Archive for Monday, June 10, 2002

Rocker recalled

June 10, 2002

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— John Rocker was called up from the minors by the Texas Rangers and was in uniform for Sunday night's game against his old team, the Atlanta Braves.

Rocker was promoted a day after Texas closer Hideki Irabu gave up Andruw Jones' three-run homer in the 10th inning of a 6-3 loss to Atlanta. Irabu has allowed seven homers in his last four games.

"I was pretty mad when they told me to go down to work on some stuff," Rocker said. "Looking back, it was probably the best thing that could happen. Gradually over a two-week period, I was able to piece it back together, a 180-degree turnaround.

"My confidence is as high as it's ever been."

Rocker was 0-1 with a 7.53 ERA and one save in 17 relief appearances with the Rangers before he got sent down to Oklahoma for the second time on May 21.

With the Triple-A team, the reliever was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 8 2-3 innings, striking out 14 and walking two.

Texas manager Jerry Narron didn't declare Rocker the closer, saying instead he planned a bullpen-by-committee approach based on matchups.

To make room for Rocker, pitcher Rob Bell was optioned to Oklahoma. Bell was 2-2 with a 6.29 ERA in six starts over two stints with Texas. Because of two off days the next eight days, the Rangers decided to go without a No. 5 starter for now.

The lefty's turbulent tenure with the Braves ended when he was traded to Cleveland last June 22.

When Rocker was initially optioned April 16, after he gave up two runs in the 10th inning of a 6-5 loss at Anaheim, he didn't go to Oklahoma. Instead, he stayed in California to work on his delivery mechanics with Tom House at a performance clinic owned by the former Rangers pitching coach.

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