NEWBERG REPORT ALERT — MARCH 24, 2007

Fascinating. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are taking the unconventional step of optioning Edinson Volquez to High A Bakersfield, a level at which he last pitched in the first part of 2005, when he embarked on a breakthrough season that ended in Arlington.

The Rangers are hoping that Volquez will correct the command issues that dogged him last year and this spring by returning to a lower-pressure environment, one that doesn’t promise an imminent return to the big leagues.

The most well-known precedent for this sort of move was when Toronto sent an out-of-whack Roy Halladay, then a veteran of parts of three big league seasons, to High A Dunedin to begin the 2001 season. Halladay methodically worked his way back to Toronto that year, after pitching at AA and AAA as well, and since then he has gone 82-34, 3.17, including his Cy Young season in 2003.

Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor was Toronto’s pitching coach in 2001.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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