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Sunday morning things

Nice game yesterday, shutting down the hated Mariners. Solid performances from LSB faves Wes Littleton, Frankie Francisco, Joaquin Benoit, and C.J. Wilson out of the pen, following a decent outing from the Electrician.

Dave Sessions praises LSB fave Ian Kinsler, who went 3 for 4 to get his OPS to 748 on the season, and who extended his errorless streak to 30 games. Kinsler discusses his defensive improvement of late:

"Defensively, I think I've improved tremendously," Kinsler said. "I definitely had to take a step back, I was uncomfortable before I went on the DL, trying to work on the stuff [Washington] wanted me to work on. Honestly, the DL was kind of a blessing, it gave me some time to work on some stuff defensively."

And Evan Grant has some love for LSB fave Gerald Laird this morning, with Laird getting praise for his gamecalling, his stellar play at the plate on Jose Guillen, and for getting a difficult squeeze bunt down to give the Rangers a two run lead.

Some more Grant notes...Edinson Volquez is expected to make his final start for the Redhawks tonight, and then get the start for the Rangers on Saturday. Volquez is expected to replace John Rheinecker in the rotation, with Rheinecker auditioning as a LOOGY out of the pen the rest of the way, a role I think he's well suited for.

Hank Blalock did some more throwing yesterday, and may start a rehab assignment on Thursday. Given the progress Blalock was making with the bat this year, I'd like to see him get some playing time in September.

And Grant also says that Joaquin Arias is expected to play in the Arizona Fall League, if his shoulder continues making progress.

Also from Grant today, an article that points out that the Mariners are, right now, where the Rangers probably would have been, had a few more of their rolls of the dice worked out. Grant points out that the M's and Rangers have made some bad decisions and less than stellar farm systems lately, but the M's gambles have worked out (and they've stayed healthy) this year, whereas the Rangers had a lot of things backfire.

The Detroit Free Press has a piece about the Tigers looking for a bat, given that Gary Sheffield is on the shelf indefinitely, and says that Brad Wilkerson, Frank Catalanotto, and Sammy Sosa have all cleared waivers. I imagine the Tigers could have Wilkerson and Sosa for nothing, but Catalanotto would require a prospect or two.

And Mike Berardino says Torii Hunter is the "top prize" in this offseason's free agent class, and discusses the various places he could land, with Texas, of course, being included.

No Torii Torii Hunter...