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Saturday a.m. things

Back to .500.  4 games back of Anaheim, 1 1/2 games back of Oakland, 6 1/2 games up on the poor Mariners.

The Rangers set a team record with 9 doubles yesterday, which helped make up for a bad Kason Gabbard outing.  When a finesse lefty can't throw strikes -- Gabbard threw 90 pitches in less than 3 innings yesterday, only 48 of them for strikes -- then he's pretty much doomed.  And the TwinsIndians didn't chase those pitches just off the strike zone that Gabbard needs opposing hitters to go after to be successful.

The Rangers performance of late has covered up the fact that the bullpen and the back of the rotation has not been good.  Gabbard is going to stay in the rotation because there aren't a lot of better options right now, but his performance going forward is something to watch, because if Matt Harrison or Eric Hurley shows they are ready to move into the rotation, he could find his spot in jeopardy.

Frank Catalanotto is still not ready to play, and as I mentioned last night, I think the Rangers should go ahead and d.l. him to bring up a fresh arm this weekend, then send the extra pitcher back when Hank Blalock is ready to be activated.  Chris Shelton has a 121 OPS+, and given how lefty-heavy this team is right now, I don't see how getting rid of a productive righty bat makes sense.

Kevin Millwood will throw a simulated game today, and if all goes perfectly there, he'll be activated for next Friday's game.  Otherwise, he'll go on a medical rehab assignment.

And Kevin Sherrington re-visits the Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez trade.  He thinks it was an okay deal for Texas.