The Rangers finished up their road trip with a 2-0 win over the Phillies behind a stellar start from Matt Harrison. And now Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz will be rejoining the team. So, even with all of the injuries and inconsistent play, the Rangers remain above .500 and in first place in the AL West with perhaps their best two players returning to the fold. Onward to domination!
T.R. Sullivan has a story on the return of Cruz and Hamilton. Sullivan notes that the Rangers will be easing Hamilton back into the lineup as the primary DH for his first few games back and that Hamilton beat the estimated six weeks recovery period by a day. And I was told Hamilton healed slowly.
Anthony Andro also touches on Cruz and Hamilton making their way back to Arlington and notes that Cruz would have been back for the Philadelphia series, as he wasn't feeling any effects of his quad injury, but that the Rangers wanted him to work on his hitting timing. Cruz responded by hitting a home run in three consecutive games this weekend.
Jeff Wilson writes about the roster impact of bringing Cruz and Hamilton off of the DL and mentions that two of Craig Gentry, Taylor Teagarden, Chris Davis and Endy Chavez will likely get sent down with Chavez possibly the safest of those four as long as Julio Borbon is still on the disabled list.
Wilson also notes that with the return of Cruz and Hamilton, David Murphy's days as an everyday player are over for now.
While the return of American League MVP Josh Hamilton and Boomstick wielding All Star Nelson Cruz dominate the headlines in Texas Ranger land this morning, it's important to note the tough win the Rangers scratched out yesterday in Philadelphia and how it helped to salvage a road trip that looks way more palatable with the win than it would have had the Rangers been swept.
MLB.com's Mike Radano recaps the Rangers win and Matt Harrison's solid start where he out-pitched one of the vaunted Philly Aces, Roy Oswalt.
Calvin Watkins has his reactions to the game and notes that even though the Rangers are hovering around .500 right now, they haven't been swept in a series so far this season.
Evan Grant writes behind the DMN paywall about how the Rangers have been surviving while injured thanks to their overachieving rotation.
Radano has some Rangers notes up at MLB.com about David Murphy and Ron Washington's lineups along with updates on Alexi Ogando's blister situation and Neftali Feliz's first outing since he failed in back-to-back save situations.
Evan Grant notes that the Rangers have had Michael Young work with Gary Pettis so that he can become an option in the outfield if needed.
Grant also reports that in addition to the getting Cruz and Hamilton back, it might not be too long before Julio Borbon returns. Borbon could come off the DL as soon as this coming Sunday.
The DMN's Ryan Jones takes a look at how the Top 10 Rangers prospects did this weeks. Well hello there Profar's walk rate. Would you like to get a drink later?
Finally, the Rangers have apparently expressed interest in Pittsburgh Pirate closer Joel Hanrahan according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. While the report says the Pirates aren't looking to move Hanrahan, it's interesting to already see rumors emerge on how the Rangers are actively attempting to improve their struggling bullpen.