Tagged: Thomas Diamond

I don’t like off days

I really don’t like off days during baseball season. I’m used to seeing a game every day, so when there’s an off day, I don’t know what to do with myself. There also is not as much news coming out of the Rangers’ organization on off days. I had to wait for the game to start tonight before I could get some good updates.
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Thomas Diamond
First of all, Thomas Diamond has been claimed off waivers by the Cubs. Like Evan Grant said during the Rangers’ pre-game show, it’s never a good thing when you lose your first round draft pick. But the Rangers were the ones who put him on waivers in the first place. So, as awful as it sounds, it kinda serves them right. I’ll be sad to see Thomas go, though. He seemed like a good guy.
 
 
 

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Josh Hamilton
Secondly, Josh Hamilton is not in the lineup tonight. He didn’t even fly out to Baltimore with the rest of team. I’ve heard from different sources that Josh Hamilton had a nerve root injection, which is basically an epidural. I also heard that Josh had received an injection of anti-inflammatory medication the other day, so I’m not sure if it was 2 separate injections or just one. He is apparently experiencing too much discomfort from the injection site to endure a 3-hour plane ride for today’s game. He could be in Baltimore in time for tomorrow’s game, though. He’s listed as “day-to-day.”

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Brandon McCarthy

Ron Washington said during his pre-game interview with Eric Nadel that he plans to go with Brandon McCarthy from here on out as his 5th starter, and that Dustin Nippert will move to the bullpen. Nippert will be available for long relief and spot-starts, if necessary. This is what was expected, but it hadn’t been confirmed by the Skipper.
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Willie Eyre

The Rangers have recalled Wille Eyre, as TR Sullivan predicted on September 1. Willie Eyre is a pitcher on the Rangers’ 40-man roster, and he has been back and forth between AAA and the Bigs several times this season. He was just sent back down to AAA last week, and he had to wait at least 10 days before the Rangers could call him back up. He has joined the Rangers in Baltimore.
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Scott Feldman is pitching tonight, and I like our chances. He is 10-1 on the road (14-4 overall), and he’s won his last 6 straight on the road. Pudge is catching, again. Seriously, we’re seeing way more of Pudge than we are of Teagarden! You know I love it, because I love Pudge, but I feel kinda bad for Teagarden.

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Rangers updates

Okay, a lot of stuff has been happening with the Rangers lately, and I feel an obligation to share it with you, my legions of followers. [Oh, who am I kidding? My mom doesn’t even read this.]
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Expanded Roster

I figured out some stuff about the expanded roster. They don’t have to bring up all 40 guys, but it is possible. So that means that they can have anywhere from 25 to 40 guys on their active roster. The Rangers decided to add the following 7 guys to their existing 25-man roster:

Brandon McCarthy
Eddie Guardado (pitcher, activated from the 15-day DL, already on 40-man)
Warner Madrigal (pitcher, already on 40-man)
Esteban German (infielder, already on 40-man)
Guillermo Moscoso (pitcher, already on 40-man)
Brandon McCarthy (pitcher, activated from 60-day DL, not on 40-man)
Kevin Richardson (catcher, not on 40-man)
Craig Gentry (outfielder, not on 40-man)

So the Rangers needed to find 3 spots on their 40-man roster to put these new additions. Well, actually, they only had 39 guys on their 40-man roster, after trading minor leaguer Jose Vallejo to the Astros as part of the  Pudge trade. So the Rangers needed 2 spots.  

Brandon Boggs
They put Brandon Boggs on the 60-day disabled list with a dislocated left shoulder, which opens up a spot. I had been wondering why Brandon Boggs and Greg Golson were passed over, even though they were already on the Rangers’ 40-man roster, in favor of Craig Gentry. This at least explains why Boggs wasn’t called up, but I still don’t know why they bypassed Greg Golson. If I figure that out, I’ll let you know.
Thomas Diamond
And in a surprising move, they designated AA pitcher Thomas Diamond for assignment to make another spot on the 40-man roster. I’ve mentioned Thomas Diamond before, when I explained the Rule 5 Draft. The Rangers had him on their 40-man roster to keep another team from drafting him, and then they just decide to hand him to the wolves on a silver platter?
 
Thomas Diamond was the Rangers’ Number 1 Draft pick in 2004, but he had to have Tommy John surgery, and he’s had a hard time recovering from that. The Rangers are trying to get him back through outright waivers, meaning that they’re just hoping that another team doesn’t take him (at least I think that’s what it means). But apparently, the Rangers don’t feel as protective over Thomas Diamond as they once did.

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Injury Reports

Michael Young

1) I already explained in previous posts that Michael Young has strained his left hamstring, which should keep him out of the lineup for 2-3 weeks.
 
Josh Hamilton
2) Josh Hamilton has reportedly been diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his back. He has received an injection of anti-inflammatory medication to help with the inflammation. See, I had a feeling that this wasn’t just a sore muscle that would go away. This could be something that gives Josh some trouble in the future, especially if he just tries to play through the pain.
 
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
3) After receiving reports a few days ago that Jarrod Saltalamacchia had been “shut down” by the pain and numbness from Thorasic Outlet Syndrome and that he might have to have “season-ending surgery,” the Rangers have now activated Salty from the DL. He will be available for use as a pinch-hitter, designated hitter, or emergency catcher, and he will wait to have surgery until after the season is over. So then why did they call up Kevin Richardson??
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Beau Vaughn’s Blog (Beau Knows Diddly)
Beau Vaughn
I talked about Beau Vaughn’s Blog a few days ago and how hilariously irreverent it is. Well, after he found out that Craig Gentry was being called up to the Bigs the other night, Beau immediately interviewed CG for his blog. And it was great! Jamey Newberg (The Newberg Report blog) even recommended it on his blog, even though he said it was “[n]ot as safe for children as most of his previous entries.”
 
Craig Gentry
Jamey was right; it was a bit more irreverent than usual, but it was awesome! But it was only up for 14 hours before ‘the man’ insisted that it be taken down. Beau had to apologize because “the subject matter was inappropriate for this forum” and because he “misrepresented the Texas Rangers.” He also apparently got in trouble because the team hadn’t issued a press release officially announcing the roster move.
 
I think that’s crap! I mean, they came to Beau and asked him to do this blog. Did they not know his personality before they asked him to do this? If they wanted somebody who wouldn’t curse or talk about lewd and inappropriate things, why didn’t they ask someone else?
 
Okay, it’s true that this blog would be more appropriate on myspace or somewhere else. But I still think it’s hilarious.

It’s September 1st…

…and that means that the Rangers are expanding to a 40-man roster! I’ve read from several sources that the Rangers are definitely adding pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Warner Madrigal, who are already on the 40-man roster. Eddie Guardado and Esteban German will also be reactivated from the 15-day DL, but they were already on the 40-man roster too. Willie Eyre (also on the 40-man) will probably be called up in a few days as well, but he was optioned to AAA last week and has to wait 10 days before being called back up.

But some other names have been mentioned that will have to be added to the 40-man roster, and I’m not sure who the Rangers are planning on dropping to make room.

Craig Gentry, an outfielder from AA Frisco, has reportedly been called up, as well as catcher Kevin Richardson from AAA Oklahoma City. And pitcher Brandon McCarthy has been on the 60-day DL (and thus not on the 40-man roster), but he’s being activated too.

So who will the Rangers drop? Thomas Diamond or Omar Poveda? They’re both AA pitchers that the Rangers have on their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Or Luis Mendoza? He threw a no-hitter in AAA a few weeks ago. Max Ramirez or Jarrod Saltalamacchia? I guess it’s possible that they could add Salty to the 60-day DL, which would drop him from the 40-man. Joaquin Arias? He didn’t do too well during his stint in the Bigs this year. Brandon Boggs or Greg Golson? Boggs has big league experience, so they’ll probably be calling him back up.

But why did they call up an outfielder from AA? I mean, sure, he’s a great AA player, but is he ready for the Bigs? We already had 5 outfielders on the 25-man roster, as well as 2 more on the 40-man and another one on the 15-day DL. Hmm…

RoughRiders game

Last week, I checked Evan Grant’s D Magazine blog (as I do frequently) to get some up-to-date news on the Rangers. So imagine my surprise when I saw that the most recent post was entitled “Act now on a special invitation!” There weren’t many details, but it said that the event would have to do with the Frisco RoughRiders (the Texas Rangers’ AA minor league team) and it would be on Monday night, August 10. I emailed Evan to get more info, like it asked. And I found out that I might be able to get free tickets to the RoughRiders’ game and talk baseball with Evan. I definitely expressed interest, and I was told that he would get back to all the responders to tell them if they had tickets or not.
Evan Grant
I had all but forgotten about this when I got an email from Evan Grant at about noon yesterday. Now, remember, I took the day off work yesterday because I couldn’t quit throwing up. Could I really make it to a RoughRiders game? This was a huge opportunity, to hang out with a journalist who travels with the Rangers and get to pick his brain about all sorts of things. Plus, free tickets to a baseball game! Score! But I just didn’t know if I could do it.
Well, my mom dropped off the PowerAde, and it helped sooo much! I could tell that I was seriously dehydrated, because as I drank it, the inside of my body kind of felt like a sponge soaking up the liquid. I slowly drank the PowerAde for a few hours, and I had no problems with that, so I tried some crackers. And they were good! I hadn’t realized I was hungry! After that, I knew I was going to be okay. I was still weak, but I hadn’t thrown up in 8 hours, and I was keeping food down. So I jumped in the shower and started getting ready. My car was still in the shop, so I had to catch the DART bus to the DART train station to get to my dad’s house. I had a few minutes on the train where I thought “oh no, I’m getting nauseous, maybe this wasn’t a good idea!” But I was already committed, I was going to finish this. I picked up my car, and luckily they cleaned the carpets and got rid of the musty mildewy gross smell in my floorboards, or else I might have lost it all over again. So Daddy and I headed out to Frisco.

Blake Beavan
They opened the gates 30 minutes earlier than normal for us, and we got to have a Q & A with some of the players. I met Mitch Moreland (RF) and got his autograph, and I met Blake Beavan (P). I also got to meet the “voice of the Frisco RoughRiders,” Scott Garner. And then when I was walking around before the game started, I saw Beau Jones (P), and I said “Hey, I know you! I saw you on t.v.!” I had watched a t.v. special about the RoughRiders on FSN Southwest, and I quoted what he had said back to him. I think he was pretty impressed, and he gave me an autograph, even though I don’t think he was supposed to.

Daddy and I were able to stop by the gift shop before the game, and we each bought a RoughRiders T-shirt and a hat. Then we went to our seats, and I watched the game for the first few innings. The RoughRiders were playing the San Antonio Missions, and the Missions were leading 3-0 after the first inning. Then the Missions scored another 6 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, making it 9-0, and I gave up on watching the game. I drifted over to where some people in our group were talking to Evan, and I stayed there for the rest of the game. That was a lot more interesting!

 
Mostly I just listened, but I got to ask some questions too. Here are a few things Evan talked about:
Josh Hamilton’s latest controversy (which broke my heart, btw),
the Mark Teixiera trade,
Martin Perez (a highly touted High-A pitching prospect),
Neftali Feliz (21-year-old pitching phenom just up from AAA),
Ian Kinsler (2B, currently on the Disabled List for a sore hamstring),
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (our primary catcher),
chance that Julio Borbon (OF) will stay in the Bigs next year,
possible new ownership of the Texas Rangers,
Brandon McCarthy (pitcher on the DL),
the Roy Halladay almost-trade,
Marlon Byrd (OF),
Eddie Guardado (P),
high # of AAA players that have made it to the Rangers this year,
chance of Omar Vizquel playing/coaching for the Rangers next year,
Willie Eyre (P)
and many other things that I can’t remember right now.
 
I asked Evan the following questions:
Chris Davis
KB: What are Chris Davis’ chances of being called back up this year?
EG: They’ll call up Davis at the first of September. They’ll need another infielder, and he’s great defensively.
Yay!! Don’t worry Chris, you’re coming home soon!
 
Thomas Diamond
KB: Why do the Rangers have AA pitcher Thomas Diamond on their 40-man roster? You’d think they would only want AAA players, who actually have a chance of being called up, on the 40-man. Would Thomas really just skip right over AAA?
EG: They wanted to keep him from going anywhere in the Rule 5 Draft. There’s probably no realistic chance of him being called up to the Rangers right now.

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KB: Why did you decide to give away free tickets to a RoughRiders game and hang out with a bunch of Rangers fans tonight? I mean, obviously we love it, because we get free tickets and a chance to talk to you. But why do you do it?
EG: I want to give Rangers fans more of a chance to find out what’s going with the team and ask questions. I want people to be able to go to Inside Corner on D Magazine’s website and feel like they can truly interact with it, instead of just reading the news. I know that readers like it when they comment on the website and I actually respond. I feel like I’m more than just a blogger; I’m a journalist who blogs about the Rangers, as opposed to a fan. Jamey Newberg does a fantastic job on his website blogging as a fan. I think it’s great that Rangers fans have so many ways to interact with the team, through things like Newberg Night and events like tonight.
 
[These aren’t his literal quotes, because I didn’t have a tape recorder. They’re just the main gist of his answers.]
 
When the RoughRiders were still losing 10-0 at the top of the 7th inning, we decided to call it a night. They ended up losing 14-0. Glad I didn’t stay! 馃檪 But I want to send out a big thanks to Evan Grant of D Magazine for a fabulous experience!
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 37

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