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September 19, 2004


SEPTEMBER 19: Added pitcher KAMERON LOE and outfielder CHAD ALLEN to the 40-man roster and recalled them from AAA Oklahoma. Placed pitcher JUAN DOMINGUEZ on the 60-day disabled list. Designated pitcher SAM NARRON for assignment.

Back on July 31, when Texas optioned Narron to AAA after one start, I wrote: "Will Sam Narron become a capable Major Leaguer? Probably not, but in any case, Texas has added him to the roster and burned one of his options for nothing." Now, Texas has waived him for nothing. Again, Narron probably won't evolve into a worthwhile pitcher on the big-league level, and perhaps no team will claim him. Narron showed good command in his first season in AAA but was hittable (10.9 per nine IP) and featured a dismal strikeout rate (2.7 per nine). His pitches were slow as molasses in his ML debut. However, Narron is only 23 and had never pitched above high-A until this season. Might he evolve into a worthwhile pitcher? He might.

Texas has used ML transaction rules smartly and to its advantage all season, even cobbling together a functional starting rotation out of table scraps. This time, they waived a pitcher with at least some promise for a fifth outfielder because Gary Matthews and (to a lesser extent) Kevin Mench are hobbled. Yes, Alfonso Soriano is hurt, but Eric Young is a second baseman by trade, so does the active roster require the presence of both Andy Fox and Manny Alexander? Why not just waive one of them? Why not waive Ken Huckaby? It's not (potentially) losing Narron that worries me, it's the foreboding of equally short-sighted transactions involving players of far greater potential.

Dominguez only has a sore knee and wouldn't ordinarily merit being marooned on the 60-day DL, but with only two weeks left in the season and roster spots at an apparent premium, Texas will mothball him until 2005. Loe is a 23-year-old with much more promise than Narron. The 6'8" Loe struck out 7.5 per nine IP between AA and AAA and kept the ball in the park. Texas will use him in long relief.

Posted by Lucas at September 19, 2004 03:45 PM