07/05/10 7:26 PM ET
Rangers focus on improving rotation
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Hamilton, Guerrero not interested in HR Derby
ARLINGTON -- Rangers sluggers Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero both reiterated on Monday that they will not participate in this year's Home Run Derby. Guerrero won the 2007 Derby and Hamilton was the star of the 2008 affair.But both just don't want to participate this year. "When I won in 2007, it took me about 50 at-bats before I hit another home run," Guerrero said. "That's a problem." Hamilton set a record in 2008 when he hit 28 home runs in the first round alone, but doesn't want to risk injury this time around. He was asked to participate by the Commissioner's Office but is not being pressured to change his mind. "They called and said, 'We heard you weren't going to do it but just wanted to hear from you,'" Hamilton said. "I just don't want to hurt anything. It has nothing to do with messing with my wing. I just don't want to take a chance. Strange things happen."
Rangers feel Hunter more worthy than Strasburg
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are amused by all the fuss around Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg and the controversy about him being left off the All-Star team. Strasburg is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in six starts for the Nationals.Rangers starter Tommy Hunter has made six starts, too. He is 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA but nobody is suggesting he should be on the All-Star team. So why Strasburg? "A lot of guys put it straight," pitcher Colby Lewis said. "The guy has [six] starts in the big leagues. If he continues putting up numbers, he'll be in plenty of All-Star Games. But if he's being considered, why not Tommy Hunter? He's got a better record. "Granted, Strasburg brings in fans but if a guy goes out and wins games and makes a name for himself, he should bring in fans. It shouldn't be names before numbers. It should be numbers before names."
Rangers not getting involved in international signings
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, having made a big splash in January, are sitting out the current international signing period. As of July 2, clubs are allowed to start signing the latest clash of amateur free agents out of Latin America, but the Rangers aren't getting heavily involved.The Rangers signed catcher Jorge Alfaro out of Colombia in January for $1.3 million and that will stand as their biggest acquisition this time around. With the uncertainty about their ownership situation still unresolved, the Rangers prefer to direct their limited financial resources toward any possible acquisitions at the Major League level. The Rangers have often been one of the most active teams in Latin America and spent approximately $2.5 million a year ago to sign shortstops Jurickson Profar, Luis Sardinas and several other players after the July 2 deadline.
Rangers mull need for a right-handed bat
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are still considering adding a right-handed bat to their lineup. The Rangers would prefer somebody who can play first base and help ease the burden on Justin Smoak, who is a switch-hitter but batting just .135 against left-handed pitchers."It's something we may look at," general manager Jon Daniels said. "There may be some guys in Oklahoma City that could fit that spot or somebody externally." The two leading candidates at Triple-A Oklahoma City are Ryan Garko, who is hitting .254 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 37 games, and Chad Tracy, who is hitting .262 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs in 76 games. Tracy has an .892 OPS against left-handed pitching, while Garko is 10-for-27 with three home runs against them.
Rangers rookie reliever Alexi Ogando is just one inning away from breaking the club mark of most scoreless innings of relief to begin a Major League career. He has 11 scoreless innings. Jeff Zimmerman had 11 2/3 scoreless innings in 1999. ... Ian Kinsler has walked in seven consecutive games, the longest streak of his career and the longest by a Ranger since Josh Hamilton's seven-game streak in 2008. ... Michael Young is one of just six players in the Majors this season to start every game for his team. ... First baseman Justin Smoak is hitless in his last 23 at-bats and has seen his average drop 23 points in his last 12 games.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.