It is amazing how quickly a story can break with modern technology. It can efficiently get news out quickly, but sometimes it can just cause mass confusion since all of the details are not yet known. Monday night was a classic example of that as the agent of Martin Perez tweeted that Perez would be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and be in uniform with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Knowledge that Perez was coming to Arlington after being passed over two weeks ago for Justin Grimm was confusing enough, but the handling of the Rangers bullpen earlier in the night led to even more confusion. Grimm was roughed up in his second big league start against the Detroit Tigers and was unable to record an out in the second inning. The expected outcome in that situation would have been for Ron Washington to turn the ball over to Scott Feldman who was back in a long-relief role; however that was not the case. The ball was instead turned over to Michael Kirkman and the ball never entered into Feldman's hands. Kirkman was used for five innings and then Mark Lowe came on for a career high three innings of work.
It was clear why Mike Adams, Robbie Ross and Joe Nathan were not called on, but questions lingered all night as to why Feldman was never used. It was even more perplexing when Alberto Gonzalez was warming in the Rangers' bullpen in the bottom of the ninth. It was not too long ago that Washington expressed that he never intended to use a position player on the mound, yet a week later turned the ball over to Craig Gentry and was now close to giving it to Gonzalez. Washington was unwilling to use his long-man in a long-relief opportunity, but was prepared to use a utility player in the bottom of the ninth.
Something was going on and speculation ran rampant until Tuesday afternoon when it was announced that Colby Lewis was heading to the disabled list with inflammation in his forearm. That now makes five members of the Rangers' bullpen that are on the disabled list and three members of the opening day rotation. Lewis joins starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland and relievers Koji Uehara and Alexi Ogando.
The Rangers were about as healthy as a team could be in 2011 and they started out the season even better in 2012, but that has completely came tumbling down. The Rangers also have Mitch Moreland on the disabled list and injuries have limited Craig Gentry and Nelson Cruz over the past few weeks. The depth the Rangers have is remarkable, but it cannot last for long. Considering all things, they have handled the injuries fairly well, but even with the addition of Roy Oswalt, losing this many members of your rotation is never easy to deal with.
Lewis' spot in the rotation will come back around on Thursday and Scott Feldman will once again enter the rotation, however it is not clear how the Rangers will handle the spot on Saturday. That should be Grimm's spot and still could be, but the Rangers have said that Martin Perez is also a candidate to make the start. What is clear for now is that Yu Darvish will start on Tuesday with Perez in the bullpen. Grimm, Kirkman and Lowe are unavailable, so the deeper Darvish goes, the better options the Rangers have for not only tonight, but the rest of the week.
John Bowman is a lifelong baseball and Texas Rangers fan that loves to ponder the deeper aspects of the game. Some of his first baseball memories involve Arlington Stadium nachos, Charlie Hough's knuckleball, dirt on Pete Incaviglia's uniform and the voices of Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel as he fell asleep.
- Sports & Recreation
- Scott Feldman
- Michael Kirkman