April 5, and the Rangers are at .500 for the year...
Big news today is on Adam Eaton...apparently, Eaton being out three months is a best-case scenario. Dr. Meister says that they are expecting that it will be four months before Eaton will be ready to go again, which would put his return at the beginning of August.
That's bad on a couple of different fronts. One, if the Rangers are out of the race, it means that they won't be able to trade Eaton for anything of value, since he'll be on the shelf until after the trading deadline. Two, if the Rangers are in the race, they'll have to try to work a rusty, injured pitcher back into the rotation, or else stick him in the pen and write him off for the year. Third, regardless of whether the Rangers are in the race or not, it makes it much less likely the Rangers will get a compensatory draft pick if (or when) Eaton leaves as a free agent after the season.
In the same article, Richard Durrett says that the Rangers basically have Robison Tejeda, John Koronka and R.A. Dickey vying for two spots in the rotation. Tejeda is apparently on track to be available the second time the #5 starter spot rolls around, and would seem to have the inside track for one of those jobs. That would leave Koronka and Dickey fighting for the other rotation spot.
Durrett also says that Nick Regilio, who has been beset by arm problems, is contemplating retirement and may look at becoming a coach.
Speaking of Tejeda, Tim Cowlishaw says that some in the Rangers locker room have already written off that trade as a disaster, that a chemistry guy like Dellucci who provided outfield depth shouldn't have been given up for Tejeda.
If you believe what the papers are saying, part of the reason Juan Dominguez had to go was because the players -- presumably including Young and Teixeira -- didn't believe in him, didn't trust him, didn't want him on the field or in the clubhouse.
So the players got what they wanted. Dominguez is gone. But in order to replace him in the rotation, the Rangers had to give something up. And now the players are apparently unhappy that management gave up a guy they liked in order to get a pitcher to replace a guy they wanted gone.
My opinion on the players being pissed about the Dellucci trade was summed up pretty well by Bob Sturm:
OK. Mark and Mike are sad that DD is gone. I get that. What I don't get is what would ever make these guys happy! So, last August, the Rangers two best players tee off on management at the trade deadline for not doing anything and getting them help. Now, management gets them help and they are not happy what they had to give up to get it. I have a thought for both of them: Shut-up. They are getting pitching to make you guys happy so that you will want to stay here, and if they have to trade a buddy to get it, try to remember your hot opinions of 8 months ago. If I was Jon Daniels, I would tell these guys to worry about playing.
Durrett also has some love for Vicente Padilla, whom the Rangers are hoping is returning to his 2002-03 form. I'm sticking by what I said this offseason...I figured of Padilla and Eaton, one would flame out, one would have a strong season. One of them has already flamed out, but Padilla has taken a good first step, against a very potent lineup...
Jennifer Floyd Engel says that losing Eaton shouldn't be an excuse for losing, and that Jon Daniels isn't letting it be an excuse (unlike, she suggests, Daniels' predecessor).
Kam Loe gets the start for Texas tonight, and Kat O'Brien talks about his progression from organizational depth guy to #3 starter.
Loe faces off against Josh Beckett, making his A.L. debut. I'm fired up...