Hitting coach interviews underway.
According to local reports, the Rangers have begun interviewing candidates to replace Rudy Jaramillo as Rangers hitting coach, and among those whom the club has talked to is Rusty Greer.
Others characterized as “potential candidates” (among a field that could include as many as eight) are Oklahoma City hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and former big league hitting instructors Thad Bosley, Gerald Perry, Rick Down, and Carney Lansford.
Bill Mitchell wrote an excellent feature for Baseball America on AFL teammates Tanner Scheppers and Aaron Crow, whose paths to pro ball share some similarities. Check it out.
Mitchell adds that Taylor Teagarden’s arrival on the Surprise Rafters roster was brought about by an injury to Yankees catcher prospect Austin Romine. ESPN’s Jason Grey reports that New York had the right to send a catcher to replace Romine but declined, leaving the door open for Texas to delegate Teagarden. According to Grey, the Rangers wanted Teagarden to play winter ball in an effort to get more at-bats, but he jumped at the opportunity to play in the AFL, which he’d done after his breakout 2007 season. The 25-year-old acknowledges the need to work offensively on his timing, bat path, plate coverage, and pitch recognition.
Matt Harrison threw two innings for the Rafters yesterday, permitting two runs on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman, fanning two. It was his first game action since August surgery to address his thoracic outlet syndrome.
Among the pitchers who relieved Harrison were Danny Gutierrez (two runs in two innings, four strikeouts), Tanner Scheppers (three runs in two innings, two strikeouts and three groundouts), and Evan Reed (one perfect frame, two groundouts and a strikeout), each of whom threw roughly two-thirds of his pitches for strikes.
Starting for Phoenix was Stephen Strasburg, who limited Surprise to a run on one hit and two walks (including one earned by Mitch Moreland) in 4.1 innings, setting five down on strikes.
Washington named Jay Robertson special assistant to general manager Mike Rizzo.
New San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer’s first move was to dismiss vice president of scouting and player development Grady Fuson. Fuson, who had been with the Padres for five years, was under contract through the 2010 season.
The Royals promoted Kyle Turner from minor league medical coordinator to assistant big league trainer. He’s been with Kansas City for three seasons, after a seven-year run in the Rangers system.
Fourth outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., three years and $27 million into a five-year, $50 million Angels contract, would like to be traded. His plate appearances in Los Angeles have gone from 579 to 477 to 360 in his three Angels seasons, over which he’s a .248/.325/.383 hitter, which is almost exactly what he was over the five seasons (.242/.324/.371) he played before coming to Texas, where he hit .285/.349/.468 from 2004 through 2006 and hit the free agency jackpot, leaving the Rangers righthanders Michael Main and Neil Ramirez as compensatory parting gifts.
A crusty, crotchety baseball writer from the mainstream media told me, almost a decade ago, that you can never put any stock in a baseball writer not from the mainstream media. (I think he was referring to me, qualifying the one-way conversation as trash talk.)
Yesterday that conversation came to mind when a number of you were quick to point out that Garrett Nash was not only not the highest-draft player in the history of the state of Utah, but (according to one of you) he actually sits at 41st on that list.
I’m embarrassed about the mistake, having foolishly trusted this article: http://www.collegebaseballprospects.net/2008/01/prospect-watch-garrett-nash.html. Maybe, before rolling with the Nash note, I should have given weight to the fact that that website hasn’t published an article since May of 2008.
Maybe (for once), Crusty McCrotchety was right.
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(c) Jamey Newberg