Everything went according to the Rangers’ plans last year in their careful handling of lefthander Kasey Kiker, their 2006 first-round pick.
Kiker had to wait until May 21 to make his first start of the 2007 season with low Class A Clinton, as the Rangers limited his workload in his first full season to 96 1/3 innings over 20 starts. The plan worked out, as Kiker finished with a 2.90 ERA and 112 strikeouts (10.5 per nine innings), hitting 97 mph in late-season games.
Despite the Rangers’ careful management, the 20-year-old Kiker came down with a sore shoulder earlier this year and has yet to pitch in a game this season.
"He was a little bit slow to get going with his throwing program over the winter," Rangers farm director Scott Servais said. "So he was a couple weeks behind. He’s pitching today in extended spring (training) on five-inning schedule. If that goes good, he’ll be out here in the (high Class A) Cal League on his next turn."
The Rangers are taking a similar course of action this season with righthanders Michael Main and Blake Beavan, both first-rounders from the 2007 draft. Main, who is nursing a stress fracture in his rib cage, had a 3.21 ERA, 34 strikeouts and 12 walks in 28 innings last year between the Rookie-level Arizona League and short-season Northwest League, while Beavan did not pitch in a minor league game after signing in August.
"We really set a number of innings that we want that player to have by the end of the season, to get that player on that number of innings and have them finish on a positive," Servais said. "To do that, we need to take it slow with them at the beginning. To me we hit a home run with Kasey Kiker last year."
"If we took Beavan or Main or (righthander Neil) Ramirez, (a 2007 supplemental first-rounder), and you send him out to a full-season club, that would be 28 starts," Servais later added. "In our opinion we’d like them to have 19 or 20 starts."
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog