When the Rangers’ four full-season minor league clubs kick
their seasons off this Thursday, the top three on the road and new affiliate Hickory at home, these
are the rotations they’ll go forward with out of the gate (alphabetically), according
to at least one local beat writer:
AAA Oklahoma City: Neftali
Feliz, Derek Holland, Doug Mathis, Luis Mendoza, and Elizardo Ramirez. Thomas Diamond starts out in the bullpen. I’ve seen it reported in one story that Dustin
Nippert will rehab at Oklahoma City,
in another story that it will be in Frisco.
We’ll know soon enough.
AA Frisco: Jared
Hyatt, Kasey Kiker, Guillermo Moscoso, Omar Poveda, and Michael Schlact. Presumably Tommy Hunter slides into this mix
once he’s healthy.
High A Bakersfield: Blake
Beavan, Kennil Gomez, Michael Kirkman, Michael Main, and Tim Murphy. Corey Young will evidently begin his 2009
season in the Blaze pen. (He won’t
finish it there.)
Low A Hickory: Unclear. Wilfredo Boscan, Jacob Brigham, and Martin
Perez will be on the staff but their innings will reportedly be limited at
first. Richard Bleier, Carlos Pimentel, and
Cliff Springston will be on the staff as well.
There’s also been at least one unofficial blog suggesting Wilmer Font
will start the year with the Crawdads.
Neil Ramirez is being held back in extended spring training
with an elbow issue. Joe Wieland also
starts out at extended (no apparent injury issue) but could join Hickory sometime
this month – not a surprise since he was in high school this time last year. Texas
implemented the same plan with Kasey Kiker in 2007 and Blake Beavan in 2008,
holding them back in extended for a bit before getting their regular seasons
underway. No word on Fabio
Presumably (and not surprisingly), Carlos Melo, Robbie Ross,
and Richard Alvarez will begin the season in extended, and we may not see them
in official game action until the short-season leagues get underway in June.
As for the big league roster, it occurred to me that Texas could add Elvis
Andrus, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, Jason Jennings, and Eddie Guardado today,
filling the 40-man roster, and wait until Friday to purchase Kris Benson’s contract,
but it appears that Benson has now been added already. So someone is going to have to come off the
Once that move is announced, I’ll send out a flash.
I’m pleased to report that Ron Washington plans to have
Nelson Cruz (hitting fourth), Hank Blalock (hitting fifth), and Chris Davis (seventh)
in tomorrow’s starting lineup against Cleveland
lefthander Cliff Lee. Andruw Jones will
be introduced with everyone else before gametime, but then he’ll watch the game
from the dugout, at least until Elvis Andrus is set to face Rafael Perez in the
seventh or eighth.