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Wednesday morning stuff

Bah. Crappy loss last night. First bad outing for Wes Littleton, although this loss really falls on the shoulders of Vicente Padilla, who had an absolute meltdown.

The Rangers are now 6.5 games back, and need to start looking towards 2007. If there is a silver lining to the Kip Wells injury, it is that it opens up a spot in the rotation for Robinson Tejeda. Edinson Volquez seems likely to remain in the rotation for the rest of the way, barring a collapse, and Tejeda would seem to be in line to get the start on Saturday. Tejeda's performance in AAA of late seems to indicate that he's gotten some of his control issues worked out, and the final six weeks can provide for an audition for Tejeda and Volquez to show whether they can be counted on in the rotation for 2007.

Richard Durrett says the Rangers don't know who can handle the pressure of pitching the 8th inning in a pennant race. Personally, I think it would be extremely premature to assume that Littleton's struggles in the 8th were due to inexperience or inability to handle pressure...even the best setup men get hit sometimes.

Kat O'Brien says that Matt Stairs' "veteran presence" is helping the Rangers. Stairs has done everything the Rangers could ask from him, and I have to wonder if the Rangers might not be interested in bringing him back after the season, to share the DH role with Jason Botts in 2007.

For what it is worth, Detroit second baseman Placido Polanco separated his shoulder yesterday. No word yet on how long he's expected to be out, but if it is for any significant length of time, the Tigers could be in the market for a second baseman. Which could lead to some trade interest in Mark DeRosa or JHJ, if either of them cleared waivers...