Yu Darvish was missed Monday night at Oakland, where he has never pitched well but surely would have done better than the man who filled in for him.
Cesar Ramos allowed eight runs on eight hits and a walk. He thought he might be in for a long night after the A’s opened with two grounders through the middle and a flare for another hit.
He was right, and he knew he could have been better. He did put a bit of a positive spin on things when he mentioned that he got a lot of grounders, but they just weren’t hit to anybody.
Manager Jeff Banister had some positive spin in him, too, noting that Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Rua, Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland looked good at the plate and that Shawn Tolleson was really good out of the bullpen.
I’ll give that 14-5 loss a run through the spin cycle:
Rangers commit two fewer errors than A’s in loss to division foe.
Position player doesn’t have to pitch as Oakland gets past Rangers.
Rangers grant first career win to Coulombe, first career save to Neal.
I’ll be here all week, unfortunately.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction after the Rangers won the final four innings Monday.
1. Tom Wilhelmsen is an MLB-caliber dude. Good guy. Likes to have fun. Teammates love him.
His pitching, though, hasn’t been good enough most of this season to get MLB hitters out, and his one inning Monday might have been a new low.
The A’s collected nine hits — nine! — in one inning — one! — against the right-hander an outing after he pitched two scoreless innings Friday at Seattle.
“It’s tough for Tom,” Banister said. “I thought he turned the corner a little bit, but it didn’t look like he could get anything past the hitters tonight.”
If the Rangers decide to go get an arm to bolster the bullpen, Wilhelmsen could be the reliever who gets optioned to Triple A Round Rock. He could get optioned if the Rangers decide he needs to work out the kinks while not in the major leagues.
The Rangers are still plowing through their stretch of 20 games in 20 days, and they had three relievers — Ramos, Wilhelmsen and Tolleson — who worked Monday who might not be able to work for a few days.
So, they might need a body to cover some innings for them, though there aren’t many options at Round Rock. Andrew Faulkner could come up and so could Nick Martinez, who is scheduled to start Tuesday against New Orleans.
Martinez could be available out of the bullpen for a few games and then start the next time the Darvish/Ramos spot comes up again Saturday.
That’s pure speculation, but the Rangers once again have an issue with Wilhelmsen that needs to be addressed. They might decide there’s no easy way to do it in the major leagues.
2. The best news Monday for the Rangers is that no one got hurt, including Choo.
That rates an accomplishment for him on his first game off the disabled list, considering when he came off the DL last month, he couldn’t finish the game and was back on the disabled list a few days later.
Choo was back in the leadoff spot and back in right field after raking on his rehab assignment. He walked and homered Monday.
His return will cut into Rua’s playing time, though it didn’t Monday as Rua started in left field while Nomar Mazara got a day off. Rua popped a two-run homer in the sixth, giving him five distance blows this season.
Just as the Rangers didn’t want to sit on Jurickson Profar, they need to find a way to get Rua multiple games a week. The Rangers’ lineup is heavy with left-handed bats, so Rua’s righty bat should be easy to drop into the order against lefties.
He might even get a game against a lefty over Choo, and Choo said he wouldn’t be upset if the manager opted to do that occasionally. Rua has already been taking some games at first base from Moreland, and that seems likely to continue. He also is the backup center fielder, and played there late as Ian Desmond got a few innings off.
Rua has earned the chance to play somewhere multiple times a week, and the Rangers should reward him.
3. Darvish has landed on the disabled list, which is the prudent move for a pitcher who doesn’t need to be pushing anything else in his first games back from Tommy John surgery.
The good news for the Rangers is that two MRI exams, one on Darvish’s neck and one on his shoulder, showed no structural damage, and as soon as Darvish’s shoulder loosens up, he can resume throwing.
That could be as soon as a few days, and though no one said it, that seems to be the Rangers’ expectation. Darvish can be back in the rotation June 24, the day after he is first eligible to return. The first day is an off day.
On Saturday, Darvish told his Twitter followers that the only start he would miss would be Monday’s.
While Darvish is being given a DL stint to get completely healthy even though the MRIs showed nothing, Adrian Beltre is not even though an MRI last week showed something.
Beltre is going to get until Thursday, a decision Banister said that he made for the “long haul.” When asked, rather clumbsily, by me if putting Beltre on the DL would really be good for the “long haul,” Banister got a little annoyed before saying, “I hear ya.”
The manager understands that 15 days would help Beltre’s hamstring more than a week, but Banister likes what he saw on the field Monday from Beltre and trusts that Beltre knows his body and knows when he can and can’t play.
The Rangers also don’t want to be without Beltre for a full 15 games while Darvish might only miss two.
At some point in the “long haul” we’ll learn how these injury decisions worked out.