Remember what I said in my last post about there still being a shred of hope left that the Rangers might come to their senses about Jarrod Saltalamacchia vs. Gerald Laird? Forget about it. Salty has been sent to AAA, and Gerald Laird and Adam Melhuse have been tabbed as the organization’s catching tandem.
We all knew this was coming, but it’s still dissapointing. I won’t go into the whole argument of why I think this is the wrong move again – but Salty was one of the players I was most excited about coming into this year, and it’s exceedingly dissapointing that instead of watching Salty take aim at the right (or left) field fence with his sweet stroke, I get to watch what is likely going to be one of the worst, if not the worst offensive catching duo’s in the Majors.
But really, my question is this: does this mean that the Rangers have to stop running their "There are no short gym shorts in baseball" ad, which highlights Salty?
In other news, the Rangers have announced that 5th starter Luis Mendoza will start the season on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger, but should be ready to pitch on April 12th. By my count, he’ll come off the DL on April 11th, so this actually fits right into the Rangers plans, rather than puts a kink in them.
They also optioned Kameron Loe to the minors today, and told Josh Rupe he had made the bullpen, leaving only one more spot in contention. Apparently, Rupe really impressed the Rangers on Tuesday, when he fired two scoreless innings against the Mariners – his appointment over Wes Littleton comes as a mild suprise, as Littleton has been a favorite for the bullpen seemingly all spring – but Rupe’s a guy with pretty good stuff, and seems to have taken pretty well to bullpen work this spring after two injury-riddled years as a starting prospect for the Rangers. In my opinion, he could turn out to be a pleasant suprise in his new role this season.
This leaves the final spot up to either Littleton or Robinson Tejeda – and since Tejeda has no options, I’m betting he gets the spot.
As for Kameron Loe, things just don’t look good for him – I do think we’ll see him later this year, but that’s provided he’s still even with the organization. Rumor has it that the Rangers may look to move some of their bullpen depth before the season starts, and if that’s true, Frankie Francisco and Kam could be the two prime targets. And there’s plenty of teams that would love to have either of them to fill out their ‘pens – as Joey Matschulat notes in his latest entry over at Baseball Time in Arlington, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim could be one of the teams interested in Loe. There’s a repulsive thought if I’ve ever seen one – Kam in an Angels uniform. Ugh. That would be tough to see.