Friday, July 25, 2014
Smolinski becomes 23rd Ranger on DL this year
By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers put outfielder Jake Smolinski on the disabled list retroactive to July 22 to make room for the activation of tonight's starting pitcher, the well-traveled 32-year-old Jerome Williams.
Smolinski suffered a bone bruise when he fouled a ball off his foot Monday against the Yankees. He becomes the 23rd Ranger to go on the disabled list this season and one of 13 currently sidelined. Both numbers are major league highs.
Jim Adduci draws the start in left field for Texas for the 7:05 p.m. CT start against the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park. The Rangers will try to break an eight-game home losing streak.
In 11 games since promotion from Triple-A Round Rock, Smolinski became a bright spot in a dismal Rangers' stretch of 22 losses in 25 games. He is batting .389 with three doubles and five RBIs and will be eligible to come off the disabled list on Aug. 6.
"It's life in baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It is a tough break, but he has some good company."
Just where Williams, dropped by the Houston Astros on July 8, fits in the Rangers' plans going forward, Washington can't say.
"I'm just telling him to go out and pitch well," Washington said. "You never know. Pitch his game and do well. He's got an opportunity."
When Williams delivers his first pitch, he will be the 52nd player and 31st pitcher used by the Rangers this season. The club record for players is 55 in 2008. He will also be the 13th starting pitcher used by Texas this season.
Washington can recall Williams pitching well against the Rangers.
"I'm hoping it is one of those days he gets to the Oakland A’s," the manager said.
To make room for Williams on the Rangers' 40-man roster, Texas released right-handed pitcher Justin Marks. At Round Rock, Marks was 0-1 with a 5.06 earned run average in 5 1/3 innings. He has been on the disabled list since July 16.
Gone to Cooperstown: Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux will miss the weekend series with the Athletics so he can attend the Hall of Fame induction of younger brother Greg.
Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will shift to the Rangers' dugout. Round Rock pitching coach Brad Holman will fill in as bullpen coach for the series.
Setting the pace: Oakland, at 63-38, owns the best record in the major leagues. At the opposite end are the Rangers (40-62).
Washington's analysis of the Athletics: "They have a very functional lineup, tremendous starting pitching even though they have lost a couple of guys. A solid bullpen. The No. 1 closer didn't do a good job, but they have filled holes when presented. Right now, they believe in themselves."
Despite the A's strengths, Washington said if the Rangers had stayed healthy and his guys were producing to their capability, "we would have been right there."
In the aftermath of the trade of Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers, the Rangers are down to seven players who have been on the active roster the entire season: Elvis Andrus, Robinson Chirinos, Shin-Soo Choo, Neal Cotts, Leonys Martin, Alex Rios and Shawn Tolleson.