Oklahoma RedHawks announce 2007 roster

The Oklahoma RedHawks, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, have announced most of their 2007 opening day roster. Rangers Insider has the roster with analysis and notes.

Oklahoma RedHawks Roster

Pitchers (14)
Chris Baker
Francisco Cruceta
Thomas Diamond
Willie Eyre
Frank Francisco
Franklyn German
John Koronka
Wes Littleton
Doug Mathis
A.J. Murray
Scott Rice
Josh Rupe
Alfredo Simon
Bill White

Catchers (1)
Miguel Ojeda

Infielders (7)
Nate Gold
Tim Hulett
Dave Matranga
Drew Meyer
Jose Morban
Desi Relaford
Ramon Vazquez

Outfielders (3)
Jason Botts
Victor Diaz
Freddy Guzman

Surprises: This list begins and ends with the inclusions of pitcher Doug Mathis and second baseman Tug Hulett. Mathis, who had an outstanding spring, has made just two starts at the Double-A level, with both coming at the end of the 2006 season. Hulett has spent more time at Double-A, as he appeared in 48 games with the RoughRiders one season ago.

Interesting stories to follow: The most interesting story would have to be the return of left-handed pitcher A.J. Murray. After missing two of the last three seasons with shoulder problems, Murray impressed the Rangers brass in both the Arizona Fall League and spring training. He will go to the bullpen at Oklahoma, but could be helping the Rangers by July.

Keep your eye on: Victor Diaz. The 25-year-old fell into a season-long slump last season in the Mets organization, but a change of scenery may be all he needs. The outfielder socked 17 doubles and 12 home runs in just 89 games with the Mets in 2005. Diaz looked more like his old self in spring training, where he hit .308 with a pair of home runs in 26 at bats.

Other Notes: Chris Baker, Thomas Diamond, Scott Rice, and Desi Relaford will all begin the season on the Disabled List. Three players are expected to be added to the Oklahoma roster before they open the season on Thursday. The Rangers are waiting to see if pitcher Ezequiel Astacio clears waivers. If he does, he will likely be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma. Other additions could include outfielders Anthony Webster, who played in 69 games with the RedHawks in 2006, or Kevin West, a Minor League free agent signing in the offseason.

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