Saturday, the Texas Rangers started making decisions regarding the upcoming 2011 MLB season. The Rangers either optioned or sent eight players to the Minor Leagues. One of those eight players was right-handed pitcher Eric Hurley despite the fact that in nine innings during three Spring Training games, he only allowed a single run. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out five batters.
25-year-old Hurley, who has missed the last two seasons due to a torn rotator cuff as well as a broken left wrist (which he underwent operation for on three separate occasions), simply needs additional time to get the swing of things. He needs to find that strength in his arm that can withstand more than 100 innings before he can be dubbed as a starting pitcher in the rotation.
The move isn’t a huge shock. He didn’t exactly have a chance at the starting rotation due to the time he has missed; however, he could have been a consideration for the bullpen.
This is what Washington had to say about Hurley:
“He just hasn’t competed in two years. He needs to get into a routine and know what he needs to do. I commend him, he’s got a chance to be a great story for us this year. He has showed me a real ability to pitch. The velocity wasn’t there, but he used his head and used all his pitches and he really had good location.”
Not pitching in two years can really set you back. You aren’t familiar with starting anymore so you don’t know how to do it. Velocity, among other things, is one of the things that Hurley needs to figure out. He can pitch and once he gets his arm back to the way it used to be, he’ll be a power pitcher through the Minor Leagues and be ready to earn a spot in the Rangers starting rotation – hopefully sooner (next year) rather than later. He’ll definitely be a prospect to keep your eyes on.
Other moves by the Rangers on Saturday:
Chad Tracy was sent to AAA Round Rock where he will play first, left field and designated hitter. He normally plays first base on the defensive side; however, it’s not set in stone yet as the Rangers are still up in the air with what they plan to do with Chris Davis, who is showing the Rangers an impressive Spring and just why he should be part of the Rangers roster rather than in the Minor Leagues. Ryan Tucker and 3B Brian Barden will join Tracy in Round Rock with Tucker being part of the bullpen as a right-handed reliever.
Catcher Jose Felix as well as 1B Jose Ruiz were sent to AA Frisco while RHP Cody Eppley and Seth McClung will make their way to Minor League camp.