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Monday morning items

Kat O'Brien has a write-up on A.J. Preller's promotion, on the heels of the work he has done in setting up the Rangers Dominican academy.

The article also includes a note at the end about how the Rangers are allowing Kevin Millwood to maintain the workout regimen he followed when he was with the Indians last year. I'm guessing that the memory of the last big-dollar free agent pitcher the Rangers signed, who started getting hurt constantly once they switched his workout regimen, may have something to do with their flexibility this time around...

Also, you know that spring training has started when Buck Showalter starts publicly fawning over R.A. Dickey...Showalter's claims notwithstanding, I don't see any reason for Dickey to start the season in the majors. Given that he has two options remaining, he needs to go down to AAA and work on refining his knuckleball there.

Jan Hubbard has a feature on Kam Loe, quoting Mark Connor as saying that the #4 starter job is Loe's to lose after his solid performance last year. Loe is apparently working on adding a changeup to his repertoire, and is trying to master it this spring. The change should be a big help in his ongoing struggle against lefties, who he has been vulnerable against.

Meanwhile, Jim Reeves has a column on Connor today, and while the Connor stuff is interesting, the biggest bombshell is about his predecessor as pitching coach:

Orel Hershiser's departure -- which was strictly the Rangers' idea, though no one in the organization wants to say that for the record -- could have been a staggering blow to the team's pitching plans.

As I've said before, I've suspected that was the case, although this is the first time I've actually seen someone in the media confirm it. And I have to wonder how much of the push out the door was related to his lobbying for the Dodgers job, and how much was related to other things. You'd think that Buck would have rewarded one of his co-conspirators in the Palace Coup in a little better fashion that this...