Stuff.

Three games in 19 hours, followed by 76 hours of no baseball, and then, weather permitting, three more games over 23 hours or so.  Craziness.

Josh Hamilton was in California yesterday to see Dr. Robert Watkins, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in back injuries, because of the pinched nerve in his lower back.  Hamilton had a third nerve root injection administered and could remain out until Friday’s opener with the Angels, if not longer.  

That was the targeted return date for Michael Young as well, and there seems to be more optimism that he’ll be back on schedule.

Lefthander Matt Harrison threw 30 pitches yesterday, without pain or numbness, and will throw again tomorrow, but he won’t return this season.

Bakersfield lost the opener of its best-of-three playoff series against Modesto but won the next two, advancing to Round Two of the California League playoffs against San Jose.  Scott will have more in his daily recaps.

Team USA first baseman Justin Smoak the last two days in World Cup competition: 5 for 9, with two walks, and all of his hits for extra bases, including three home runs – two from the right side and one from the left.  He tweaked his wrist on a collision with a Germany baserunner yesterday and sat out this morning’s 8-0 win over China.

A good article on Neftali Feliz: http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-09-10/news/neftali-feliz-is-a-fireballin-pitching-phenom-who-has-brought-the-surprising-texas-rangers-christmas-in-september/

A less enjoyable article on the Rangers’ April Fools’ Day 1982 trade for Lee Mazzilli: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090910&content_id=6899360&vkey=news_nym&fext=.jsp&c_id=nym&partnerId=rss_nym

The Rangers named Bakersfield righthander Tanner Roark the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for August, Frisco first baseman Chad Tracy the Minor League Player of the Month, and Arizona League shortstop Edwin Garcia the Minor League Defender of the Month.

Baseball America’s season-ending Hot Sheet (“20 prospects who we felt stood out from the crowd this season . . . a combination of prospect status and performance”) included Frisco lefthander Martin Perez at number 17.  Said BA about the 18-year-old Perez’s four-month run with Hickory: “With a low- to mid-90s fastball that touches 96 mph and a plus curveball, Perez made most [South Atlantic League] hitters look like they were the inexperienced ones.”

A note from a reader that I thought was worth sharing: Tampa Bay is now 18.5 games out of first in the AL East, and 9.5 games back in the Wild Card chase.  The Rays, who exploded onto the scene last year with pitching and defense and a young team certain to get better, are basically done for the year.

Remember that.  There are no guarantees.  

As the reader put it: “Just because the Rangers are young and next year was suppose to be ‘the year,’ we should not underappreciate what is happening now.  Winning is hard even for good teams.  Enjoy this September because it may not come around again for a while . . . .”

I’m going to be there tonight, and three times in five days.  No more rain.  

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(c) Jamey Newberg
http://www.newbergreport.com
Twitter  @newbergreport

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