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Saturday morning things

Ron Washington had praise for Jamey Wright's outing yesterday, saying that Wright rushed his delivery a little in his last inning (when Wright allowed two runs), but was excellent overall.

Washington also said, though, that Kam Loe has matched Wright's performance "pitch for pitch," and Loe and Wright appear to be the top candidates for the 5th starter job. If they are close, my guess is Loe goes to AAA, since he has options left, and Wright stays in the majors.

The DMN spring report from yesterday's game says that it is pretty much down to Wright, Loe and Bruce Chen at this point. They also have a Q&A with C.J. Wilson...

Jim Reeves has a column up on Wright and Chen, as well, and seems disappointed that the Rangers are sticking with Robinson Tejeda in the rotation when, he says, Wright, Chen and Loe are all pitching better than Tejeda right now. This sort of knee-jerk reaction to spring performances makes me a little crazy...

Richard Durrett has a piece up on Ron Washington having Gerald Laird work on his handling of pitchers. Mark Connor and Don Wakamatsu have worked with Laird on getting better in that regard, although Connor clarified that that part of his game wasn't exactly a weakness to start with:

"I thought he handled the game-calling as well as any young catcher I've seen," Connor said. "He takes a lot of pride in calling a ballgame, but you can always get better. We've worked and talked this spring about making sure he has a solid reason for everything he does. I'm confident in him."

Durrett also has updates on some injured Rangers. Michael Young made an appearance in the clubhouse yesterday, and should play sometime next week. Nelson Cruz is expected to play today, while Mark Teixeira is close to returning, and may play Sunday. Marlon Byrd, who had missed the past few games, played yesterday, and Eric Gagne told Connor on Thursday after his scoreless inning that he wanted to go another inning, which is a good sign.

And finally, Larry Stone in the Seattle Times runs down the possible trade targets for the Mariners, should J.J. Putz's MRI indicate that he's going to be on the shelf for a while, and Akinori Otsuka's name is thrown out there.

I can't see Jon Daniels sending Otsuka to a divisional rival, though...particularly since I don't think the Mariners have much to deal that would make a trade to them worthwhile...