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April 28, 2004


APRIL 28: Activated OF BRIAN JORDAN from the Disabled List. Added pitcher DOUG BROCAIL to the 40-man roster and recalled him from AAA Oklahoma. Designated pitcher JOHN WASDIN and OF CHAD ALLEN for assignment.

Brian Jordan returns from the first of what could be several trips to the DL. The 37-year-old has taken an awfully long time to get over his knee surgery, and he may not ever be 100%. Wasdin gets exposed to waivers after his emergency start. Not that losing him would destroy the organization, but rather than risk losing him to make just one start, why not let Ryan Snare start a game and leave Wasdin in AAA for when he's needed for a longer stretch? Texas had to put Brocail on the active roster by May 1 or he could declare free agency. Brocail was a decent reliever circa 1999; arm troubles limited him to a handful of innings over the last three years. Flipping Wasdin for Brocail leaves Texas without a true long man.

Posted by Lucas at 01:25 PM

April 25, 2004


Added pitcher JOHN WASDIN to the 40-man roster and recalled him from AAA Oklahoma. Sent pitcher RYAN SNARE to AAA Oklahoma. Transferred pitcher MICKEY CALLAWAY from the 15-day to the 60-day Disabled List.

Snare enjoyed five days of Major League service time, including trips to and from glorious LAX, without having to throw a pitch. With Kenny Rogers down with the flu, Texas swallowed hard and added John Wasdin to the roster. Wasdin veritably defines the "4A" player, consistently excelling in the minors and never pitching well enough to hang on in the Majors. Callaway probably needs surgery, but even if he doesn't, forcing him off the squad until late July won't hurt anything. Three-fifths of the original starting rotation is on the DL; from his furnished apartment in Omaha, Glendon Rusch ponders what might have been.

Posted by Lucas at 01:24 PM

April 23, 2004


APRIL 23: Added OF CHAD ALLEN to the 40-man roster and recalled him from AAA Oklahoma. Sent OF RAMON NIVAR to AAA Oklahoma. Transfered pitcher JEFF ZIMMERMAN from the 15-day to the 60-day Disabled List.

All moves that should have been made before Opening Day. Letting 24-year-old Nivar rot on the bench (18 plate appearances in 16 games) didn't help him or the team; Texas will let him play every day in AAA where he belongs for now. Letting Chad Allen rot on the bench hurts no one except Chad Allen, whose opinion of these matters isn't relevant. Allen tore up AAA pitching; he won't tear up anything in the bigs but also can''t do any worse than the .433 OPS Nivar proferred. Allen also could play 1B in an emergency. Zimmerman won't return before July, and if Texas has to outright Allen at that time, well, so what.

Posted by Lucas at 01:24 PM

April 20, 2004


Placed pitcher COLBY LEWIS on the 15-day Disabled List, effective April 18th.. Recalled pitcher RYAN SNARE from AAA Oklahoma.

Lewis joins a crowded DL with a tight shoulder. Much like Teixeira, Lewis doesn't appear to be seriously hurt but does have an injury that can linger and worsen without a couple weeks rest. And like Adrian Gonzalez, Snare isn't ready for prime time but Texas needed to recall someone already on the 40-man roster to hold the fort until Brian Shouse returns in the next week or so.

Posted by Lucas at 01:23 PM

April 16, 2004


Placed 1B MARK TEIXEIRA on the 15-day Disabled List effective April 13th. Recalled 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ from AAA Oklahoma.

Teixeira goes down with the dreaded oblique pull. Having a pulled side muscle is a real problem for those who violently swing a bat, and the same injury felled Kevin Mench for nearly a month. For a team that used to be drowning in 1B/DH types, the replacement bin is remarkably bare now. Texas doesn't want to risk injury to Brad Fullmer, so perpetually sore Herbert Perry will start there with Adrian Gonzalez as a caddy. Gonzalez still hold the moniker of "prized prospect" but has yet to produce above AA. He'll return to the minors as soon as Teixeira returns.

Posted by Lucas at 01:22 PM

April 14, 2004


Placed pitcher MICKEY CALLAWAY on the 15-day Disabled List. Recalled pitcher RYAN DRESE from AAA Oklahoma.

Callaway felt tightness in his forearm during the previous day's start. Drese gets another chance, possibly his last, to prove himself worthy of a Major League job. Drese will begin in long relief but may start in place of Callaway when the 5th starter slot comes up again.

Posted by Lucas at 01:22 PM

April 08, 2004


Claimed pitcher CORY VANCE off waivers from Colorado.

Colorado had a roster crunch that forced some unpalatable decisions. Essentially, they gave up on the 24-year-old and 4th-round pick Vance to keep Denny Hocking. Vance struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings as Mark Teixeira's teammate with Georgia Tech in 2000. Then, he struck out 8.3 per nine in A, 6.8 per nine in AA, 5.5 per nine in AAA, and 3.8 per nine in limited play in the Majors. See a pattern? Vance hasn't done anything special above A-ball and probably won't ever pan out, but Texas had an extra roster spot and was wise to use it on him. He should join a pretty solid rotation in AAA Oklahoma.

Posted by Lucas at 01:21 PM

April 07, 2004


Released outfielder JASON TYNER. Signed outfielder GARY MATTHEWS JR. to a minor-league contract.

The Jason Tyner Era comes to an ignominious close. Tyner actually occupied Texas's 40-man roster for a few weeks. Texas made a definitive upgrade in their outfield depth, as Matthews switch-hits and can play any outfield spot. Matthews is nothing special but does have a career OBP and slugging percentage above .300, which is more than can be said of Tyner.

Posted by Lucas at 12:50 PM

April 04, 2004


Signed 2B/SS MICHAEL YOUNG to a 4-year, $10 million contract.

Texas buys out his arbitration years and retains an option for his first year of free agency. I'm skeptical that Young will hit as well as he did last year, but if he can hit .280/.330/.440 as a slick-fielding shortstop, he's worth the money.

Posted by Lucas at 12:09 PM

April 03, 2004


Traded catcher EINAR DIAZ and pitcher JUSTIN ECHOLS for catcher JOSH MCKINLEY and pitcher CHRIS YOUNG.

Getting anything, anything at all, for Diaz makes for a fine trade. Texas will pay $2 million of Diaz's $2.5 million salary but avoids his $400,000 buyout next year. None of the prospects has a strong chance of making the Majors. Echols and Young have similar upsides. McKinley will start in AA.

Posted by Lucas at 12:08 PM

April 02, 2004


Placed pitcher BRIAN SHOUSE on the 15-day Disabled List. Placed OF BRIAN JORDAN on the 15-day Disabled List.

Shouse has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder (for that matter, so do I, and it's no fun), while Jordan is still recovering from his knee surgery and related ailments. Jordan will miss at least two weeks, probably more. I liked his signing despite believing he'd miss some games. The problem with missing games now is that he needed a good start if Texas were to have any chance at all of flipping him for a Grade B prospect. As a result of these injuries, Ramon Nivar and Erasmo Ramirez get to open the season in Oakland instead of Oklahoma.

Posted by Lucas at 12:07 PM

April 01, 2004


Placed OF RUSTY GREER on the 60-day Disabled List. Placed pitcher JEFF ZIMMERMAN on the 15-day Disabled List.

Greer hasn't played since June 2002 and won't play at all this season. Zimmerman's arm locked up yet again and he's looking at exploratory surgery. He won't be back until mid-season at best, and I don't count on him throwing a pitch this season. Texas will move him to the 60-day DL if they need another roster spot.

Posted by Lucas at 12:07 PM