05/14/08 2:45 PM ET
Rangers recall Byrd; Metcalf to Triple-A
Former regular will be moved into fourth outfielder role
By Lary Bump / Special to MLB.com
That's good news for rookie Brandon Boggs, who will keep a spot in a four-man outfield rotation.
"[Byrd's] going to be my swing man," said manager Ron Washington. "Now I have a guy to give those guys a break. I miss Marlon."
But apparently not enough to give him back the starting job in left field that was his coming out of Spring Training. Byrd, who hit .307 for the Rangers in 2007, is batting just .129 in 31 at-bats this season. He went on the DL on April 17 because of inflammation in his left knee. In four rehab games at Triple-A Oklahoma, he batted .313 with three RBIs.
Boggs arrived in the Major Leagues from Oklahoma on April 29, pinch-hit that night in his Major League debut and has started every game since in left. He entered Wednesday's game batting .296 in 54 at-bats.
Wednesday's starting outfield remained Boggs, Josh Hamilton and David Murphy, left to right. Murphy has played in every game this season, and Hamilton has missed only one.
"I'm not pulling anybody out," Washington said. "Brandon's going to play, Murphy's going to play, Ham's going to play. Marlon gives us another quality outfielder."
Hamilton and Murphy both bat left-handed, and Boggs is a switch-hitter. Washington said the right-handed-hitting Byrd would not be more likely to play against left-handed pitchers.
"He'll play against whoever we need him to play against," he said.
Byrd's return might seem like bad news for third baseman Travis Metcalf, who was optioned to Oklahoma to make room on the roster, but Metcalf saw it as a good thing.
He missed the first 35 games this season because of a torn left hamstring, and has appeared only once, fouling out as a pinch-hitter, since coming off the DL May 8. He'll join the RedHawks in Memphis for their next game Friday night.
As he packed his bag, Metcalf said, "I can really start playing now. I've got to get out and get some at-bats. I was just kind of sitting around waiting for Marlon.
"It has been tough not playing," Metcalf said. "The rehab has gone well. The number one priority was getting the leg back and feeling good. Now we're at step two, because I haven't yet had to test it in a game situation. Step three will be getting back here."
Lary Bump is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.