With Peter Gammons thinking that Daisuke Matsuzaka will be out from 4-8 weeks recuperating a bad shoulder that resulted from his WBC stint, I'm wondering if that might also be the venue in which MaxRam hurt his wrist. Maybe the VZ team screwed him and the Rangers by not starting him for whatever reason,or maybe he got hurt after he left ST and they couldn't play him and he never told anyone upon his return. It would explain a lot. He knew he had much riding on the season and piling on a wrist injury on top of zero WBC playing (to the obvious frustration of team officials) time might have made him a bit reluctant to speak up. Hopefully he'll go on a tear in the next month and he'll learn from the whole (bad) experience. As for the Rangers, just say no to the WBC.
Manny Pina had a fastball glance of his left earflap getting a piece of his head in the process. He was taken out of the game as a precaution. No word on his status. Michael Kirkman had a ball hit off his ankle and was replaced in the game by Pedro Strop I believe. No word on Kirkman's status.
Strop (pronounced with a "hop" not a "hope", ruining my Srop-a-dope nick) apparently can't throw his fastball for strikes. That is to say, it is not a command issue, it is a control issue, which is much worse. Apparently his splitter is working great, but as Scott Garner noted in last night's broadcast, he has to get to it in order to throw it. He hasn't been able to do that since spring training to the great disappointment of all of the minor league minions (like us) out there.
Finally, can anyone please tell me why Mitch Moreland is batting second with Chad Tracy batting cleanup? Someone please email a "lineup efficiency" calculator up Frisco way and give them my regards.
I just have to give a shout out to my man Kyle O'Campo who I have hyped since he was drafted. A 13th round pick in 2007 who signed too late to make his debut that year (who also signed for 3/4rd money), Kyle had a stellar AZL debut last year putting up this line:
He features a low 90's fastball, 2 breaking pitches (the CB was plus in high school but he mainly threw a slider last year) and a developing change. Despite his stellar debut, good enough to make the LowA club in my estimation, he was not only held back a level but was also skipped over for the opener in favor of Robbie Ross despite being the man among teens. To add to this ignominy, none other than the great Matt Thompson and Ben Henry have now been awarded the 2nd and 3rd spots in the rotation. A man can't get no respect these days, not even from a smallish lefty (and a couple of pubescent righties).
Hang in there Kyle; I've got your back (chest thump, gang sign).
In what appear to be probably the last of the moves to balance out the 2 DSL clubs after the matriculation of quite a few players to the AZL club, the club made 4 moves. Pitchers Hector Herrera and Carlos Ramirez reassigned from DSL2 to DSL1 while
C Yefry Castillo and SS Jose Arias moved from DSL1 to DSL2. It appears that Castillo is being converted to the OF (LF).
The DSL teams have an abundance of catching prospects this year, most of them 2008 Venezuelan signs. As I suggested in a previous post, it appears that TX has tapped into some sort of VZ catching veign that they feel pretty confident in. Or, maybe they have a rep now for being the org that develops catching. Not having a VZ academy, I'm not sure how they swing this but they have.
The two veteran catchers of the DSL clubs are 19.6yo Dominican Alison Perez and the ni'gh pubescent 17.9yo VZ Gilberto Guarcucano - both are raking. Not too sure what to make of Perez as he was worthless at the plate his first 2 DSL years but he is doing well 1 month into 2009. Gilberto is a 2nd yr VZ and his early success at the plate bodes well for him now and in the future.
Gilberto is one of 5 VZ catchers on the DSL clubs this year with 4 rookies: Carlos Oropesa, Oswaldo Pirela, Carlos Torres, and Luis Cedeno. Given that Oropesa and Torres are converted 3B, it might indicate that there has been an organizational decision made to look for and develop potential catchers in that market. Venezolano Max Ramirez himself starterd off as a 3b after all so, who knows, maybe the next MazRam or Manny Pina are nestled in these new "crops on the farm". Just speculatin'.