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August 16, 2005


Texas had added relievers JUSTIN THOMPSON and SCOTT FELDMAN to the 40-man roster and recalled them from AAA and AA, respectively. Texas also optioned reliever KEVIN GRYBOSKI to AAA and designated swingman JAMES BALDWIN for assignment.

The transactional equivalent of the fifth stage of grief. The Rangers could have made these moves weeks ago with no appreciable effect on their situation, but grabbing a former All-Star off waivers and trading a demi-prospect for a reliever denotes bold activity, while calling up mildly effective relievers from your own farm system conveys weakness and torpor. Now, Texas has commenced with learning who might contribute to the team in 2006.

Nabbing Baldwin off waivers from Baltimore had some merit. Texas needed someone who could chew several innings in relief and start in an emergency. He didn’t pitch any worse than Doug Brocail or Steve Karsay.

The Kevin Gryboski era seemingly concludes with a thud. Gryboski doesn’t provide much but at least should have been an upgrade on C.J. Wilson, whom he replaced. In fact, Wilson rejoined the team ten days later and Gryboski has pitched worse, a difficult and dubious achievement. Management must now glumly hope that Atlanta can’t make a pitcher out of Matt Lorenzo.

Texas acquired then-26-year-old Justin Thompson in 1999 as part of the Juan Gonzalez deal. A variety of arm troubles has prevented him from pitching in the Majors since August of 1999. To their credit, Texas has shown incredible patience with him. To his credit, he’s continued to sign minor-league contracts with Texas. Thompson counteracts an average strikeout rate with excellent control and an ability to keep the ball in the yard. Whatever happens on the mound, he deserves all the credit in the world for his perseverance. I hope he succeeds.

Feldman becomes the first Ranger draft pick from 2003 to join the 40 and the active roster. He has a pretty 2.54 ERA in 57 innings at AA Frisco, but the peripherals are not all sunshine and lollipops. Feldman has allowed only one homer per nineteen innings pitched. He also has a rather bland 23 BB / 37 SO ratio, and much of his success derives from a .227 average on balls in play, a trend he can’t hope to continue in Arlington.

Posted by Lucas at August 16, 2005 04:12 PM