Marlon Byrd, Paul McAnulty and Scott Livingston – Callups

A pleasantslow-paced weekend and I thought I’d use Monday to catch up on a few
transactions from the obscure and curious files.

 

Marlon
Byrd was called up by the Rangers and has gone 2-for-8 starting in two consecutive
games. I wrote on Byrd’s quick start here, noting I didn’t see him getting the
call with the Rangers outfield situation being convoluted; both major league and prospect
wise. But — I know some of my prospect brethren and colleagues are gonna hate
this — he deserved the call up over Jason Botts and deserves the playing time
over Nelson Cruz. Byrd outperformed Botts at Triple-A by a wide margin, and Cruz
has issues.

 

I admit
to not really being in the corner of Cruz or Victor Diaz. Cruz has a hole in his
swing that is currently being exploited by major league pitching; I think a
demotion is in order before this season is lost developmentally. Diaz has never
struck me as a guy who is anything but a role player.

 

I’ve
always liked Byrd’s skill set; at the very least he’s a decent bench player
with a little speed on the base paths, some pop in his bat, and the ability to
play three outfield positions. At age 29, he has much to prove and no time. I’m
not betting the farm on success in 2007 as the odds against are less than
favorable, but I will say I like his chances this season over Cruz or Diaz. At
bats for the half-season necessary to gauge seem improbable with the injured likely
to return, noting perhaps the Rangers have brought him up with the idea of trading
Kenny Lofton while he’s healthy.

 

Paul McAnulty
got the call on Saturday to replace Brian Giles, but it might be a short stint
with the injury to the regular right fielder not considered long term; more in
line with getting him some rest as the knee injury appears to have hurt his
production.

 

McAnulty,
a slow but steady riser since the Padres made him a 12th round pick
out of Long Beach State U., hasn’t had much success at Triple-A this year, his
second full season at the level. The 5-10, 230-pounder is now 26 and doesn’t
really profile as a major league regular; too short to be considered ideal at
first base, too short and slow-footed for third base, and too slow to decisively
cover Petco dimensions in the outfield. He’s a left-handed pull hitter with
power, but struggles against left-handed pitching and generates much of his
production as a mistake hitter. He’s been slow but successful at every level,
and he might surprise and become a decent bat as a corner outfielder, it just
isn’t likely to be in 2007 without a few changes to the Padres current roster;
a fourth outfielder projection with a little upside for improving this prognostication.

 

Bobby Livingston was recalled on Monday to replace Kirk Saarloos; sent down due to ineffectiveness. I profiled him here, when he was first called to make a start for Eric Milton. He was — as projected – both hittable and
serviceable. I thought to make a second note here as I like this call up for
his type of pitcher. As a slow-growth soft-tossing southpaw, time spent in a
long relief capacity –most likely to come in low-key situations – can be
invaluable. I think it’s a good call by the organization; we’ll see if they can
live with it and whether or not it ultimately provides fruit later.

 

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