Future Texas Rangers in Round Rock: Hamilton and Moreland on the Mend


The Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express had a tough week, going 2-5 dating back to last Monday. Yet, the Express still sit atop the division at 18-12, holding a two-game lead over the New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins) and six and seven game leads over Nashville (A’s) and Memphis (Cardinals).

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The big news for Round Rock this weekend was Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland being added to the roster while they begin their rehab assignments for the Texas Rangers. Hamilton played five innings in the field in his first game back, going 1-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts. Moreland has played two games at designated hitter, and thus far is 0-for-7 with a walk and a strikeout.

With Rougned Odor struggling at the plate with Texas, and subsequently being left from the lineup over the weekend, there is speculation out there that the Rangers could use their extra 40-man roster spot to bring up either Thomas Field or Ed Lucas to give Roogie some time to find his stroke in the minors. Over the past week, Field went 7-for-24 (.292) with six walks, but accrued nothing in the way of power numbers. Lucas on the other hand went 6-for-26 (.231) with a run scored. Neither is on a tear, so Odor likely stays up for at least another week.

Yesterday’s starter Jerad Eickhoff lasted just 4 1/3, allowing seven earned on eleven hits and three solo home runs (Kent Matthes, Andy Parrino, Jason Pridie) in Nashville, bringing his ERA to 5.32 with the Express. In his debut on April 24th, Eickhoff was masterful, holding a no-hitter into the late innings before allowing a couple runs. In his two starts before today, he was solid but not dominant, combining for a line of 11 IP/13 Hits/5 Earned/5 Walks/10 K’s. The 24 year old righty has now surrendered six home runs in four starts.

23 year old catching prospect Tomas Telis is surging, going 8-for-22 (.364) with a homer, two rbi and two runs scored. The kicker for Telis is that he has an 11-game hit streak going, dating back to April 26th. Telis received a brief look in the majors last season, batting .250 with eight rbi in 68 at bats. With Carlos Corporan (.195) and Robinson Chirinos (.183) both struggling at the major league level, Telis may be worth another look before long, especially with the Rangers #2 ranked prospect Jorge Alfaro climbing the ladder in his own right.

Alex Gonzalez (you know, Chi Chi) is currently 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings. That said, his last start on Saturday evening has arguably been his best of the season with the 23 year old righty going five innings of scoreless two-hit ball. He struck out five and walked two in the process. His next start will be against Omaha (Royals) whom he had his worst start of the year against on May 4th. In that outing he went 4 2/3, allowing seven runs (five earned) on ten hits, two walks and a two-run homer to Matt Fields, the 29 year old first baseman for the Storm Chasers.

The Express will look to split their series with the Nashville Sounds tonight before stopping by home for a quick four game set with Omaha. After that it’s off to Colorado Springs, for five games in four days with a make-up game on deck for Sunday in addition to their regularly scheduled contest.

Next: Rangers New Second Baseman?