Well, Texas won and Oakland lost, so the Rangers are just a game back of the A's. Of course, since I said a week ago that the team is done and wasn't going anywhere this season, I'm not concerning myself with things like how far back the Rangers are right now.
I heard Lewin and Grieve say last night that the Twins are something like 22-5 this year when Santana or Liriano start this season. The Rangers have their work cut out for them the next couple of days.
Something to watch...the Rangers have supposedly gone to a platoon at catcher, with Gerald Laird starting against lefthanders. Liriano and Santana are both lefties, so I'll be interested in seeing whether Laird gets two starts in a row, or whether Barajas ends up starting one of these weekend games. Barajas is 3 for his last 20, with a 651 OPS in July...
Evan Grant has updates on the injured pitchers. Adam Eaton's rehab outing went well yesterday, and he's going to pitch again on Monday for Frisco. Kevin Millwood threw off a mound yesterday, and appears to be on pace to start on Friday. Kam Loe threw off a mound, and is supposed to make a rehab start for Frisco on Wednesday. And Frankie Francisco still hasn't thrown, with Grant saying that the Rangers are "frustrated" by his lack of progress.
I'm not sure whether the word used there is intentional or not, but it makes me wonder whether the Rangers are questioning Francisco's reluctance to throw or pain tolerance.
Kat O'Brien says that Brad Wilkerson is a little frustrated at his lack of playing time. So am I, although again, Wilkerson needs to be hitting better than he has. Still, though, if Buckles is committed to playing Dumpmaster every day, you still have the LF and DH slots for Wilkerson and Mench, given that Buckles refuses to play Jason Botts and shouldn't be playing Jerry Hairston Jr.
If John Hart still were g.m., he'd be salivating right now...Sidney Ponson has been designated for assignment by the Cardinals. Ponson, of course, was a Ranger target the whole time Hart was in Texas -- he supposedly had deals in place to sign Ponson and Rich Aurilia if the ARod-to-Boston trade had gone through. Hopefully, Hart's influence has diminished to the point that the Rangers will steer clear of Ponson. Particularly since Adam Eaton is defying my expectations and looking like he could be back in the rotation by late July.
Mark DeRosa is hitting .200/.231/.320 for the month...maybe it is just a rough patch, maybe he's turning into a pumpkin, I don't know, but it is something to keep an eye on, and to see how Buckles responds to if it continues.
I saw someone suggest recently that, if the Rangers trade for an outfielder this month, DeRosa would move to second base and Ian Kinsler would get benched. Kinsler is now hitting .331/.391/.577 on the year, and playing solid defense (albeit with the occasional mental error from time to time that is probably due to him still adjusting to making the switch to second base). As little faith as I have in Buck, I cannot imagine that the acquisition of an outfielder would result in DeRosa replacing Kinsler at second base. If anything, I'd tend to think that Kevin Mench would be the guy in jeopardy of losing his job (if he isn't part of the deal in the first place).