2009 MLB American League West Notebook
It could only happen to the Texas Rangers.
A pitcher appears in a baseball game without his own jersey and has to use a jersey for somebody who was about to leave the organization.
Since the Rangers moved from Washington, D.C. to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1972, these kinds of things keep happening.
During the Rangers 8-7 11-inning loss at Toronto on April 22, the sidewinder Darren O'Day arrived in the 10th inning after the Rangers claimed him on waivers from the New York Mets.
But when he arrived at the Rogers Center, the club did not have a jersey with his name on it. So the team gave him Kason Gabbard's No. 30. Gabbard, who wasn't even with the team, was sold back to Boston the next day.
He warmed up in the 11th inning when the Blue Jays were threatening. When Toronto's Vernon Wells asked friend Michael Young who was in the bullpen, Young said he had no idea. Manager Ron Washington summoned O'Day who met his teammates for the first time as he got the ball. Smiles and laughter followed.
Unfortuantely, O'Day served up the game-winning hit to the Blue Jays' Kevin Millar. Millar doubled home Wells. But O'Day's arrivals pinpoints some of the problems the Rangers have with their pitching. The team ERA is 6.21 running in the bottom five in baseball.
Plus, long reliever Willie Eyre went on the disabled list with a groin problem. Luis Mendoza was recalled.
We're not even three full weeks into the season and manager Mike Scioscia was about to work on his eighth different starting pitcher.
Matt Palmer became No. 7 when he pitched against and beat Detroit on April 23. Left-hander Darren Oliver was the sixth different starter, but he just went on the disabled list with a triceps issue.
As the Angels prepared to play at Seattle this weekend, they had the dreaded TBD scheduled for Saturday. Scioscia only would say the team had somebody in mind.
What the Angels do know is that right-hander Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list, right-hander John Lackey (elbow) isn't expected back until May and right-hander Dustin Moseley (elbow) just went on the 15-day disabled list, and isn't expected back until early May.
While there is so much anticipation about what the Athletics can do this season, the 5-9 start before a weekend home series with Tampa Bay certainly didn't offer any validation.
Tha A's have scored the fourth fewest runs in baseball with 57. Only Houston, Arizona and San Francisco have scored fewer times. Last week, this entry revealed the shocking low home run total was when it was at three.
Well, the number climbed all the way up to four.
Couple that with a .232 batting average and you can see why General Manager Billy Beane and manager Bob Geren are more than a little concerned.
Two of the bigger bats in Jason Giambi and Orlando Cabrera were hitting .204 and .211 respectively. Cabrera needed a bunt single Wednesday in New York just to snap an 0-for-18 slide.
It kind of went unnoticed last December when the Mariners hooked up with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians in a three-way trade that netted them Endy Chavez.
But the 31-year-old outfielder has combined with Ichiro to offer a pretty good 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup. Chavez already has six multi-hit games and carried a pretty impressive .344 batting average into the weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Chavez's biggest problem is that since he is an outfielder, he needs to hit with some power. Well, the most he has hit is four back in 2006 with the Mets. Hence, the lack of consistent playing time. For now, manager Don Wakamatsu is content with Chavez playing in left.
In an unrelated note, the Mariners have already won two 1-0 games. The most recent was April 23 against Tampa Bay.
By Kevin Lonnquist
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