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Wednesday a.m. things

Three in a row for the Rangers, who go for the sweep this afternoon in Oakland...a win today would put the Rangers just a game and a half out of third place...

And a really nice night at the plate for Michael Young, who picked up 5 hits, including 3 doubles, and looked like he may be snapping out of the recent funk that dropped his OPS to around the 700 mark.

Marlon Byrd will start in centerfield for the Rangers today, and Ron Washington says that from here on out, if Kenny Lofton is getting a day off, Byrd will play center rather than Jerry Hairston, Jr. The Rangers apparently want to get a handle on whether Byrd is a candidate to play center in 2008, and if Lofton gets dealt before the trade deadline, Byrd will likely be the starter for the final two months.

Also, Akinori Otsuka's forearm tightened up yesterday when he began warming up in preparation for coming into the game, and it sounds like the Rangers are going to have to go ahead and put him on the disabled list, which would likely eliminate the possibility of him being dealt by the trading deadline.

The S-T says that Vicente Padilla, who didn't make his expected rehab start for Frisco yesterday, isn't a candidate to pitch in the doubleheader against the Mariners on July 24. I imagine Mike Wood will end up getting called up to start one of those games.

Dave Sessions writes that although Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne are being watched by scouts and sought after by other teams, both hope to stay in Texas, with Gagne calling this the best bullpen he's ever been a part of.

T.R. Sullivan says interest in Mark Teixeira has increased, listing the Red Sox, Angels, Braves and Yankees as the teams with the most interest.

The Providence Journal says Jon Daniels would want Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, and a prospect from the BoSox for Teixeira. That actually seems a little on the low side, to me, unless the prospect is someone like Clay Buchholz...

The Chicago Daily Herald calls rumors of the Cubs interest in Kenny Lofton "just talk."