Quiet day today in Rangerland, with not a lot of news of note out there today...
Yesterday's game was rained out, which may or may not have been a break for Kam Loe, who was scratched from his start yesterday due to neck and back spasms.
Bruce Chen goes tonight, at 9:05 against the Brewers, as he attempts to take advantage of Loe's scratch and Jamey Wright's most recent struggles to nail down the 5th starter job.
Evan Grant says the 5th starter job is still open...no big surprise there. Grant also says that, while Miguel Ojeda is the favorite to win the backup catcher job, the Rangers have also talked to the Phillies and the Angels about acquiring Chris Coste or Jose Molina, respectively. Grant says that both teams need relief pitching, but Rick Bauer's bad spring has made it a lot more difficult for the Rangers to try to flip him for a backup catcher.
T.R. Sullivan has some blog notes up, including comments from Ian Kinsler about trying to improve his consistency this year.
Jan Hubbard talks to Rudy Jaramillo about Jaramillo's hitting philosophy in the S-T this morning.
Hubbard also says that Kevin Millwood pitched in the minor league game yesterday because he didn't want the Angels to see what he has been working on this spring, and quotes Ron Washington as saying that he hasn't decided who the left field and DH on Opening Day will be.
Hubbard also handicaps the race for the #5 starter slot, and mentions John Rheinecker, which reminded me that Rheinecker hasn't been sent out yet.
It isn't a big deal, but it suggests to me that the Rangers may opt to create a 40 man roster spot by putting Rheinecker on the 60 day disabled list. If you recall, the Rangers ended up having to designate Andy Pratt for assignment to make room for Dan Miceli in 2002 because Ryan Dittfurth, whom they had planned to move to the 60 day d.l., had been optioned to the minors only a couple of days earlier, and the Commissioner's office voided the move to the disabled list because Dittfurth had to wait at least 10 days after being optioned before he could be recalled (a necessary procedural step for a player to be put on the 60 day d.l.).
The fact that Rheinecker, who has been injured all spring and (if I'm not mistaken) hasn't pitched in a game yet, has yet to be optioned suggests that the Rangers, who will need to add Sammy Sosa, Jerry Hairston Jr., and possibly Bruce Chen and Jamey Wright to the 40 man roster in the next few days, may be planning to stash him on the 60 day d.l.
Hubbard also says that the last roster spot is down to Matt Kata and Marlon Byrd, and that Eric Gagne may pitch tonight.
Gil LeBreton has a column on the Ranger rotation, focusing on Kevin Millwood, but also talking about what a change it is for the Rangers to be heading into the season feeling good about the pitchers who are going to be taking the ball every fifth day.
I don't know...I may be deluding myself, but I feel pretty good about the rotation right now...
And finally, on a non-baseball note, it occurred to me last night that Acie Law IV looks like Kobe Bryant (not his game, but his physical appearance)...