Posts Tagged ‘Eric Hurley’

Prospect Probables: Who’s Pitching This Week?

While looking at the 453rd Google Alert item mentioning Collin Balester’s major league debut tomorrow against the Florida Marlins, I noticed that Clayton Kershaw is also scheduled to pitch.  This revelation led me to the MLB Schedules page at ESPN.com, where it quickly became apparent that many top pitching prospects will take the mound for their teams in the coming week.

And just like that, another weekly feature was born.

Call me biased toward the Red Sox and Yankees, but I think the most interesting matchups are slated for next weekend in The Bronx.  On Saturday, Boston youngster Justin Masterson goes against New York veteran Mike Mussina; the following day, the Yankees counter with their own prospect, Joba Chamberlain, against Sox elder statesman Tim Wakefield. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Kansas City @ Baltimore – Luke Hochevar (63) vs. Radhames Liz (69)
Texas @ New York Yankees – Kevin Millwood vs. Joba Chamberlain (3)
Washington @ Florida – Collin Balester (86) vs. Mark Hendrickson
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston – Clayton Kershaw (7) vs. Wandy Rodriguez

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Detroit @ Minnesota – Eddie Bonine vs. Nick Blackburn (56)

Thursday, July 3, 2008
Milwaukee @ Arizona – Manny Parra (72) vs. Brandon Webb
Philadelphia @ Atlanta – Brett Myers vs. Jair Jurrjens (49)
Chicago Cubs @ San Francisco – Sean Gallagher (82) vs. Tim Lincecum
Washington @ Cincinnati – John Lannan vs. Johnny Cueto (34)

Saturday, July 5, 2008
Boston @ New York Yankees – Justin Masterson (64) vs. Mike Mussina
Texas @ Baltimore – Eric Hurley (77) vs. Brian Burres

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Washington @ Cincinnati – Collin Balester (86) vs. Edinson Volquez
Texas @ Baltimore – Scott Feldman vs. Radhames Liz (69)
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay – Luke Hochevar (63) vs. James Shields
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco – Clayton Kershaw (7) vs. Matt Cain
Boston @ New York – Tim Wakefield vs. Joba Chamberlain (3)

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Now Pitching For The Texas Rangers…

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.