The trade.

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While Elvis Andrus is showing, one day and one play and
one plate appearance at a time, that he belongs at this level, and Matt
Harrison’s last 10 innings suggest that he’s figured something out, and Jarrod
Saltalamacchia has found a hitting groove (.382/.417/.500 over the last two
weeks) and improved defensively, and Neftali Feliz has struggled in AAA but
remains a monster pitching prospect, and Beau Jones has quietly punched out 13
hitters in 11.2 Frisco innings, it’s less notable to me that notoriously slow
starter Mark Teixeira is hitting .198/.339/.396, and more significant that Casey
Kotchman (.313/.377/.458) has one home run and six RBI as Atlanta’s everyday
first baseman (the same as Braves utility infielder Martin Prado, whose has a
third of the plate appearances) and right-handed reliever Stephen Marek has an
8.68 ERA for the Braves’ AA affiliate in Mississippi, where opponents are
hitting .350/.431/.525 off him.

 

It may be too soon to say whether that was a Herschel
Walker Trade for the Rangers, but at this point I think it’s safe to that it was
for Atlanta, who I suspect, if given the chance, would swiftly trade the
26-year-old Kotchman and 25-year-old Marek for any one of the first four players the club
traded to Texas for Teixeira two July’s ago, since which time the Braves missed
the playoffs for the second and third times in 14 seasons (with Teixeira) and
now sit in fourth place in the tightly bunched National League East, seventh in
the NL Wild Card race. 

 

You can make the argument that (notwithstanding Brian
McCann’s injury) none of the players Atlanta traded to Texas would fill a
desperate need at the moment, but imagine how much brighter that franchise’s
immediate outlook would be if Andrus, Harrison, Saltalamacchia, Feliz, and Jones
were still Braves property – or traded in different deals that were better
designed to sustain the long term, if not improve it.  (Cf., Travis Hafner
2002.)

 

Harrison, who goes tonight, officially has a personal
catcher.  Ron Washington acknowledged yesterday that Taylor Teagarden will catch
the lefthander tonight and serve as Harrison’s
battery mate until further notice. 

 

This isn’t about familiarity, but results.  Harrison and
Saltalamacchia were teammates in the Gulf Coast League (2003) and Southern
League (2006 and 2007) while with Atlanta, and in
Texas last
year and this year.  Teagarden has caught Harrison only seven times: twice with
Frisco last April (4.70 ERA), twice with Oklahoma last June (3.55 ERA), one with Texas last September (Harrison’s complete-game, five-hit
shutout), and Harrison’s last two starts with Texas, which include the 10 consecutive
scoreless innings.  Harrison’s ERA in the three
2009 games in which he was paired up with Saltalamacchia: 9.20
ERA.

 

Facing the prospect-studded San Jose Giants last night,
Bakersfield
righthander Blake Beavan fired a complete game, scattering four singles and a
walk while fanning five.  He gave up three runs – all unearned – and needed
somewhere between 104 and 107 pitches, an extremely economical total, becoming
just the second pitcher all year to go the distance in the 10-team California
League.  The longest Beavan had gone as a pro before last night’s gem was seven
innings, which he did twice in 2008.

 

Hickory righthander
Fabio Castillo fired 2.2 scoreless innings last night, maintaining his 0.00 ERA
for the season.  In 14 Crawdads innings, all in relief, the 20-year-old has
allowed three unearned runs (all in one inning on Saturday) on 13 hits (10
singles, three doubles) and eight walks, striking out 14.  Right-handed hitters
have helplessly compiled a slash line of .194/.324/.226, and all opponents have
managed to hit just .182/.289/.212 off Castillo with runners on base. 

 

Scott has covered the stack of moves the Rangers have
made in the last few days with the AAA and AA squads, including the return to
the RedHawks of first baseman Nate Gold, who had a stint in Taiwan.

 

More bloggy
greatness from Beau Vaughan
, whose interview victim this time is former Red
Sox minor league teammate (and occasional subject of Rangers off-season trade
rumors) Daniel Bard, the flame-throwing reliever who remains in the Boston system.  The
Houston native
has 29 strikeouts and five walks in 16 innings for AAA Pawtucket, yielding just
six hits and allowing only two runs – both on solo
homers.

 

The Rangers released righthander Dan Sattler, who signed
as a draft-and-follow in 2007 after Texas took him in the 44th round
out of Purdue in 2006.  Appearing 61 times in relief between Spokane, Clinton, and
Bakersfield in
2007 and 2008, the 25-year-old posted a 3.51 ERA with 10 strikeouts per nine
innings and a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

 

Finally, a bittersweet farewell to Kat O’Brien, who has
decided to leave the Newsday
Yankees beat in order to attend the University of Pennsylvania.  The former Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer will leave
a void in the baseball writing industry but, after she earns a dual degree at
Penn (an MBA from Wharton and a Masters of Arts in International Studies from
the Lauder Institute), will certainly star in whatever she chooses to do
next.

 

Jamey

 

 

 

2 Comments

i still believe the texas rangers need a manager. ibelieve a. jones (ss) should be lead off hitter at the very least he looks at more than one pitch my batting order would be a. jones, murphy, young, hamilton, cruz, byrd, kinser, 1ST base, catcher. it seems that kinser has lost all patience at the plate, he continues to try to pull everthing, take a good look at la’s lead off batter. he goes to all field . and most of all he seems to know what it takes to win games. something that kinser,nor manager ron washington have yet to learn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! trackerut@aol.com

i still believe the texas rangers need a manager. ibelieve a. jones (ss) should be lead off hitter at the very least he looks at more than one pitch my batting order would be a. jones, murphy, young, hamilton, cruz, byrd, kinser, 1ST base, catcher. it seems that kinser has lost all patience at the plate, he continues to try to pull everthing, take a good look at la’s lead off batter. he goes to all field . and most of all he seems to know what it takes to win games. something that kinser,nor manager ron washington have yet to learn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! trackerut@aol.com

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