Notes: Texas welcomes Melhuse
Manager Washington, catcher Laird excited about addition
ARLINGTON -- Adam Melhuse joined the Rangers on Sunday, reuniting the catcher with manager Ron Washington, who coached Melhuse for five years in Oakland."I remember a saying [Washington] always told me," Melhuse said. "He said, 'You will, you won't. You do, you don't.' "I always enjoyed playing for him, picking his brain." Melhuse was traded to Texas from Oakland on Saturday for cash considerations. "When I heard we had an opportunity to get him, I told them to get him," Washington said. "I'm excited about him being here. He could be a big help to Gerald [Laird]. He understands different guys in this league and works hard at studying the opposing team." Laird, who has caught the second most innings in the league, will welcome Melhuse. "There's definitely room for improvement," Laird said. "I'll learn from him. I'm excited about getting to know him and pick his brain." To make room for Melhuse, the Rangers optioned catcher Chris Stewart to Triple-A Oklahoma after Saturday's game. Melhuse was seldomly used in Oakland as the backup catcher, the same position he now has with the Rangers. Melhuse is expected to start about two games per week. "I plan to come in here and give Gerald a few days off," Melhuse said. "Everything about Oakland was a dream come true except playing time. I never got a shot." Melhuse was out early Sunday catching Rangers pitchers, getting familiar with them. "I got a pretty good idea from how [Washington] wants things done," he said. "Play the game the right way and play it hard." Metcalf's role: The Rangers recalled third baseman Travis Metcalf from Double-A Frisco on Saturday. Metcalf had a brief stint, two games, with the Rangers earlier this season. The club purchased his contract on May 18, then optioned him back to Frisco on May 21. "It's an exciting privilege to be here and get a chance to help out," Metcalf said. "I'm coming in and filling a spot, and I'll play days [Washington] wants me to."
The Rangers feel Metcalf is ready to play third defensively, but still needs work offensively. Metcalf was hitting .283 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs in 54 games for Frisco."We want him to come up here and relax and play baseball," Washington said. Mayberry to Frisco: Former 2005 first-round pick John Mayberry Jr. moved up from Class A Bakersfield to Double-A Frisco on Sunday night. Mayberry was hitting .230 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs through 63 games with Bakersfield. Mayberry, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound outfielder, was selected 19th overall in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft from Stanford University. Young on fire: Shortstop Michael Young is hitting .400 with six doubles and eight RBIs in his last 18 games. Entering Saturday, he had the best Interleague average, .348, in all of baseball. "When I get on the field, I don't differentiate," Young said. "It's more coincidental, to say the least." Washington's worst: Washington said the worst season of his career, so far, was with the 1987 Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles went 67-95 that season. Washington said they had good players -- Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray, Fred Lynn to name a few -- but didn't get it done between the lines. "Anytime you have failure, you recognize that failure," he said. "You keep fighting, and everything comes back around. You have to learn something from it." McCarthy's early struggle: Starter Brandon McCarthy had a solid outing Saturday, giving up one run with five strikeouts in five innings. It was a complete contrast from how he started the season. In April, he was 1-4 with a 9.90 ERA. "I think he was trying to prove the trade [from the White Sox] was worth it," Washington said. "But then he did what most good athletes do. ... You don't succumb to failure, you keep fighting. We're not going to stop fighting." Rangers honored: Veterans Affairs secretary Jim Nicholson expressed gratitude to the Texas Rangers on Sunday for their continued recognition of the nation's veterans. "Throughout the years, the Rangers organization has graciously paid tribute to those who have guaranteed our nation's freedom," Nicholson said in a press release. The Rangers first manager, Ted Williams, served as a U.S. Marine in both World War II and the Korean War. Other Rangers who have served include former manager Whitey Herzog, and players Jim Bibby and Bobby Jones. Briefly: Washington said starter Vicente Padilla would be on a pitch count Sunday, about 80 pitches. Jamey Wright, who is expected to start Saturday at Cincinnati, was on a rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A Oklahoma. He threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, six runs, all earned, for the win. Pitcher Chris Baker has been transferred from Oklahoma to Double-A Frisco.
He said it: "Hopefully I can get some bunts down. I need to do a little [batting practice] work, so I don't look like a fish out of water." -- right-hander Kevin Millwood, who will start Tuesday at Pittsburgh's PNC Park -- a National League park.Minor League recap: Here are the top performers from Saturday: Outfielder Jason Botts went 3-for-3 with two runs scored as Triple-A Oklahoma lost to Round Rock, 6-5. Botts hit his sixth home run of the season. Class A Bakersfield lost to Visalia, 5-4, but third baseman Christopher Davis went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Starter John Koronka pitched six innings with six strikeouts for Oklahoma. He allowed three hits and two runs. Up next: The Rangers are off Monday, then head to Pittsburgh to begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday. Texas sends Millwood to the hill against Pirates left-hander Zach Duke at 6:05 p.m. CT.
Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.