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Friday a.m. stuff

Trade deadline past, 108 games in the books, no more Jason Botts watch...

We are entering the "bleah" days of the season.

The Rangers are still at .500 since the All Star Break...if they continue to play .500 ball the rest of the way, they'd be looking at a 75-87 record on the season, which would be disappointing overall, but a hell of a lot better than people were expecting in late May.

Kason Gabbard said his outing yesterday was "average". Again, I'm not a big Gabbard guy, but I can live with 5 2/3 IP and 3 runs every time out from him.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out for the rotation next year...I have to think that the addition of Gabbard makes it a lot less likely that the Rangers are going to go out and try to land a starting pitcher this offseason.

You've got Millwood and McCarthy pretty well set in the 2008 rotation. Padilla will be there, as well, if he's healthy.

Then you've got Gabbard, Loe, Volquez, Hurley, maybe Josh Rupe (and I guess Robinson Tejeda) vying for the last couple of spots. Gabbard seems to have a slot secured unless he just completely falls on his face the rest of the way, so unless Padilla's injury looks like it will keep him out for 2008, I think that the rotation is likely going to be made up of guys who are now here.

Evan Grant has some interesting notes from yesterday...he says that yesterday was probably Adam Melhuse's final start of the season at catcher, with Gerald Laird and Jarrod Saltalamacchia likely to handle the position the rest of the way. Saltalamacchia is apparently going to head to the Instructional League this fall to work on his catching, and I imagine the team will have a better handle then on whether they think his long-term future is behind the plate or at first base.

Grant also says that the Rangers wanted to sign Elvis Andrus a couple of years ago, when they were first establishing a presence in Latin America, but that Andrus ended up going with the Braves and accepting a $700,000 bonus from them.