DETROIT -- The Rangers have hit a lull in their efforts to sign the remaining top picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Luke Jackson, a high school pitcher from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., taken with the 44th overall pick, Cody Buckel, a high school pitcher out of California taken in the second round, and pitcher Justin Grimm, from the University of Georgia, all remain unsigned.Assistant general manager Thad Levine suggested the negotiations with these three could go down to the Aug. 16 deadline and it doesn't have anything to do with the current ownership situation. "We went into the Draft and the Draft signing process with our eyes wide open," Levine said. "We understand the landscape. It's no different than any other year. We didn't expect to sign everybody. It's business as usual. We expect we will sign more guys. "What we've known over the past couple of years is often it's the deadline date when the real negotiations take place. History tells us there is a lot more movement in the 24 hours prior to the deadline." Jackson has orally committed to the University of Miami, Buckel to Pepperdine University and Grimm has the option of returning to Georgia for his senior year. If a team does not sign a Draft pick by Aug. 16, they lose negotiating rights. "One thing we've learned over the years is colleges are doing a tremendous job of recruiting players," Levine said. "Gone is the day when you could just assume that playing professional baseball trumps colleges. We're doing a lot of things that colleges have been doing over the years as far as recruiting."
Hamilton's homers help Hunter along
DETROIT -- One reason why Tommy Hunter is 7-0 after nine starts? Josh Hamilton keeps going deep for him.Hamilton's ninth-inning home run in Tuesday's game marked the seventh time he has hit a home run in a game started by Hunter. He has 16 home runs for the rest of the rotation. "I like the kid," Hamilton said. "I hope it doesn't stop, but it's not like I don't try to do it with the other pitchers." In two Hunter starts when Hamilton has not homered, the outfielder is 4-for-7 with three doubles, two runs and an RBI. Hamilton is also hitting .440 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs in his last 43 games going back to June 1. That was the day the Rangers decided to call Hunter up, who made his first start on June 5. Hamilton has been on a tear since then. "He's awesome," Hunter said. "He's a joke, he really is. He's on a tear and it's fun to watch. I'm glad I'm sitting in his dugout and don't have to face him. It's awesome, it really is. He's a good guy to count on."
Oliver plans to return with option kicking in
DETROIT -- Darren Oliver appeared in his 41st game Monday night. As long as he stays healthy, Oliver should easily get 59 appearances and have his option for 2011 kick in at a salary of $3.25 million.Oliver turns 40 in October, but he has no intention of retiring. He said he plans on pitching again next season. "Why not?" Oliver said. "I still feel good. If my kids tell me to quit, I'll quit. But they haven't said that. I would never put baseball in front of my family. But they have been pretty cool about it." The Rangers should welcome Oliver back. He has a 1.29 ERA, the fourth lowest among relievers in the American League, and opponents are hitting .181 off him, the sixth lowest average in the league.
Grieve to be honored over Alumni Weekend
DETROIT -- The Rangers are preparing to honor Tom Grieve on Saturday by inducting him into their Hall of Fame. It is part of their Alumni Legacy Weekend. Among the events: First pitch for Saturday's game against the Angels has been moved from 7:05 p.m. CT to 7:30 to accommodate the Hall of Fame induction. The Dr. Pepper Alumni Legacy Luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel. Grieve will be honored at the luncheon. Nolan Ryan, Rusty Greer, Jim Sundberg and Charlie Hough will also be part of a program hosted by John Rhadigan. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling 817-436-5933. An autograph session with Texas Rangers alumni on the main concourse between home plate and third base will be held from 5-5:45 p.m. Saturday before the game against the Angels. Autographs are free for persons holding tickets to that night's game. The number of autographs to be signed is limited. The list of players who will be signing will be posted when gates open at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to the Ozarka Texas Rangers Alumni Legacy Golf Classic at Waterchase Golf Club in Fort Worth on Thursday morning. Shotgun start begins at 9 a.m. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Foundation.
DETROIT -- Julio Borbon was out of the lineup Wednesday night. David Murphy gets a second straight start with right-hander Matt Scherzer pitching for the Tigers. ... The Rangers announced their Minor League Players of the Month for June. Chris Davis was Player of the Month, Joe Wieland was Pitcher of the Month, infielder Santiago Chirino was Defender of the Month and Clay Rapada was Reliever of the Month. ...
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.