Chris Davis debuted in the major leagues one month ago today. Since his arrival, these are the American League leaders in slugging percentage:
Oh, and all those concerns about whether Davis was equipped to handle left-handed pitching at this level? In 28 at-bats, he’s hitting .393/.452/1.000, with four home runs, three doubles, one triple, and three singles.
The lefties Davis has taken deep are the following scrubs: Mark Buehrle, Joe Saunders, Jamie Moyer, and Alan Embree.
Josh Hamilton is the second player in Rangers history to reach 100 RBI in fewer than 99 games played. Juan Gonzalez did it three times.
No other American League hitter has more than 76 RBI.
Since July 5, when he reached 383 plate appearances, a lifetime high at any level of baseball, Hamilton is hitting .308/.361/.554 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 15 games. Is that worth keeping tabs on? I don’t know.
Edinson Volquez over the last month: 2-2, 5.97 in six starts.
The box score doesn’t look great, but that’s less important when there are scouts in the stands. A lot of the hits Vicente Padilla gave up last night (six of seven came in the ugly third) were poorly struck, and he did retire the last nine hitters he faced.
Kevin Millwood is evidently headed back to the disabled list with a groin strain. Eric Hurley will come off the disabled list to start tomorrow.
German Duran will miss six to eight weeks after tearing a ligament in his left thumb on a slide into second base on Tuesday night. That puts him back in action sometime in September, when the RedHawks’ season is likely over. I expect we’ll see him back in Arlington (rosters will have expanded by then) to get some reps in so he can go into the winter without any uncertainty about his thumb.
Bad break for Duran, who finishes the greatest baseball year of his life as a .225/.279/.363 hitter in 102 major league at-bats, primarily playing a position he’d never played and playing it well and fearlessly, and a .243/.288/.378 hitter in 74 AAA at-bats.
I bet Duran reminds Ron Washington of himself.
Joaquin Benoit had a forgettable return to the mound last night, making a rehab appearance for Frisco and retiring none of the five San Antonio hitters he faced. Three singled and two walked.
Righthander Joselo Diaz cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Oklahoma.
The Rangers promoted lefthander Beau Jones to Frisco and lefthander Glenn Swanson to Bakersfield. Jones, widely considered the fifth of five prospects acquired in last July’s Mark Teixeira trade, had a 2.93 ERA with Bakersfield this year, but the bigger story is what he did after a shift from the Blaze rotation to the bullpen in early June. The 21-year-old Jones (who I pegged in June as the system’s top left-handed reliever prospect in my “In Their Footsteps” column for MLB.com: http://tinyurl.com/6js34w) has a 1.11 ERA as a reliever this season, with 29 strikeouts, 10 unintentional walks, no home runs, a .202 opponents’ batting average, and a 1.22 groundout-to-flyout rate in 24.1 innings.
Swanson was in the midst of a Derek Holland-esque breakthrough in 2007 before succumbing to Tommy John surgery 13 months ago. He gave up two runs on eight hits and no walks in four innings last night for the Blaze, striking out seven, after surrendering three earned runs on 11 hits and two walks (with 15 strikeouts) in 20 rehab innings for the Arizona League squad and Spokane.
Teams on which third baseman-outfielder Fernando Tatis and righthander Brandon Knight have been teammates:
* the 1995 Charleston RiverDogs (Low A)
* the 1996 Charlotte Rangers (High A)
* the 1997 Tulsa Drillers (AA)
* the 2008 New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA)
* the 2008 New York Mets (NL)
The 32-year-old Knight, taken by Texas in the 14th round in 1996, was 5-1, 1.60 in five AAA starts and six relief appearances this summer, holding opponents to a .172 batting average with 49 strikeouts and 10 walks in 39.1 innings.
Another southpaw reliever and another outfielder moved yesterday (Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from Pittsburgh to the Yankees). It’s good for those teams who have their own southpaw relievers and outfielders available to trade every time others come off the board, especially this far out from Thursday’s deadline.
Another good thing for teams considering trading veterans is that the Yankees have won seven straight, cutting their six-game deficit in the East in half. Not only are they unquestionably back in as buyers now, but their surge and the Marte-Nady acquisitions also turn the temperature up on Boston and Tampa Bay to do something.
Mets prospect Fernando Martinez reinjured a hamstring in his AA game yesterday, which presumably increases the odds that New York trades for an outfielder.
The Mets reportedly want Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, or Casey Blake, but do they really have enough firepower to go in one of those directions without compromising their big league roster?
Arizona League lefthander Geuris Grullon has a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 relief innings, but here’s the crazy part: his groundout-to-flyout rate is 8.00. Anything over 2.00 is notable, anything over 4.00 is elite. The 6’5″ 18-year-old posted a 2.64 rate last season in the same league. In 30.2 pro innings, he has yet to surrender a home run.
Rusty Greer is joining the Texas Wesleyan coaching staff.
Rudy Jaramillo had left knee surgery yesterday and won’t return to the dugout full-time until September. Minor league hitting coordinator Mike Boulanger will continue to fill in as Jaramillo’s replacement.
Speaking of Rudy: Gary Matthews Jr. is hitting .182/.267/.234 since June 13 and is no longer a starting major league outfielder. He’s making $9 million this year, will make $10 million in 2009, will make $11 million in 2010, and will make $12 million in 2011.
The Rangers acquired high school righthanders Michael Main and Neil Ramirez for the loss of Matthews.
Laura Purcell, curator of the Sports Museum of America in New York City, has extended Newberg Report readers the following offer: if you go to http://www.sportsmuseum.com and use the code SMA80, you will get a $5 coupon to use towards admission to the museum. You can also call 888-SMA-TKTS and mention code SMA80 to get the discount.
No TV for the Rangers this afternoon. Join Eric and Victor for the radio call at 3:00, as Texas tries to bolster Oakland’s hold on third place.