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Playing the DH Shuffle

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Playing the DH Shuffle

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Sending Taylor Teagarden to the minors and bringing Darren O'Day back to the big leagues hardly seems like a significant transaction, but it couldn't have come at a worse time for the Rangers.

There haven't been many bright spots for the Rangers over the last week. A good chunk of their division lead has disappeared, their pitchers are getting decimated on a daily basis and the lineup isn't scoring enough runs to bail them out. Two execeptions to the downturn have been Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba.

It's been more than the last week, actually. Napoli and Torrealba have been crushing the ball all month, giving the Rangers back some of the offense they lost when Adrian Beltre went on the disabled list. Teagarden's presence on the roster meant that Ron Washington could take advantage of the dual hot streaks by fielding a lineup with one man behnd the plate and the other filling the designated hitter spot.

That option isn't going to be available to Washington now that Teagarden's been sent down. The rationale for recalling O'Day -- an overextended bullpen needed some fresh arms -- makes perfect sense, except for the fact that the Rangers lineup will suffer because of the temporary need for one more relief pitcher.

Teagarden can't be recalled for 10 days unless someone goes on the disabled list and calling up any of the other options for a third catcher would all require the team to drop someone from the 40-man roster. That's possible, but it is hard to see who you would risk losing so that Kevin Cash could get a few more days of service time.

Washington said he will shuffle different starting players into the DH spot, a decent idea at this point in the season because it will give them a half-day of rest. That said, slotting David Murphy or Omar Quintanilla into the lineup is a serious downgrade from what Napoli and Torrealba have been providing the team at the plate.

That dropoff won't matter as much if the Rangers start pitching again. If they don't, who to start at DH is going to be the least of the team's problems.

Related Topics taylor teagarden, shuffle
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