THE NEWBERG REPORT — May 8, 2008

Erik
Bedard came into the game holding right-handed hitters to a .123 batting
average this season.  He was 4-1, 2.42
lifetime against Texas. 

Brandon
Boggs, obviously having never seen Bedard, had as many hits off the star
lefthander as Seattle
had off the Rangers altogether.  Boggs’s two-out
triple in the fourth to break a scoreless tie was absolutely tattooed.  He made Bedard throw five pitches in each of
their three matchups, and then forced Arthur Rhodes to throw eight pitches in
the eighth even though the veteran reliever started the rookie out 0-2.

Word
is that Marlon Byrd is a couple days from heading out on a rehab assignment
that, assuming no setbacks, shouldn’t last more than a few days.

But
the way Boggs (.313/.343/.500) is playing, can you really send him out? 

Michael
Young is reportedly day-to-day with the sore left hip flexor he began to
experience in batting practice and then aggravated in his first-inning at-bat.

My
only disappointment as far as Vicente Padilla’s night was concerned was that he
wasn’t given the opportunity to pitch the eighth (after just 91 pitches), but on
the other hand, we’ve got to get Joaquin Benoit straightened out.  Padilla, who won six games in 2007, already
has five victories in 2008.  His seventh
inning was one of the most exhilarating performances by a Rangers pitcher in a long
time.  After issuing his only two walks
of the night to start the frame, he looked like an Ace.  Not the ace of the Rangers staff, but an Ace.

If
Padilla’s next 15 starts go anything like his first eight have, it’s going to
be fascinating to see whether the Rangers act on the trade offers they’re sure
to field for him at the trade deadline.  He’s
under contract for 2009 at $12 million and has a club option for $12 million in
2010 (with a $1.75 million buyout).  The
way he is pitching now, the way he is in command of the game when he is on the
mound, trading him may seem like a foolish thing to consider, but his history
of inconsistency – maddening inconsistency at times – may make him the kind of player
that you’d want to sell high on, even if that’s something that as a fan you’d
rather overlook when he’s dealing like this. 
I’ve been looking forward to his starts more than any Rangers starter in
years.  Right now, he’s worth what his
contract pays.

And
Boggs is worth well more than his league-minimum $390,000.

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

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