Posted on: June 2, 2009 5:23 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 5:31 pm

Hamilton on DL, could need surgery

NEW YORK -- The Rangers put All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton on the disabled list today with an abdominal strain that could keep him out of action for anywhere from two weeks to two months.

Dr. John Preskitt, who examined Hamilton this afternoon in Dallas, prescribed 1-2 weeks of rest, along with anti-inflammatory drugs. Hamilton would be reevaluated at that point. Assistant general manager Thad Levine said the Rangers plan to get a second opinion.

While the Rangers believe there's a chance Hamilton could be ready to play in two weeks, they also acknowledge the possibility that he would need surgery.

"I think that represents the worst-case scenario," Levine said.

Hamilton was originally hurt colliding with the outfield wall while making a catch on May 17 against the Angels. He returned three days later, but the injury continued to bother him. After playing center field in both games of the Rangers' Friday doubleheader against the A's, Hamilton was the DH on Saturday and appeared only as a pinch hitter on Sunday.

Hamilton is hitting .240 with six home runs and 24 RBIs. The Rangers planned to replace him on the active roster with Brandon Boggs.

The Rangers have the American League's best record, at 30-20, but this is a big week for them, with three games in New York followed by three in Boston. The Rangers have benefitted from a weak schedule the first two months of the season (they're 5-10 against teams that currently have winning records), but the games with the Yankees and Red Sox will be followed by a week of home games against the Blue Jays and Dodgers.

"Everything that's successful in this game comes through New York and Boston -- and we want to be successful," manager Ron Washington said. "We're looking forward to the challenge."

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 1, 2009 12:16 pm

Another A-Rod allegation (not in the book)

This one's interesting.

Jeff Brantley, who was an Alex Rodriguez teammate on the 2001 Rangers, went on the Chris "Mad Dog" Russo show on Sirius XM radio and said he doesn't believe A-Rod tipped off opposing hitters about pitches. But he also said that Rangers teammate Randy Velarde tipped off A-Rod on pitches.

Here's what Brantley said, according to a transcript first posted on Neil Best's excellent Watchdog blog on the Newsday website:

“I played with A-Rod during that time. I was at Texas. The old Randy Velarde trick. Randy Velarde would get on first base. Of course, Velarde played for the Oakland Athletics [in 1999 and 2000] so he knew everything (sign) that was given behind home plate. Of course, [Ramon] Hernandez was back there at the time and had a little problem of leaving that front knee open and Velarde would get out there just enough to where he could give the pitch to A-Rod. And bada-bing, bada-bang, two, three[-run home run], sometimes grand slam. It happened a lot. There was a week, and you’ll recall this, early in the season of 2001 where A-Rod kind of burst on to the scene where he hit, I think he was the ‘Player of the Week’ and had about nine or ten home runs right out of the chute. Everybody was just marveling at what he was able to do. He didn’t get the call on every pitch but he got most of them. He knew the pitch was coming.”
True? Well, the numbers sure are interesting. According to research through baseball-reference.com , there were 14 times in 2001 that A-Rod batted with Velarde on first base for the Rangers and Hernandez catching for the A's.

In those 14 plate appearances, A-Rod went 6-for-11 with four home runs, with two walks, a sacrifice fly and 12 RBIs. In his other plate appearances in those same games (without Velarde on first), A-Rod was 2-for-7 with one home run.

Conclusive evidence? No. But still interesting.

Of course, it's not against baseball rules for a teammate to steal a sign and tip the batter off to a pitch.
Category: MLB
Posted on: December 9, 2008 6:33 pm

Rangers shopping everyone

LAS VEGAS -- Yes, it's true that the Rangers have shopped shortstop Michael Young at this week's winter meetings.

But it's not like the Rangers stopped there.

"You could have any player on their roster if you wanted," said an official of one team that has spoken to the Rangers.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 29, 2008 1:20 pm

Are Dodgers interested in Paul Byrd?

The Indians haven't been optimistic that they'll find someone to take Paul Byrd off their hands, but perhaps the Dodgers will bite.

A Dodger scout who had been in Cleveland watching Casey Blake was told to stay in town through Monday night's game, and he was watching as Byrd threw seven shutout innings against the Tigers.

Byrd is 4-10 with a 5.28 ERA, but he has won two straight games. The start before he beat the Tigers, he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels.

Besides, said another scout who watched Byrd Monday, he'd be an even better fit for a National League team.

"I would take Byrd, especially if I was a National League team, because the (other) NL teams haven't seen him," the scout said. "He pitched well (Monday). He would have beaten anybody."

The Denver Post has reported that the Rockies have talked to Cleveland about Byrd, but the Rockies did not have a scout watching him Monday night.


The Mariners have yet to make a trade, but  you'd think they should be able to make several before Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.

One name to keep in mind: Arthur Rhodes.

The veteran left-hander hasn't allowed a run in 11 2/3 innings since the end of May, and he was impressive in an inning Monday night in Texas. The Brewers, who definitely need bullpen help, were among the teams in attendance (so were the Tigers).

"He had a very good slider, he was throwing 92 and his arm angle was good," said a scout from another team. "He was outstanding."


The Mets have reason to be concerned about John Maine, who is to have an MRI on his right shoulder today in New York. While Maine didn't want to leave Monday night's game against the Marlins, Mets officials got worried when he had trouble getting loose in 85-degree heat.

The Mets do get one break if it turns out that Maine's injury isn't severe. With off days Thursday and Monday, and with Pedro Martinez returning to pitch this weekend, they could conceivably go nearly two more turns through the rotation before they would need to pitch Maine or find a replacement for him.

In any case, the Mets continue to chase both relief help and a corner outfielder. It's not clear which one should be a bigger priority. In fact, one Mets person said that seems to shift from day to day.


The Marlins keep looking for catching, but they keep running into roadblocks. They felt that Texas's price for Gerald Laird was too high, and when they asked the Giants about Bengie Molina, they were supposedly asked for three top prospects who they wouldn't give up.

Maybe they can revisit Pudge Rodriguez, especially if the Tigers have a couple more nights like Monday.
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