© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
07/14/06 6:27 PM ET
Notes: Club to discuss ballpark studies
Goal is to see what kind of impact Gold Club construction has
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- A team of top Rangers officials will meet with a Toronto-based company Tuesday to discuss the results of wind studies done earlier this season on Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Texas. Club president Jeff Cogen, general manager Jon Daniels and vice presidents Rick McLaughlin (business operations) and Tom Hicks Jr. (Hicks Holdings) will meet with officials from RWDI, the firm that did the original wind studies when the ballpark was first built. The major goal is to see how the ballpark and the wind patterns have been impacted by the construction of the Cuervo Club, between the first and second decks behind home plate. The theory is the restaurant blocks the wind from going through the north-side portals, but instead causes it to swirl around and head as a jet stream out to right-center field. "I've read more than I've witnessed that the Gold [Cuervo] Club is an issue," Cogen said. "If you look at it this year, that might not be the case. But we don't want to speculate and guess, we hired and paid." The company has not informed the Rangers specifically what they have found from their studies. "They said they have a couple of different scenarios they want to discuss," Cogen said. "I don't want to speculate until I see the results. Once we see it, all of us -- business, baseball, ownership -- will come to a collective decision." Cogen said this is only one phase of the study. More studies are planned to see any potential impact might be created from planned development around the ballpark, including the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium just to the southwest. Defensive numbers suggest improvement: Michael Young went into the season with the goal of improving his defensive play. The numbers suggest he has done that. Young went into Friday's game leading American League shortstops in range factor with 4.94 chances per nine innings. He was third in fielding percentage and second in double plays. "I'm not sure you can put stats on defense," Young said. "The only thing I can go on is feel, and I feel I'm playing shortstop at a high level. I really love playing shortstop. Now, second base is only a distant memory. But you still have to get better." Catching platoon continues: With left-hander Erik Bedard pitching for the Orioles on Saturday, Gerald Laird will be in the starting lineup at catcher for the Rangers. Both Laird and Rod Barajas are right-handed hitters. But manager Buck Showalter started a platoon of Laird against left-handed pitchers and Barajas against right-handers in the first half of the season, and Showalter plans on continuing it in the second half. "Every chance I get," Showalter said. "Gerald has always hit left-handers well, and you know Gerald is going to catch either Saturday or Sunday. You look for every edge you can get against Bedard. If you add our catchers' numbers together, they're pretty good." Barajas went into Friday's game hitting .135 against left-handers and .298 against right-handers. Laird was hitting .432 against left-handers and .258 against righties. Combined, Rangers catchers were hitting .289 for the season, the sixth-highest in the American League, with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. Hurley eager to rose: Class A Bakersfield pitcher Eric Hurley has struggled in his last couple of starts, and that's probably delayed his promotion to Double-A Frisco. He allowed six runs in four innings in a start on Thursday. "There's no hurry right now," Rangers farm director Scott Servais said. But Hurley is still one of the rising stars in the Rangers farm system, pitching two-thirds of an inning in the Futures Game in Pittsburgh on Sunday. He was 5-5 with a 3.87 ERA in his first 17 starts, and is eager to take the next step at Frisco. "Sure, I am anxious to get up there," Hurley said. "I'm not going to fool anybody by saying I'm not. I want to keep showing them what I can do." Hurley is fourth in the California League with 100 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings, and he has the sixth-lowest walks-hits to innings pitched. "I'm locating my fastball well," he said. "My changeup is coming along well; I'm excited about that. I'm throwing it early in the count. And my slider is 10 times better this year. It's sharper with more downward movement." Arias impresses Moore: Triple-A Round Rock manager Jackie Moore was at the Futures Game as a coach for the United States team, and is among those impressed with the defensive ability of Oklahoma RedHawks shortstop Joaquin Arias. "He can play shortstop," Moore said. "He's all over the place and he can throw a runner out from all angles. There are no holes there. If he gets the glove on it, he's going to throw you out. I think he'll be a better hitter too. It's only a matter of time." Briefly: The Rangers' home game against the Yankees on Monday, July 24, has been moved up to 6:05 p.m. CT for broadcast on ESPN. The Wednesday, July 26, game is also being shown by ESPN, but will remain a 7:05 p.m. CT start. ... According to Elias Sports Bureau, Mark Teixeira was the first player to hit three home runs in his team's first game after the All-Star break. ... The three home runs gave Teixeira 119 for his career. That moves him into a tie for 10th all-time in club history with Rusty Greer. Coming next: Left-hander John Rheinecker (4-3, 3.96) pitches for the Rangers at 3:35 p.m. Saturday against the Orioles. Bedard pitches for the Orioles.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.