08/17/2004 8:58 PM ET
Notes: Dominguez delayed by injury
Fifth slot in rotation remains a question
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were forced to reevaluate their future plans in the starting rotation Tuesday with the news that right-handed pitcher Juan Dominguez had injured his knee running and will miss his scheduled start Wednesday for Double-A Frisco.
|The Rangers were hoping Juan Dominguez could return next week. (Chad Rachman/AP)
The extent of Dominguez's injury, nor the specific knee was unknown, but he is expected in Arlington on Wednesday for an evaluation by the club's medical team. Dominguez was a strong candidate to rejoin the club next Tuesday at home against Minnesota for a start, or a start later next week.
Those plans have seemingly changed. The Rangers will likely fill the fifth starter's role with one of a group of pitchers, with relievers Joaquin Benoit, Doug Brocail, injured reliever R.A. Dickey, or Triple-A pitcher Chris Young among the candidates. Injured pitcher Chan Ho Park is also a consideration, but concerns about Park's health remain.
"I don't know the extent of [Dominguez's injury]," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "We were kind of penciling him in, you get [Mickey] Callaway and then 10 days after that you get Dominguez. As short as we've been with our starting pitching, it's a setback."
Dominguez allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief Friday in a rehab appearance at Double-A Frisco, walking a batter and striking out one. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since June 16 with a strained right rhomboid.
Hart took solace in the fact that Dominguez's setback was not an arm injury and defended the young pitcher when asked if he thought Dominguez was "soft."
"There's a lot of money out here for young men from the Dominican and I don't think there's anything soft about Juan," Hart said. "I think it's bad luck. It's bad luck for us, it's bad luck for him. We had a chance to settle something here for him, give us a clearer snapshot how he can help us this year, but you start to get a better picture next year of what you might have.
"I'm not going to overreact. This might not be a big deal. It might set him back a week or 10 days, that's what I'm hoping. It's not going to be on our timetable. Nothing has been this year with any pitcher."
Dominguez's recent injury could make him the third Rangers starting pitching prospect to miss significant time this season. Colby Lewis is rehabbing shoulder surgery and Ricardo Rodriguez has a broken bone in his right elbow, and like Lewis, is out for the remainder of the season.
The injuries could impact the approach the club takes this offseason with the free agent market. Moreover, the Rangers were unable to obtain clear-cut evaluations of the three pitchers because of the injuries this season.
"Dominguez, I think we can pitch him in winter ball and do some things with him," Hart said. "Potentially, Ricardo could be ready to pitch a little later in winter ball."
Buck shot! "I try not to bunch up the speed in one spot. There are many things you look at. Like Hank: Wherever I hit Hank against a left-hander I make sure there's a switch-hitter behind him to help him. I look at places where I would pinch hit. In a perfect world you have certain types of guys who hit in certain places, but you don't always have those guys. You might have a guy hitting third who is better suited for hitting sixth. Mike [Young] is a perfect two-hole hitter and right now he is our three-hole hitter." -- Rangers manager Buck Showalter on how he puts the batting order together
Around the horn: The Rangers will send six of their prospects to the Arizona Fall League for more playing time in October. The players include right-handed pitchers Chris Young, Kameron Loe and John Hudgins, along with shortstop Ian Kinsler and outfielders Jason Botts and Juan Senreiso. ... Nick Regilio allowed two earned runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings in his first outing Monday since returning to Triple-A Oklahoma. ... Class A Spokane and Tri-City had their game suspended after reaching the Northwest League curfew Monday night. The teams played 20 innings in five hours and 39 minutes before the contest was called with the score tied 1-1. Both teams were scoreless through the first 18 innings. The game continued Tuesday with the start of the 21st inning. ... Left-handed pitcher Mike Bacsik could clear waivers at 1 p.m. CT Wednesday and join Oklahoma.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.