Friday, August 2, 2013
Buzz: Rosales ready for new chapter
By Eric Gilmore
Special to ESPNDallas.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- When he was designated for assignment Wednesday by the Oakland Athletics for the second time in July, infielder Adam Rosales expected to clear waivers and wind up back at Triple-A Sacramento.
Then he got a call Friday from A's assistant general manager David Forst with what Rosales called some shocking but great news. He had been claimed by the Texas Rangers and would be on their roster Friday night for the opener of a three-game series against his former team.
"I was really shocked but excited at the same time," Rosales said before Friday night's game. "Obviously, bittersweet. I was with the A's for four years. Feel like I grew up a lot with them. But it's great. I'm ready for this new chapter in my baseball life.
"I think it's great. I think it's a wonderful opportunity. It's great to be on this ball club who's contending for a playoff spot, that has a great track record, that has a competitive team, a successful team. That's what I'm looking for in my career right now, to be a part of that."
Rosales' best position is shortstop, but he has also played second base, third base, first base and in the outfield during his career.
"Just gives us some versatility," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Now I might be able to pinch run for some guys that I wouldn't do normally because I didn't have the backup I needed. He gives me some backup because he can play anywhere on the field, all the infield and play some outfield."
Texas assistant general manager Thad Levine said the Rangers have "always admired the way" Rosales plays.
"He plays with a ton of energy and enthusiasm," Levine said. "We feel like he's a Texas Rangers type of player who happened to have been playing for the Oakland Athletics. We think he's found his rightful home now."
By claiming Rosales, the Rangers prevented him from returning to the A's roster down the stretch in what is shaping up as a tight race in the American League West between the two teams.
"I think the fact that we play them so frequently gives us a better insight into the player," Levine said. "We feel like we know him very well. Specifically, is there a value of stealing [him] from the A's? I don't know that that really factored in, but certainly anytime you can add a quality player and subtract one from them, that's an added benefit."
Rosales was in the visiting clubhouse Friday at the O.co Coliseum for the first time in his career, wearing a Rangers uniform.
"It's very strange, very surreal," Rosales said. "But it's a good feeling. I look forward to everything this opportunity is going to bring. Excited to be a Texas Ranger now."
Roster move: The Rangers sent outfielder Engel Beltre to Triple-A Round Rock, opening a spot for Rosales on their 25-man roster. Beltre hit .300 (9-for-30) with a double, two RBIs and five runs scored in his first major-league stint. He appeared in 13 games.
"I feel I had a good time here, good experience with the guys, a good team," Beltre said. "For me it was an unbelievable time that I've been waiting for a lot. I've been waiting for this time to be here in the major leagues. I really had a good time here.
"I'm just going to go and do my job there and try to do the same things I'm doing, trying to get a chance and a call-up back."
Washington said Beltre made the most of his first trip to the major leagues.
"Improved. Professional. He really took his opportunity up here very, very seriously," Washington said. "There wasn't a day he was here that he didn't do something to get better. It's just that we got the outfield covered and we felt like he needed to continue to get at-bats. He proved he could play up here, and he handled himself well under the conditions that he had to, but he needed to go play."
No news on Cruz: The Rangers have to yet learn whether right fielder Nelson Cruz will be suspended in the wake of Major League Baseball's investigation into Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that allegedly distributed performance enhancing drugs to a number of players before being shut down.
If the Rangers lose Cruz to a suspension, they'll have a big hole to fill. Who would take Cruz's playing time?
"It would be [Craig] Gentry and whoever else we decide we want to put out there throughout the system," Washington said.
The rookie Beltre would "conceivably" be one option, but Washington said he wouldn't consider giving Jurickson Profar a heavy dose of playing time in the outfield because he's not ready for that defensively.
"It's not catching the ball. He can go catch the ball," Washington said. "The tentative part comes when it's in-between him and another outfielder. He just doesn't have the [experience] yet to know if he can get on something or if he can't. And the only way that's going to happen is for him to play out there, and right now I can't afford to play him out there to get that."
Washington said he expects to continue using Profar primarily in the infield and as a designated hitter. He was in the lineup Friday night at DH, batting ninth.
Injury update: Cruz was in the lineup in right field, batting sixth. Washington pinch hit for Cruz in the seventh inning Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels because he had a sore quad. He was struck by a thrown ball Tuesday in the third inning while running to first when the Angels tried to turn a double play.
"It was still bothering him, and when we got late in the game I just wanted to give him a couple innings off so he didn't have to be out there because I felt like we had the game in hand," Washington said. "That's all that was.
"Today he's probably going to be better. He's got a big old ball mark there. Got the seams in his hip area."