5-4, 0.5 GU
Eric Hurley's return to full-strength from shoulder surgery is a work-in-progress––and it could be a rather lengthy process.
On the positive side, Hurley's velocity on Thursday was solid for his second outing. The right-hander's fastball sat between 89-92 mph, bumping 93 once in the third inning. But he also has command issues––as ESPN.com's Jason Grey tweeted––stemming from his trouble with repeating his delivery.
Grey also mentioned that Hurley's 82-84 mph slider lacked sharpness and was breaking too early. The former first-round pick threw six sliders and eight changeups.
After beginning the game with two scoreless innings, Hurley struggled and failed to finish the third. Still, due to Fall League rules, he earned the victory. The 25-year-old yielded three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings, walking three and striking out one. He threw 24 of his 48 pitches––exactly 50 percent––for strikes.
While Hurley's overall velocity on all three of his pitches is solid, he still has quite a bit of work to do mechanically and in terms of finding the feel for his breaking ball again.
The Rafters offense busted out for 11 runs on 16 hits, but centerfielder Engel Beltre wasn't able to get anything going. The 20-year-old leadoff hitter went without a knock in five official at-bats, striking out once. He stranded four runners.
Second baseman Davis Stoneburner, who was a mid-game substitution, continued his hot start by going 1-for-2 with an RBI triple. It was his second triple of the young season, and he is now 5-for-12 (.417) in six games.
Tall reliever Adalberto Flores permitted one run on three hits in two innings of work. He didn't walk a batter and didn't record a strikeout. According to pitch f/x, Flores' stuff was about the usual––he mostly relied on an 89-92 mph fastball and an upper-70s, low-80s changeup while mixing in the occasional slow curveball.
La Guaira's Max Ramirez played DH and batted cleanup for the second consecutive day. He had a single, a walk, and two runs scored in four plate appearances. Leadoff man and third baseman Renny Osuna singled once in five trips.
Outfielder David Paisano entered the contest late as a defensive replacement. He split time in center and right fields.
Minor league free agent shortstop Gregorio Petit, who played with Triple-A Oklahoma City this past season, was 1-for-3 with a double for Caracas on Thursday evening.
The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.
The Dominican Winter League will begin its season on October 22.
The season in Puerto Rico will also commence on October 22.
Rangers prospects listed on rosters in Puerto Rico include LHP Alexander Claudio (Ponce), LHP Kasey Kiker (Ponce), OF Miguel Velazquez (Ponce), and LHP Mike Ballard (Caguas).
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