery.

TR introduced me to Jon Daniels next, and JD said, “Yeah, we met a few weeks ago!” He actually remembered me!! “Yeah,” I said. “I told you that I’m going to be working for you someday.” “That’s right,” he said, and he smiled at me.

Michael Young was next. I don’t think I’ve ever met him before, but my mind was reeling, so I don’t think I said much to him.

Then came the Big Kahuna. TR said, “Katie, have you ever met Nolan Ryan?” I couldn’t even speak; I just shook my head. Then TR said, “Nolan, this is my friend Katie Brownfield. Katie, this is Nolan Ryan.” Wow.

Then Nolan Ryan shook my hand!!! I honestly don’t even remember what I said to him. It’s all kind of blank after that.

Until I spotted Katie Hamilton. She’s a little bitty thing, and so pretty! I rushed over to her and started gushing about how I was reading Josh’s book and how I had so much respect for what she went through with him. I quickly explained who I was and about the story that TR wrote about me.

Then Josh came over, and Katie said, “Have you met my husband Josh?” As if he was just some Joe Blow off the street.

And Josh looked fabulous, of course. He peered down at me from atop his 6’4″ frame with a lopsided grin. He was wearing a sport coat,but he had no tie on. He wore his white long-sleeved button-up shirt with the top button undone at his throat.

I explained that I had met Josh at a Winter Caravan autograph signing a couple of weeks ago, and how I had mentioned to him then that my name was Katie too, just like his wife. “Oh yeah, now I remember!” he said.

Then Katie started explaining to him about my accident. Josh’s eyes got big and his eyebrows arched up. “Whoa, ” he said, clearly taken aback. “Well, it was 5 years ago, ” I said. “I’ve obviously gotten a lot better since then!”

Josh Lewin came up to say hi to Josh and Katie Hamilton, and they introduced me. Josh Hamilton asked his wife, and then me, if we had any gum or mints or anything. “I feel like I need something. My mouth is dry. I need some water or something.”

And I had to tell the great Josh Hamilton that I didn’t have anything. “I have some Burt’s Bees lip balm; that’s about it, ” I said. Bummer.

Josh Lewin left to get him some water, and I told Josh and Katie Hamilton, “I can’t believe I get to do this. I’m standing like 2 feet away from all these baseball players! It’s surreal.” And Josh just looked at me and shrugged and said, “We’re just people.”

“My brain gets that, but it’s a little harder to deal with when I’m standing here with all of you,” I said. Craig Gentry walked by next, and I said blurted out, “Oh my gosh, Craig Gentry, I love
you!”

He heard his name and looked at me. “Hey, how’s it going?” He said, smiling sweetly and bobbing his head at me. Then Craig saw Josh Hamilton, and he said hi to him before heading off through the crowd.

Then I spotted Elvis Andrus. He opted to wear a tan suit, instead of the traditional blue or black, and it looked great on him. “Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed to Katie, “that’s Elvis!”

So Josh just called him over. Elvis hugged Josh first, then me. Elvis’ cologne was kinda strong, so I kept catching whiffs of it for the next 5 minutes or so!! Wow! I couldn’t think of anything else to say to him, so I blurted out, “Why won’t you be my friend on Facebook? I keep asking but you keep ignoring me.”

But Elvis didn’t answer. There was a lot of stuff going on, and Josh started telling Elvis that he looked good, and that his muscles looked bigger. “You too,” Elvis said to Josh. “I couldn’t even button the top button on this shirt tonight,” Josh said, “so I couldn’t wear a tie.” Oh, so that explains it!

Then they started rounding up the players to make their entrance, as well as the wives to be seated together at one of the tables. Josh and Katie were so cute; they kissed before they went their separate ways! Awww!

Then Katie Hamilton looked at me and said, “It was so nice to meet you!” And she hugged me! She asked, “If I Google your name, will I be able to find your blog?” I told her yes, that if she Googled me, the article that TR wrote would come up, and that my blog was linked in the article. She was so sweet!!

Now whether she’ll actually remember to look me up in another question, but she was really nice!

Then I made my way inside with TR to find our table.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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2009 Rangers: The Almost-Playoffs Year

It’s easy as a fan to be angry that the Rangers aren’t going to the post-season. And I know that all of the Rangers’ players, coaches, and staff really wanted to make it happen this year. It’s easy for me to be angry because they almost got there. But I have to remember how far they’ve come. And look forward to the future.

*We are already guaranteed at least a .500 season, even if we lose every single game from here on out. How many years could we say that before?

*We have the #1 farm system in all of baseball. Next year we probably won’t be ranked #1 again, but that’s okay. It takes a few years for prospects to develop. We already got some big-league usage out of Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Julio Borbon, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Scott Feldman, Kevin Richardson, Esteban German, Pedro Strop, and Chris Gentry, who all started the 2009 season in the minors. Just think about how Justin Smoak, Martin Perez, Kasey Kiker, Max Ramirez, Blake Beavan, Beau Jones, Johnny Whittleman, Marcus Lemon, Mitch Moreland, Omar Poveda, and Tanner Scheppers can help our ball club in the future!

*Our pitching was excellent this year, which it hasn’t been for a very long time. And we have a very young pitching staff, so we have years to look forward to Tommy Hunter, Brandon McCarthy, Dustin Nippert, Neftali Feliz, Pedro Strop, Scott Feldman, Derek Holland, Kasey Kiker, Blake Beavan, Omar Poveda, Beau Jones, Martin Perez, and Tanner Scheppers. And we have Mike Maddux for next year.

*New ownership is scary, because nothing is guaranteed, but it will be really nice to finally have some flexibility where payroll is concerned. Some ballplayers are way overpaid, but we can’t expect our entire team to be happy with the league-minimum salary forever.

*Salty had surgery to correct his Thorasic Outlet Syndrome today, giving him several months to heal before next season. So even if we can’t keep Pudge for next year {shudder}, we’ll have a revitalized Salty

*Can I just take a second to say thank you to Jon Daniels for the Mark Teixeira trade? Seriously, dude. Thank you. Can you imagine what our ballclub would look like without Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones? And the Braves’ didn’t even keep Tex for very long. Fabulous job, JD!

I was really excited about the idea of making it to the post-season this year, but it just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m really excited about next season. And next year, I can start with my baseball obsession in April, instead of waiting until July, like this year. A full 6 months of baseball!! I can’t wait!!

YAY!!! WE WON!!!

Finally!! Yesterday, the Rangers took the last game of the 4-game series against the Oakland A’s, which they desperately needed to do. Now they can go play a series against their rivals, the Angels, on a high note. Okay, so it’s not as high as it would have been if we could have gotten a sweep of the A’s, or at least if we had split the series. But it’s definitely better that having to face your strongest opponent after losing 4 games straight to the worst team in the division. {shudder} Thank goodness that didn’t happen!

 
Okay, I’m not going to go into as much detail with this game summary, because frankly I don’t remember too much from the game. It was on during the day, so I had to listen to it on my computer while I was working. And I love baseball, but I gotta bring home that paycheck. My job is what enables me to go to so many games. And while I would absolutely LOVE to make my living writing about baseball, I’m not quite there yet. With that in mind, here we go…
 
Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter was our starting pitcher yesterday, and he’s one of our many young rookie pitchers who has been impressive this season. His last outing was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, and he took the loss against Seattle. That was the game I missed because I was trying to persuade my mom and step-dad to let me take my step-sister to Oklahoma to see our AAA team. When I heard that we lost the game, I decided not to bother watching it, even though I Tivo’d it. Anyway, I was pretty confident that Tommy could shake off his last failed start and throw some good stuff. And he did! Tommy allowed 3 runs in 7 innings against the A’s, and the Rangers offense showed up again last night, putting 6 runs on the board to support him. With Nelson Cruz’s recent ankle sprain, the Rangers will probably need to bring up another outfielder from AAA, and that means sending down one of our 8 relief pitchers currently stocking our bullpen. Going into our series with the Angels, our bullpen really needs to be well-rested, and Tommy was able to pull that off by going 7 innings for the Rangers. Good job Tommy!
 
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a.k.a. “Salty”
The A’s scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, helped in part by a throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (catcher). Salty came out of the game in the 2nd inning, due to a sore shoulder, so Taylor Teagarden ended up catching the rest of the game. Great, another injury. Now we’ve got Ian Kinsler (2B) on the 15 day DL with a sore hamstring, Nelson Cruz (OF) day-to-day with an ankle sprain, and Salty with a sore shoulder. So our paltry bench went from 3 players to 2 players and it’s now done to just 1 guy. I really hope Salty’s not out too long! I’ve gotta say, Wash (that’s manager Ron Washington), it’s been great having an 8-man bullpen, but seriously, our guys are dropping like flies! We need some back-up players!

Hank Blalock

But Tommy didn’t let the A’s scoring early get into his head. And I suppose it didn’t hurt that the Rangers scored in each of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Of course, since it’s the Rangers we’re talking about here, one of their 6 runs came off a home run by Hank Blalock. That’s Hank’s 21st home run this year! Seriously, what is it with the Rangers and all of their home runs?? You know what, I don’t even care. It doesn’t even matter. Nice job, boys!
C.J. Wilson
After the 7th inning, Frankie Francisco did a great job as the “set-up man” in the 8th inning, and Wash brought in C.J. Wilson to “close it out” in the 9th. And, of course, he gave up another run. Dammit, C.J.! I’ve seen C.J. do a fabulous job shutting down hitters, but lately it’s been taking him a little while to settle down on the mound before he can take care of business. Well, at least it was just the one run. We got the win, that’s all that matters, right? Right.
 
Scott Feldman
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (10-4) against the Angels’ Joe Saunders (9-6). Oh crap, Joe Saunders, he’s good! The Rangers also have to face Jered Weaver(11-3) and John Lackey(7-4) in this series with the Angels. Man, can’t we get a break? Geez. Okay, moving on. Scott just needs to buckle down, and he can take Joe Saunders. I mean, Saunders is just a guy, like anyone else. Remember, the Rangers had to face Josh Beckett and the Red Sox earlier this year, and they took care of that with no problems. It’s okay, we got this. I’m behind you, Scott!
 
 
In other news…:
Elvis Andrus
-I think Tommy Hunter looks like a cute little baby. I just wanna pinch his chubby little cheeks! 馃檪 That’s kind of becoming a theme for our team, since we have so many young players. And time keeps inevitably marching on for me, as I get older and older. But I swear, they’re sooo young! We’ve got 20-year-old Elvis Andrus (SS), 21-year-old Neftali Feliz (P), 22-year-old Derek Holland (P), and just-turned-23-year-old Tommy Hunter (P). Freakin’ A, man! Geez, I’m getting old! My dad thinks I should start hanging around RoughRiders games and try to marry one of those players, before they get famous. I said “Dad, they’re like 22 years old!” And he said “So what? It’ll keep you young!” Thanks, Dad. He just wants a famous ballplayer in the family.
Omar Vizquel

-Thank you, Wash, for sending Joaquin Arias back down to AAA and bringing up Esteban German. Maybe Arias was just nervous Monday and Tuesday, but German did a solid job yesterday. It was also nice to see Omar Vizquel back on the field. His bat isn’t too dependable, but his defense is an absolute pleasure to watch! There is nothing more beautiful than a well-executed double play! Yes, I know that makes me a baseball nerd. And I don’t care.

-I’m getting anxious for poor Chris Davis. He’s been wasting away in AAA for over a month now. (Well, he’s not wasting away, he’s actually doing a really good job down there, but you know what I mean.) I understand why he went down in the first place (to work on his hitting), and I understand why he’s still down there now. With Ian Kinsler hurt, the Rangers had to bring up an infielder to play SS/2B. Chris is a utility infielder, but he plays 1B/3B, and they don’t need that right now. Michael Young (3B) and Hank Blalock (1B) are healthy. So I understand the whole situation. But I still want Chris in the Bigs. He deserves to be up here, there’s just no space for him right now. Hence the anxiety.

Michael Young
-Michael Young currently has a 13-game hitting streak. Last year, he apparently had a 16-game hitting streak. Let’s see if we can beat that one, Mikey!
 
-Just FYI, I’m going to San Antonio this weekend, so this will be my last post until Sunday or Monday. Don’t worry, I’m Tivo-ing the games, and I’ll do all the summaries when I get back.
Kasey Kiker
-I may get free tickets to see the RoughRiders (the Rangers AA team) play in Frisco on Monday night. If I get to go, I’ll do a blog entry about that too. If I get the free tickets, I’m sure my dad will go with me, and he’ll probably try to pimp me out to Kasey Kiker. He’s 21!! Nice, Dad! See below for the younger guy I actually DO have a crush on 馃檪
 
 
 
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis
Days Since CD has been in the majors: 33
We miss you Chris!

Newberg Report Night

I got this from the blog “Texas Rangers Trades” (http://texasrangerstrades.blogspot.com/). Apparently the blog writer got to go to some kind of press conference or something about the Rangers. It was called “Newberg Report Night,” referring to Jamey Newberg. I didn’t know they had a “Newberg Report Night.” Anyway, there was some great info:

Will Carroll and Kevin Goldstein (both from Baseball Prospectus) were the first guests and were already up there hanging out when we arrived, even though they weren’t supposed to start until 4:00. They started taking questions at about 3:00 and went for 90 minutes. Will was great as always. This was the first time I had met Kevin. Both of them seem to know everything that’s going on in baseball and they’re funny too.

Here are some of the questions that I asked and their answers:
Q: What was the strategy of the Mariners and Reds at the trading deadline, when they both traded prospects for veterans, and then traded veterans for prospects?
A: Mariners: They have a long-term strategy, and they think that the Mariners are way ahead of where they thought they would be, although Will and Kevin are still trying to figure out the Jack Wilson trade.
Reds: They don’t understand what the Reds did with getting Scott Rolen. They said that they are confused by it and that the Reds got him because they could for a reasonably cheap price, even though Kevin wonders what it does for the team.

Q: What was the most surprising trade to you?
A: The Jake Peavy trade because nobody saw it coming and there were no rumors whatsoever. They also said that it might be the best trade and that it came so quickly, they didn’t even talk to the medical people because apparently this deal got done in minutes.

Q: What teams do you think are best at starting pitching and relief pitching?
A: Starting Pitching: Red Sox and Giants
Relief Pitching: Brewers

Will and Kevin also said that if the Rangers traded Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter, Wilfredo Boscan, and Thomas Diamond, it would be about the equivalent of what the White Sox gave up for Peavy, and if the Rangers traded Wilfredo Boscan and Tommy Hunter, it would be about the equivalent of what the Tigers gave up for Jarrod Washburn. Kevin also said that he could see Justin Smoak and Kasey Kiker coming up to the majors around this time next year.

After the Will and Kevin Q&A, Jamey auctioned off some prizes, with proceeds going to the Hello Win Column Fund. They raised thousands of dollars, which was great. There were two items that were very exciting for me personally. First, I won an inning in the TV booth with Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve! That was awesome. Second, I had donated one of the items for auction (a baseball with autographs from a lot of different Rangers players) and it went for $200.

Then, at 5:00, Jon Daniels came in and did 90 minutes of Q&A. When Jon kicked off the Q&A he said ‘I typically open up with Grant but his questions are usually a little challenging so I’m going to warm up with a few others first.’

I was able to ask the following three questions:
Q: Can you please name 3-5 minor leaguers who are most likely to be called up and have an impact on this year’s pennant race, including at least one who’s not currently on the 40-man roster?
A: ‘A handful of guys have the chance to play some role for us either as part of a September call-up or earlier. I think guys like Julio Borbon, Doug Mathis, and Guillermo Moscoso have done nice jobs while they’ve been up here. I think (Neftali) Feliz is certainly an option. Esteban German has had a very good year for us. I think he has the chance to help us in some regard. He’d be a nice guy for any contending club to have on their bench down the stretch.’ (Note that Mathis and Feliz were activated for that evening’s game.)

Q: The Rangers have managed to remove a number of players from their 40-man roster over the last couple of years, get them through waivers, reassign them to the minors, and then repurchase their contracts later to help the major league team, like Nelson Cruz and Doug Mathis. Is there a key to the timing of these moves that increases your chances of keeping the player?
A: ‘Absolutely. Nelson Cruz cleared waivers right at the beginning of the season. That’s the toughest time to claim a guy on waivers just because you have your roster set, your big league club’s set, and you’re breaking camp. Unless it’s a slam dunk upgrade, everyone just says ‘hey, let’s go with our own’ rather than taking someone else’s discard. So I think that’s probably the easiest time to slide a guy through waivers. Mathis was a non-tender re-sign. In that situation, it’s basically explaining to the player the options and, if they agree to resign with you at that point, you can give them some things that they might not get as free agents. That’s more of a leverage situation than anything.’

Q: Can you name three Rangers prospects that are not on most people’s radars who have made their way onto your radar?
A: ‘I’ll put (Jurickson) Profar on there. I’ll put Leury Garcia on there, shortstop at Hickory. And I’ll put Tim Murphy on there.’

Other interesting comments from Jon in answer to questions:
路 After receiving a huge round of applause when someone thanked him for not trading some of the guys that were rumored to be traded, Jon said ‘I’ll do nothing more often. That was awesome.’
路 Jon was asked why he didn’t wait a month or so to promote Elvis so that he could keep control of him for an extra year. He said that they looked at it and talked about it but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. To tell Elvis that he’s the shortstop but that they were going to wait a few weeks because they wanted to exploit his arbitration eligibility didn’t feel right. There are certain times you make business decisions and separate your emotions from those decisions, but they were telling this 20-year old kid that they believed in him and he would be a big part of the club. Plus they were telling the players on the big league club ‘Hey, trust us on this’. He felt it would have been talking out of both sides of their mouth. They would rather deal with the financial consequences than create a potentially divisive situation.
路 When asked about the media not giving much coverage to the Rangers, he said that he doesn’t totally buy into it just being because Dallas is a football town. A lot of it is because the Rangers haven’t won to create the fan base and interest. He feels that the media will cover whoever the fans tell them to cover.
路 They’re still watching Ben Sheets to see if he’s an option for next year.
路 When asked if the starting center fielder for next year is in the organization, he said that candidates internally are Hamilton, Byrd, and Borbon. He feels that one of them will very likely be starting for the Rangers in center field next year.
路 When asked why Borbon was brought up earlier this year if he wasn’t going to play, Jon said that he doesn’t completely buy into the philosophy that you shouldn’t call a top prospect up if he isn’t going to play every day. He feels that Borbon got a lot out of the experience.
路 He typically goes out to see the A clubs once per year. He sees Frisco and Oklahoma City more often.
路 90% of trade rumors reported are inaccurate.
路 When asked who would be called up if Salty or Teagarden were hurt, Jon said that Max Ramirez would be recovered from his injury soon. Manny Pina would also be considered, especially since he’s Rule 5 eligible this year. Richardson and Frostad could also do the job in the short term.
路 Main internal candidates for the starting rotation next season are Kevin Millwood (he expects him to vest his option), Scott Feldman, Vicente Padilla (the club has an option on him), Matt Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Derek Holland, and Tommy Hunter. Others in the mix are Neftali Feliz, Dustin Nippert, Guillermo Moscoso, and Doug Mathis. The position will be high on the list of priorities during the off season.
路 When asked if it bothers him when a player like Halladay doesn’t want to come to Texas, he said that it does a little bit but that it’s sort of like his answer about media coverage. The team needs to win first and then people will be more i
nterested in coming here.
路 The cost to put a dome on the ballpark is prohibitive plus the ballpark wasn’t engineered to facilitate something like that. There’s a company that said they can put a screen over the park to lower the temperature 10 degrees. But odds are that there’s really not a realistic option to help with the heat.
路 Benoit is throwing. There’s a chance he could be back in September but it’s unlikely.
路 People need to keep in mind that Josh Hamilton is still recovering from surgery.
路 They’re not trying to preach a philosophy of more pitches per plate appearance. He doesn’t think that it directly correlates to success. Getting a good pitch to hit is directly correlated to success.
路 They’ve discussed moving McCarthy to the bullpen to ease the strain on his shoulder. They’re focusing on a starter’s routine during his rehab, which allows them to go either way with it. He’s pitched in the bullpen successfully in the big leagues. It will depend on what their needs are when he’s ready to come back.
路 They’re not sure why Blake Beavan’s velocity is down but he’s 20 years old and time is on their side. They’re going to let him keep pitching and see if it improves.
路 He would be in favor of moving the deadline for signing draft picks up to June 30th. It would be a challenge to sign them quicker but it would let them have the rest of the summer to focus on other things and also let the players start playing and getting on with their development sooner.
路 Chris Davis is still very much in their plans. He will be a strong consideration for a September call-up, if not before then.
路 Eric Hurley’s on pace to be 100% for spring training.
路 Jurickson Profar will likely be developed as a position player not a pitcher. He thinks he’ll be one of the top shortstop position player prospects in the game.
路 He expects that Tanner Scheppers would start out higher than Low-A to start his minor league career.
路 Right now, Chris Davis is better defensively than Justin Smoak.

Yay for Chris Davis! At least they haven’t forgotten about him!

Last night’s game summary later. They lost right at the end… boo. BUT… Neftali Feliz awed everybody with a pretty spectacular MLB debut!

My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 30

Trade rumors

Okay, Cliff Lee was officially traded to the Phillies yesterday. So that’s not an option anymore. But apparently, Roy Halliday is still an option for the Rangers. {rolls eyes dramatically} Seriously? Come on, people! Let him go! I’m telling you, if we trade Neftali Feliz or Kasey Kiker to get Roy Halliday, I’m gonna be royally pissed.

Tell you what; if we can get rid of Padilla, I’d gladly take Roy Halliday!

the looming trade deadline

I’m getting really nervous about what the Rangers are going to do before the trade deadline. The Rangers have the best farm system in all of Major League Baseball, and we certainly have a lot of diamonds in the rough. Do we trade some of our best prospects for some big-name players that could help us now? I know the Rangers have been doing a great job this year, and I would love for them to make it to the playoffs more than anything in the world. But is it really possible for the Rangers to make it to the post-season this year? Could having one more starting pitcher really vault us to the playoffs? Or should we try to cultivate our current young talent for success in the next few years?

Let’s look at some of our top prospects, shall we? We’ve got a whole lot, but I’ll just list the top ones that I know of from AAA and AA:
Justin Smoak (1B, AAA)
Neftali Feliz (RHP, AAA)
Julio Borbon (OF, AAA)
Kasey Kiker (LHP, AA)
Blake Beavan (RHP, AA)
Max Ramirez (C, AAA)
Guillermo Moscoso (RHP, AAA)
Omar Poveda (RHP, AA)

The thing about prospects is that there’s no way to know if they’ll ever fully develop into quality big-leaguers. Any one of them could sustain a career-ending injury or simply never reach their full potential. Or they could all become stellar players. You never know. Statistically speaking, though, all of the above listed players won’t come through. You’ll maybe end up with 1 or 2 truly great players, 3 or 4 solid-but-not-quite-great players, and 2-4 that either never make it to the majors or have unremarkable careers. So the question becomes: which ones do we hold onto and which do we try to trade in our pursuit of the post-season?

Of the 8 prospects that I listed, 5 are pitchers. Considering the Rangers’ recent history of crappy pitching, I’m hesitant to trade off more than 1 or 2 pitchers. We need to keep as much pitching talent as we can get. Last year we had the offense and the defense, but we didn’t have the pitching AT ALL. This year we have the defense, and the offense and the pitching are both promising but not quite there yet.

I really hope that the Rangers aren’t seriously considering Roy Halliday. Yes, he’s a great pitcher, and yes, he could help our organization. BUT, he apparently isn’t interested in coming to Texas, and we can’t really afford to offer him the ridiculously huge salary that he’s expecting. And we shouldn’t give up the prospects that the Blue Jays will want for him, either. It’s not a smart trade. Flat out.

What about Cliff Lee, you ask? Well, I’ll be honest, I don’t know too much about Cliff Lee. He seems to have a pretty decent record (not stellar, but he’s definitely no slouch). He’s been in the big leagues since 2000. And he’s 31. So will he just continue to get better, or has he reached his peak already? I wish I knew enough about him to give an educated guess to answer this question. Considering the Rangers’ rich farm system, I’m used to seeing very young players. So seeing a guy that’s already been around for nearly 10 years definitely gives me pause.

Well, it certainly is interesting to ponder all of these possibilities, but what it really comes down to is this: Ron Washington and Jon Daniels are NOT going to call me up and ask me my opinion about this. They have their own experts, who I’m sure know much more about it than I do. So whatever they do, they are definitely better informed. I’ll give them my blessing; Go With God!