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6/13/06 game day thread

Bah. Jose Contreras was pretty dominating last night, and John Koronka was very shaky. Still 1.5 games up on Oakland, though...

Angel Verdejo has a piece in the S-T about Koronka's recent struggles, with Buck Showalter saying the issue has been Koronka's command. Finesse lefties like Koronka have to have great command to succeed, since their stuff is so underwhelming...if Koronka can't paint the corners and keep the hitters off-balance, he isn't going to succeed on the major league level. The margin for error for guys like that is a lot smaller than for other pitchers...

Evan Grant says Kevin Mench has lost his job as the Rangers' regular right fielder...from his notes today:

It appears Kevin Mench has lost his job as the regular right fielder. Mench sat out Monday's game against Chicago, and Mark DeRosa started in right for the 11th time in the last 18 games.

The Rangers have gone to a rotation among the corner outfielders since second baseman Ian Kinsler returned from the disabled list and forced DeRosa into the outfield mix. Since Kinsler's return, Mench has started three games in right. He's started six in left and four at DH. Brad Wilkerson, just as Mench, has started 13 games in that span but 11 have been in left.

Although manager Buck Showalter said the playing time situation in the outfield was "day-to-day," Mench acknowledged being confused about his role. Showalter also said Mench turned his ankle while diving back into first in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader with Boston.

"I don't know anything," said Mench, who snapped an 87 at-bat homerless drought Sunday. "I just show up. I figured I'd be playing today, but that's not the case."

First round pick Kasey Kiker is apparently close to signing. No big surprise there, but it is good to see that they are about to have a deal worked out, and that Kiker will be in the fold quickly...

Speaking of the draft...given that it has been a full year since the 2005 draft, is it time to start asking if John Mayberry Jr. is a bust?

He's 22 years old, a first round draft pick out of a top college program, and posting a .241/.336/.436 line in low-A, which would be disappointing if he were a shortstop, but for a corner outfielder, it is awful. And there's nothing about his splits that makes you think he's performing significantly better than the numbers suggest.

It would be one thing if Mayberry were doing this in the Texas League, or even the Cal League...but most of the true prospects in low-A are guys a year or two out of high school. Mayberry really needs to get it in gear in the second half...