08/03/10 10:01 PM ET
Nippert nearing rehab assignment
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Attendance boosts revenue, trades
SEATTLE -- The Rangers' increased attendance and revenue helped play a role in the club's ability to make as many trades as they did during July.The Rangers, after 57 home games, have drawn 1,624,804 fans to the Ballpark in Arlington, an increase in 41,900 fans over the same point last season. "I think the fans' response to the team has had an impact both in the environment our team is playing in [and] also creating additional revenues for us to improve the club," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It has been a pretty direct relationship." The Rangers added about $10 million in salary by acquiring catcher Bengie Molina, pitcher Cliff Lee and infielders Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman in trades. The Rangers also received approximately $7 million in cash from the other clubs in the four deals to help pay the salaries. The remaining $3 million came from funds the Rangers had held back for the Trade Deadline and from the additional revenue created by increased attendance. The benefits may increase as the season heads down the stretch. The Rangers, who are in first place in the American League West, are averaging 28,505 fans per game, but they averaged 38,005 on the previous homestand. The Yankees and the Red Sox will be at the Ballpark on the next homestand. While the Rangers are unlikely to acquire any more big-ticket players who will add payroll, they are still looking at other critical expenditures. Most notably they still have draft picks from the June First-Year Player Draft to sign before the Aug. 16 deadline. "It all comes from the same place to some degree," Daniels said. "We pooled our remaining player budget into one. It's all related."
Hamilton back in lineup after cortisone shot
SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton was back in the Texas lineup on Tuesday night for the series opener with the Mariners after getting a cortisone shot in his right knee to reduce the inflammation from his patella tendinitis.Hamilton received the shot on Sunday after the Rangers' game against the Angels. "It's good to go," said Hamilton, who did not start Saturday or Sunday. "It feels 95 percent better. As soon as the needle hits the spot. ... You feel it. It feels good." This is the second cortisone shot Hamilton has received in the knee this season. He had one three months ago, and he's hoping this will carry him through the rest of the season. The Rangers do not expect this to linger over the final couple of months. Other than that, Hamilton said he is ready for the stretch drive. "That's the only thing that was bothering me," Hamilton said. "Everything else feels good. You can't predict something else happening, but as far as my knee, I'm good to go." Hamilton was in the lineup, but Vladimir Guerrero was not. Manager Ron Washington went through with his plan to give Guerrero a day off and use Michael Young at designated hitter. With Monday's off-day, this gives Guerrero two days off in a row. The Rangers are off next Monday, so Washington wants to do the same thing. He is planning to give Guerrero a day off on Sunday and again use Young at designated hitter. "My main intention is to make sure Vladimir stays strong," Washington said.
Lowe aims to return for September callup
SEATTLE -- September is a time when teams expand their rosters to 40 and have extra players for the final month. Reliever Mark Lowe wants to be one of those players for the Rangers.Lowe was the second pitcher acquired by the Rangers along with Cliff Lee in a July 9 trade with the Mariners. Lowe has been on the 60-day disabled list since May 5. He underwent back surgery seven weeks ago and has been in Seattle getting treatment and physical therapy. He joined the Rangers on Tuesday at Safeco Field and threw lightly for the first time since the surgery. "It feels great," Lowe said. "It has felt normal since the second week after the surgery. I haven't had any pain at all." Lowe will stay with the Rangers for the remainder of this road trip and then return with the team to Arlington. He will be examined there by Dr. Keith Meister, and if all goes well, he will be sent to Surprise, Ariz., to continue his throwing program. He believes he can be ready to pitch in a game for the Rangers in September. If not, he could be a big factor in the bullpen for next season. Lee can be a free agent after this season, but Lowe still has two more years before he's eligible. He showed in 2009 that he can be a frontline reliever when he had a 3.26 ERA in 75 games as the Mariners' primary setup reliever. "Going to a first-place team from a last-place team. ... It's been great," Lowe said. "I want to win, I want to be in the World Series, I want a chance to be in the playoffs every year. This club is moving in that direction. It's going to be fun to be a part of it."
Rangers manager Ron Washington was out working early with second baseman Cristian Guzman on his double play pivot on Tuesday before the series opener at Seattle. Washington is concerned Guzman is not getting out of there quick enough and taking too many hits from incoming runners. Washington had Guzman work on his footwork. ... Entering Tuesday, Vladimir Guerrero had an RBI in six straight games. Who has the longest such streak in the Majors this season? Jorge Cantu, Guerrero's new teammate. He had 10 straight games with an RBI for the Marlins this year. ... Guerrero's .359 batting average at Safeco Field is the highest for any player with at least 200 plate appearances in this park. His .351 average against the Mariners is the fifth highest for an opponent with a minimum of 150 plate appearances. ... The Rangers' game on Wednesday, Aug. 11, against the Yankees will be broadcast nationally by ESPN. Locally, it will still be on FOX Sports Southwest.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.