04/23/2010 3:07 PM ET
Rangers purchase contract of 1B Justin Smoak from Oklahoma City (AAA); Option 1B Chris Davis to Oklahoma City
RHP Omar Poveda recalled and placed on 60-day disabled list
The Texas Rangers announced prior to tonight's homestand opener against Detroit that the club has purchased the contract of first baseman Justin Smoak (#12) from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 25-man roster for Smoak, the team has optioned first baseman Chris Davis to Oklahoma City. To make room on the 40-man roster for Smoak, Texas has recalled right-handed pitcher Omar Poveda and placed him on the 60-day disabled list.
Smoak, 23, will be looking to make his major league debut in tonight's game against Detroit. He has spent the entire season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, batting .300 (15-50) with 2 home runs, 6 doubles, 5 RBI, and 10 runs scored in 15 games. The switch-hitter has twice as many walks (16) as strikeouts (8), with a .470 on-base percentage and 1.010 OPS figure. He is batting .321 (9-28) vs. right-handed pitchers and .273 (6-22) against lefties. Smoak was also a non-roster invitee to big league spring training for a second straight year, batting .250 (4-16) with a homer, 2 doubles, and 3 RBI in 10 Cactus League games for Texas.
Smoak was the Rangers' first selection (11th overall) in the 2008 June draft out of the University of South Carolina. With his debut, he would become the 24th different player to appear for the Rangers after having previously been the club's top draft selection. Smoak would be the 7th player taken in the 2008 June draft to appear in the major leagues, joining Brian Matusz (4th overall), Buster Posey (5th), Gordon Beckham (8th), Ike Davis (18th), Ryan Perry (21st), and Daniel Schlereth (26th).
Rated as the Rangers' no. 2 overall prospect and top position player by Baseball America prior to this season, Smoak played for Team USA in the International Baseball Federation's (IBAF) 2009 World Cup in Europe. He was voted tournament MVP for the gold-medal Team USA, as his 9 home runs were a U.S. World Cup record. He was later named the 2009 IBAF Senior Athlete of the Year and USA Baseball Athlete of the Year for his performance in that tournament.
Davis, the club's Opening Day first baseman, has batted .188 with no homers and one RBI in 15 games with Texas. He made 12 starts at first base.
Poveda opened the season on the Frisco (AA) disabled list after having ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow on March 3 performed by Dr. Keith Meister at the Medical Center of Arlington. His placement on the 60-day disabled list begins today. He is expected to miss the entire season.
With these moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.