The Texas Rangers website is reporting that right-hander Josh Rupe, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, has left camp with an eblow injury. He has been sent to Texas where he is expected to undergo an MRI.

According to the article on the website, the team is concerned that it may be a “serious injury.” He has three starts in Spring Training. During his last start against the Mariners on Sunday, Rupe’s velocity was down. The day after the game, he complained about some pain in his elbow.

Manager Buck Showalter said, “I’m sure he felt it [on Sunday], but he didn’t tell us until today.”

In Rupe’s three pre-season starts, he had no decisions and recorded an ERA of 4.32. He had only four strikeouts in 8.1 innings, but he also only had one walk. He was competing against a number of pitchers for the fifth and final spot in the rotation. Of all the pitchers, only Edison Volquez (1-0, 1.80 ERA in 5.0 IP) has had a standout spring.

Speaking of Spring Training, how about an update on some of our new acquisitions?

Brad Wilkerson - I know it’s only Spring Training, but this is a little troubling. In 8 games, Wilkerson has recorded 6 strikeouts and only 4 hits. He is batting .222 and only has 1 RBI. If it is any consolation, however, he has a .500 slugging percentage, thanks to the fact that two of his hits are doubles and one is a homer. But, I don’t think the Rangers were looking for another guy to hit it far and strikeout a lot when they got Wilkerson.

Vicente Padilla - Here’s a bright spot. Padilla has pitched 5.0 innings in 2 starts, and has an ERA of 1.80. Even more impressively, he has put up a WHIP of just 1.00.

Adam Eaton - Uhoh again. Eaton also has two starts this spring. However, in stark contrast to Padilla, Eaton has allowed 6 earned runs in his 5.1 innings pitched. And they have all been from hits, as he has not recorded a single walk yet. He’s not even pitching in Ameriquest. Uhoh.

Akinori Otsuka - He has not yet joined the Rangers in Spring Training, as he is pitching for Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic. To this point, Ostuka has pitched in only one game. It was a meaningless one inning appearance in a loss to Korea (in which Chan-ho Park, incidentally, picked up the save). Otsuka pitched a perfect inning, recording 3 Ks.

D’Angelo Jimenez - We got some questions before Spring Training about the likelihood of Jimenez making the opening day roster. He has apparently had some clubhouse problems working against him in the past. But, he’s making a strong case for himself this spring. You’d think he was the one playing for a starting spot, and not DeRosa (.125 BA, .222 OBP) . Jimenez leads Rangers position players in games played (10) and at-bats (26). He has 4 RBIs, 3 runs and a .308 batting average. One thing that the Rangers would probably like to see, however, is for him to bring up that OBP (.357 - worse than Wilkerson’s) by getting more walks. He only has two BBs so far.

Adam Hyzdu - Here is another non-roster invitee that is making ripples in the pool this spring. I seriously doubt the likelihood of Hyzdu making the roster, given the depth of the Rangers outfield with Matthews, Wilkerson, Dellucci, Nix and Mench. But Hyzdu is certainly playing like he wants it. In 8 games, Hyzdu has a .313 BA, .500 SLG, .389 OBP and just one strikeout.

Erubiel Durazo - You can’t really make a judgement about a player based on only 3 games and 9 ABs. Besides, Durazo was only expected to play a fill-in role if Nevin fell on his face, which is far from happening to this point. But, you might like to know that Durazo has a .111 BA with 1 RBI, 2 runs, 1 hit and 1 strikeout.


Mon 03/13/06, 5:45 pm EST



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