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Friday, June 6, 2008
Rangers designate Ponson; SS Young out of lineup

ESPN.com news services

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Prior to Friday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Texas Rangers made several roster moves.

The Rangers designated righty Sidney Ponson for assignment, re-instated pitcher Vicente Padilla from bereavement leave and removed shortstop Michael Young from the lineup with a bruised left finger.

Right-hander Sidney Ponson, who seemed to have his career back on track, was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers in a surprise move prior to Friday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Texas general manager Jon Daniels was vague about the reasons for the decision, saying Ponson had been dumped "for disrespecting teammates and club personnel."

Vicente Padilla

Padilla

Sidney Ponson

Ponson

Young
Young

"I'm not going to get into details other than to say that we're clearly trying to put together a team here in the true sense of the word ... and based on recent comments and other such things, it was pretty clear that he didn't want to be part of that," Daniels said. "That's not something we're going to tolerate. We want guys who want to be here, guys who are going to pull for their teammates and be proud of the organization."

Texas has 10 days to trade, release or outright Ponson to the minors. Daniels said Ponson had done nothing illegal and hadn't violated any club rules.

Young had started 60 of Texas' first 62 games and currently carries a 21-game hitting streak, longest in the majors this season and four short of his career high.

Ramon Vazquez, the Rangers' regular third baseman, got his fifth start of the season at shortstop, with catcher Gerald Laird drawing his first career start at third base.

Ponson cleared out his locker and left the stadium several hours prior to the start of the game against Tampa Bay.

The Rangers signed Ponson as a minor league free agent on March 10, and the 31-year-old Aruba native began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma. He was called up by the Rangers on April 26, and had been one of Texas' most successful starters, compiling a 4-1 record and 3.88 ERA for a pitching staff that began Friday last in the majors with a 5.09 ERA.

"The last thing you want to do is lose a starter who's given you reasonably consistent, quality outings," Daniels said. "But some things are more important than that."

Ponson's checkered career has included stops with six big league teams, four in the last three years.

By designating Ponson, the Rangers opened a roster spot for Padilla, Friday night's starter. Padilla had been in his native Nicaragua since Sunday to attend to a personal family matter, missing one start.

On Wednesday night against Cleveland, Ponson started on three days' rest for the first time in his 11-year career and lasted only four innings. He allowed six runs -- two earned -- and eight hits, and earned a no-decision in Texas' 15-9 loss.

Padilla has a career record of 86-102. He went 14-6 for the Baltimore Orioles in 2003, his best season.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team would call up a minor leaguer to take Ponson's spot in a rotation that has been in flux all season.

"When you look at the adversity we've had, we'll deal with it," Washington said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.