It can be hard to tell the true character of a famous person solely from the face he chooses to present to the public, but I think we can all agree on one thing by this point: Sidney Ponson is kind of a jerk. Not everybody has their own “Controversies” page on Wikipedia.
Given the fact that he was recently DFA by Texas for being a crappy teammate, chances are very good that Ponson does not have have a lot of friends in the Rangers locker room. One guy who has to LOVE him, however, is rookie Eric Hurley, the organization’s third-ranked prospect and the man whose job it is to replace Sir Sidney in the rotation. Hurley is slated to start Thursday against the Kansas City Royals.
Hurley’s name was one of several that were bandied about in the wake of Ponson’s designation. Unlike many other top prospects who have received promotions this season, his numbers at AAA Oklahoma aren’t great: 2-5, 5.30 ERA, 72 strikeouts, 29 walks. The big league club, however, is optimistic:
“Our people feel like he’s made steady progress, has been making adjustments, learning to pitch with his stuff,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. “All young pitchers go through a period where they move from ‘good arm’ to ‘good pitcher’ and Eric’s in that transition. We think he’s deserving of an opportunity to help the club.”
The 22-year-old Hurley was picked 30th overall by the Rangers in the first round of the 2004 draft (he was chosen as compensation for John Thomson; it always shocks me to see the names of players for whom draft picks are given as compensation). He has progressed steadily through the system, stopping at every level before reaching AAA last season.