Two big stories today...one relevant (Jamey Wright's performance putting Kam Loe into the driver's seat for the 5th starter job) and one not (Sammy Sosa playing against the Cubs)...
For much of spring training, Jamey Wright has shown the Rangers why so many teams have been enticed by him, why he was a first round pick and why he's made 237 career major league starts...
And then yesterday, he reminded the Rangers why he's appeared for six different teams in his career, and why he only got a minor league deal this offseason...
Evan Grant says that Wright had problems with his mechanics yesterday -- "a problem that has plagued him his entire career," says Grant -- that led to him getting slapped around by the Cubs.
So we now have Kam Loe today, Bruce Chen tomorrow, and then Wright taking the mound again Monday, followed by Loe on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, the 28th, if Wright isn't added to the 40 man roster, he can become a free agent -- and Grant suggests that the New York Mets, who went hard after Wright this offseason and are having problems with their rotation, would be willing to snap him up with a major league deal and add him to their rotation.
Dave Sessions of the S-T says another start like yesterday's could end Wright's chances of making the rotation, and quotes Ron Washington as saying that Wright's mechanics were "out-of-whack."
T.R. Sullivan, meanwhile, has some notes on Bruce Chen, and the boost his chances of making the rotation got from Wright's struggles.
Grant's spring roundup for yesterday mentions that Vicente Padilla, who was scratched from his last start, will pitch in a minor league game on Friday.
There's also a question in there, posed to several Rangers, about which of their own traits they most "deplore". Gerald Laird and Scott Feldman both have pretty funny answers.
In other Rangers notes, Grant says that Matt Kata has played his way into contention for a bench job, and with Marlon Byrd struggling with his defense, Kata and Hairston could end up getting the last two bench spots.
Also from Grant, Thomas Diamond had no complications with his T-J surgery yesterday, Michael Young had his sutures removed, Frankie Francisco felt good yesterday after pitching two innings the day before, and the trade interest in Rick Bauer is non-existent.
The Rocky Mountain News once again mentions Byung-hyun Kim as a possible target of the Rangers, but claims that the Rangers want him because they need help in the bullpen. That doesn't sound right to me. I'm almost wondering if the Rockies are mentioning the Rangers in connection with Kim to try to drum up more interest from teams actually interested in Kim...
Now, all the Sosa stuff...
Gil LeBreton has a column on the reaction of the Cubs fans to Sosa's return.
Sessions does a Q&A with Sosa about Sosa's thoughts on playing against his former team.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic has a column on what Sosa meant to the Cubs, and his comeback attempt. Ditto in the Toronto Sun.
And of course, it was written about in the Chicago Daily Herald, in the Chicago Sun-Times, and in the Chicago Tribune.