06/23/10 8:21 PM ET
Grieve named to Rangers' Hall
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
Red-hot Hamilton out of lineup to rest
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington elected to rest outfielder Josh Hamilton on Wednesday against the Pirates, despite his recent tear at the plate.Hamilton is riding a career-high 17-game hitting streak and is hitting .485 (33-68) with eight home runs and 24 RBIs over that span. It's the longest streak by a Rangers player since Michael Young's 18-game streak from August 13-31 last season. "He's human," Washington said. "He deserves a day off. He got it. We've been winning without everyone else in that lineup so we'll have to do it without Josh in that lineup." Washington said Hamilton needed a day off but insisted it had nothing to do with the knee soreness that forced him to rest earlier in the month. "He's been playing since June 1, and he's been grinding," Washington said. "It's hot out there. Mutually, we decided that today is a good day for him to have off. We think that whoever is in that lineup, that's who we're going to go out there and play with." Washington said he reached the decision earlier on Wednesday, and Hamilton was fine with the move. "He came in today and we talked about it," Washington said. "He felt like this was a good time, and I felt like it was a good time. ... I've given a lot of guys a day off so far, and he's one that hasn't had one." Washington insisted he's confident in the Rangers' ability to win without Hamilton in the lineup, and that includes with his replacement, David Murphy. "If need be and we need Josh to come off the bench and help us we will," Washington said. "But the nine out there we feel pretty good about. Let's give Murphy a chance. Let's give Murphy a chance to feel a part of the team."
Injured Harden, Holland show progress
ARLINGTON -- The Texas pitching staff continues to rehab from injury, as Rich Harden and Derek Holland push toward returning to the team in the next few weeks.Assistant general manager Thad Levine said that Harden has felt relief in his gluteus muscle after receiving an injection and will rest for the next few days before beginning his throwing program as early as this weekend. "I took care of some inflammation," Harden said. "I feel good now. I'm ready to get out there. I'm just going to get after my throwing and get back into my training and lower body stuff. I'm feeling good now. I'm going to get some work in, throw some [bullpens], and we'll see." Holland's shoulder has also improved to the point of not being an issue, according to Levine. He did have a recurrence of the same right knee problem he suffered in Spring Training, but he is still expected to recommence his throwing program this weekend as well. Levine believes that both pitchers will be an option sometime soon after the All-Star break. In the meantime, Tommy Hunter and Dustin Nippert have pitched in their places. Hunter, who's 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA, looks to stay in the rotation. Harden is only worrying about himself and not things outside of his control. "I'm throwing now, so as far as my first 'pen session, I'm not sure when that will be," Harden said. "But I'm going to get some long toss in there first. My shoulder is still in good shape, so it shouldn't take too long to get back up there. I'm just throwing flat right now." Said manager Ron Washington: "First, we've got to go through the process of flat ground stuff. He only threw out to 60 feet yesterday. I think once we get him out to the normal length, which I think is 120 [feet] ... we'll move to the mound. We've just got to build him back up and get him in the process. That's what we're doing right now." Two other pitchers aren't having similar progress, however, as Brandon McCarthy has been shut down with right shoulder stiffness and Eric Hurley had a third surgery on his hand Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Like the first screw that was inserted, the second started backing out, and Dr. Don Sheridan took additional measures in the latest procedure to increase the chances of the screw staying in. Despite that, Hurley won't be able to throw for 6-8 weeks.
Farmhand Petit hits two slams in game
ARLINGTON -- Rangers Minor League shortstop Gregorio Petit made history Tuesday night by hitting two grand slams in one game for Triple-A Oklahoma City."It's something I'm going to tell my family and friends, and we're going to celebrate," Petit said. "I'm just going to enjoy as much as I can but keep it away from my head. I don't want to change my swing or try to do too much." He became just the fourth player in Pacific Coast League history to hit two grand slams in one game. It was just the second occurrence in 81 years. "I just started smiling, I didn't know what to do," Petit said. "I saw all my teammates laughing and smiling for me, too." Petit's first slam helped the Redhawks erase a five-run deficit against New Orleans in the fourth inning. Petit then promptly broke the deadlock with another slam in the eighth. "It was a 5-5 game, and I said, 'C'mon, just get a base hit or a fly ball. All we need is one run to get the lead,' " Petit said. The runs helped Petit, who joined the Rangers' system in March in a trade with Oakland, atone for an early error that helped New Orleans break out on top. "I was really upset about that," Petit said. "I wanted the game to be over really quick, especially after they scored five runs. I thought, 'This game needs to be over right now.' But it turned around the best way for me and my teammates."
Smoak following Gamecocks in CWS
ARLINGTON -- Texas first baseman Justin Smoak has been keeping one eye on the TV inside the clubhouse while he waits to take the field at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.The University of South Carolina, where Smoak attended, is playing in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., and he has made sure he hasn't missed much of the action. "How about them Gamecocks?" Smoak said. "I've watched a little bit. I looked up and saw it was 10-0 [against Arizona State]. That's all I saw." Smoak, Carolina's all-time leader in home runs, RBIs, walks and total bases, still makes sure he talks to some of his old teammates. "I talk to [pitcher] Jay Brown a lot," Smoak said. "He came in as a junior-college guy my sophomore year. [Second baseman Scott] Wingo texted me the other day, and I've been texting him back and forth. He just said he was excited to be there and stuff like that." USC is 1-1 in the CWS and will play an elimination game on Thursday night against Oklahoma. But Smoak is hoping the Gamecocks are able to match up against one of their most bitter rivals later in the week. "Of course you want them to play Clemson, because you want to beat Clemson all the time," Smoak said. "It shows how good the state of South Carolina is in baseball. With South Carolina having to play Coastal [Carolina] in a Super Regional, that tells you how good the state is. "But I hope we get to play Clemson, and I hope we beat 'em."
Neftali Feliz recorded his 20th save on Tuesday night, making him the third-fastest Rangers pitcher to 20 saves. ... Julio Borbon's three-run homer against the Pirates on Tuesday was the team's first home run of three runs or more since May 20 against Baltimore. ... The rotation is 8-1 in the last 13 games with 10 quality starts. ... The relief corps is tied for the Major League lead with 16 relief wins and also ranks second in saves with 24. ... The team's offense is batting .330 (69-209) with runners in scoring position in the past 20 games.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.