© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/21/07 9:00 PM ET
Notes: Chavez surprises Washington
Rangers manager receives replica Gold Glove trophy
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- A's third baseman Eric Chavez had a surprise for Texas manager Ron Washington before Saturday's game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Chavez presented Washington with a replica of the Gold Glove trophy that was lost during Hurricane Katrina. Washington had no idea this was coming. "As they say, there is no crying in baseball, but sometimes you get close," Washington said. "This is one of those moments. I really appreciate what Eric did back when he got the Gold Glove, and I am honored he did it again. This was a really great gesture by the Rangers. I'll never forget this. I was about to call Rawlings and ask them about it. Now I don't have to. Like I said, no crying in baseball, but I can't help but be emotional about it." Chavez had given Washington the 2004 Gold Glove trophy that he won for defensive excellence and signed it, "Not without you Wash." But Washington makes his home in New Orleans in the offseason, and the Gold Glove trophy was among the many personal possessions he lost in Hurricane Katrina. The Rangers had a new trophy made and asked Chavez to present it Saturday night. "It's all on the Texas Rangers," Chavez said. "It's a pretty classy move by their organization. They asked me about it about 10-12 days ago. I thought it was a great idea. I'm happy to give something back he lost in Katrina. It's pretty cool." Washington was the Oakland infield coach from 1996-2006, and Chavez credits him for helping him become a Gold Glove defender. Chavez has won six straight Gold Gloves at third base. "I really felt that I would not have accomplished what I accomplished without him, and he was real pivotal to me in that aspect," Chavez said. "I just thought it over, and I felt really compelled. Yeah, your name is on the trophy, but there was somebody who really helped you along to get that. And I thought he was a big part of that." Eyre in, Chen out: The Rangers recalled right-handed pitcher Willie Eyre from Triple-A Oklahoma and designated left-hander Bruce Chen for assignment. The Rangers will try to trade Chen before they put him through outright waivers to get him to Triple-A. Chen has agreed to accept an assignment to Oklahoma if he clears waivers. But the Rangers know teams are out there looking for starting pitching and know that Chen easily could get claimed. The Rangers made the move after they needed their bullpen for eight innings on Friday. With Kameron Loe making his first start on Saturday, the Rangers did not want to be caught short. "This wasn't a move we were looking to make," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. Eyre had pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings this season at Oklahoma, and he spent all of last year with the Twins, going 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA. Chen had a 7.20 ERA in his five outings with the Rangers. "I was aware of the situation," Chen said. "I knew the bullpen had been used a lot and I knew there was a chance they could make a move." Rangers wait on Wilkerson: Brad Wilkerson missed his fourth straight game on Saturday because of a sore left knee. He probably wouldn't have played Saturday with left-hander Joe Kennedy on the mound, but the Rangers are hoping he can be an option on Sunday with right-hander Chad Gaudin pitching for Oakland. "He's still not walking normal," Washington said. "We're waiting for the cortisone shot to take full effect." Washington said the Rangers haven't talked about putting Wilkerson on the disabled list. "The doctor seems to think everything will be fine," Washington said. "Maybe if he's not ready Monday or Tuesday, then we might have to think about it. But hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow." Connor on McCarthy: Pitching coach Mark Connor had a word for Brandon McCarthy on Saturday. Relax. "He needs to relax," Connor said. "There's nothing really going on as far as mechanics. I looked at his mechanics on a split-screen with last year, when he was pitching good, and everything is exactly the same. When you're struggling, you look for things that are wrong. He just needs to sit back and take a deep breath, analyze what's going on and make quality pitches." McCarthy, acquired from the White Sox in the offseason, is 1-3 with a 10.20 ERA after four starts. "He's a young kid, and he wants to prove to everybody that it was a good trade," Connor said. "I think he will. He just needs to relax." Record walks: The 22 walks given up by the Rangers on Thursday and Friday tied a club record for most walks over two games. Texas also walked 22 in two games on April 10-11, 2003. "I don't like that, but what can you do?" Washington said. "The guys are out there trying to throw the ball over the plate. I can't pull my hair out; there's not much left." Even Akinori Otsuka walked a batter for the first time this season. "I was looking for a full moon, but there wasn't any," Connor said. He said it: "They're usually one of the best hitting teams in the league. And I'm sure they will be again before the season is over." -- Oakland manager Bob Geren, on the Texas offense Friday's Minor stars: The top performances on Friday from the four Minor League teams are: Gold: Class A Clinton third baseman John Whittleman hit two home runs for the LumberKings in a 3-1 victory over West Michigan. He is hitting .325 this season. Silver: Left-handed pitcher Glenn Swanson, a 49th-round pick out of UC-Irvine in last year's First-Year Player Draft, allowed one unearned run on seven hits and had three strikeouts for Clinton. He is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA. Bronze: Kevin Mahar, Emerson Frostad, German Duran and Steve Murphy were a combined 11-for-18 with four runs scored and nine RBIs in Double-A Frisco's 11-4 victory over Corpus Christi. Up next: Right-hander Robinson Tejeda will pitch for the Rangers in the finale of the three-game series against the Athletics at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Gaudin will start for Oakland. The forecast is for sun and a high of 79 degrees.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.