Jul 222013
 
AAAA

Biogenesis Suspensions: Ryan Braun Struck First, Is Nelson Cruz Next?

Braun is the first to take a trip down suspension lane in 2013.

Just a few days after it was reported that potential suspensions stemming from the Biogenesis accusations weren’t likely to be handed out until next season, the former PED clinic has claimed its first casualty.

2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun has become the latest PED punching bag. He will be suspended without pay for the remainder of the season.

As you may recall, Braun failed a drug test during the 2011/2012 offseason only to have the urine sample mishandled during storage—making it inadmissible.

Braun’s punishment equates to a 65 game suspension—likely less than originally sought by Bud Selig.  In all likelihood, Braun’s willingness to (finally) admit his involvement with PEDs enabled him to minimize the length of his suspension.

Alex Rodriguez is likely next, and since he refused to speak with the powers that be, the-oft injured and chronically overpaid Yankees’ third baseman may be facing a 100 game jaunt or perhaps a lifetime ban…pleasing many (present company included).

The Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz is also a potential for a 50 game jolt, as he was one of 15-20 major-leaguers associated with the Biogenesis sting. Aside from the potential for a plea bargain, first-timers receive a 50 game suspension, second-timers 100 games, and a third time results in a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.

Current players that are on their second offense include Texas Rangers’ minor leaguer, Manny Ramirez, and Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—although Hamilton’s drug issues were those of abuse rather than PEDs.

The Biogenesis news and potential of Cruz’s suspension certainly puts a damper on the exciting prospect of Matt Garza joining the Rangers’ rotation as early as Tuesday.  However, on the bright side, the sooner the better for Cruz’s suspension, as there are currently 63 games left in the season for Texas, and there is a possibility that a suspension would end shortly before the playoffs.

 

@TMurrayHowell

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Jul 222013
 
Martin Perez, Rangers

Three stat-lines, three players…can you guess who’s who without scouring the internets?

Today’s mash-up compares three starting pitchers over the last four weeks – I know, small sample size, but pretty good barometer of who’s hot and who’s not.

And now, the three pitchers we’ll be comparing…

The Players

Monday Morning Mashup   Three pitchers that Im thinking about...

Clifton Phifer Lee – former Ranger great, current longshot trade target.  I’d personally love to have this guy back, but wonder about the potential impact on the clubhouse…after all, he did jump ship after a pretty amazing stretch of baseball in late-2010.

 

 

Monday Morning Mashup   Three pitchers that Im thinking about...

Martin (Jimenez) Perez – dude has been dealing since given his most recent shot in the Rangers starting rotation, but lost last night to the O’s and you have to wonder what he’ll bring to the table down the stretch.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Mashup   Three pitchers that Im thinking about...

Christopher Steven Tillman – one of the unsung O’s and the guy that shut down the Rangers offense last night (not that it takes Superman to do that these days).

 

 

The Stats

Take a look at the stat-lines below and post a comment with who’s who.  Remember, we are on the honor system here…

A.

Split W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
Last 28 days 2 2 3.30 5 5 0 0 30.0 33 14 11 4 8 20 1.367 6.0 2.50
B.
Split W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
Last 28 days 4 1 4.18 5 5 0 0 32.1 33 15 15 5 12 27 1.392 7.5 2.25
C.
Split W L ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
Last 28 days 1 2 5.47 4 4 0 0 26.1 28 16 16 9 4 26 1.215 8.9 6.50
Again, just a little Monday morning baseball fun. Post your answers below in the comments section.
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Jul 192013
 
Matt Garza
Texas Rangers Trade Rumors: Is Matt Garza Headed to Arlington?

A potential trade to the Rangers should be a pleasant surprise for Matt Garza.

As has been reported for the last three years, the Texas Rangers are in apparent hot pursuit of the Chicago Cubs’ Matt Garza.  This comes as no surprise since every time the 29-year-old right hander has been available, the Rangers have been in the mix.  So what’s different this time?

 

First and foremost, mutual need.

 

The Texas Rangers currently have five starting pitchers on the disabled list.  The Chicago Cubs are in full-on rebuilding mode and are looking to replenish their farm system with as many prospects as possible.

 

Secondly, the Chicago Cubs’ asking price might finally suit the Rangers.

The Cubs have been after the Rangers’ 22-year-old left hander, Martin Perez, for just about as long as the Rangers have Garza.  However, just as in times past, the Rangers have put the nix on the inclusion of Perez of any deals. That is, anything short of a “blockbuster” type of deal for the likes of a Giancarlo Stanton or a David Price.

Per T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers are working on getting a deal done with the likes of Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, and Neil Ramirez being bandied about.  Apparently, the Rangers are giving Luke Jackson the “Martin Perez” treatment—at least for this deal—and leaving him out of the Garza trade discussion.

Mike Olt, clearly, is the biggest name involved in the trade rumor.  Coming into this year, he was Baseball America‘s #22 Prospect in all of baseball.

Olt made his major league debut last season, and aside from one exciting walk-off hit, he was largely a letdown.  Olt had a terrible start to the 2013 season, and was placed on the disabled list with some ocular issues.  He had been playing better of late however, so now might be the best time to maximize his trade value.

C.J. Edwards, is a 22-year-old right hander, drafted out of Mid-Carolina in the 48th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft.  Edwards started this year at Class-A Hickory and is having a fine season—going 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA.

Neil Ramirez was drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft.  Ramirez has been a somewhat frustrating prospect. A rapid climber during his first three seasons, Ramirez has been on a yo-yo swing between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco since the 2012 season.  Ramirez has been with Double-A Frisco all season, and has pitched well, going 9-3 with a 3.33 ERA.

Check back often for the latest in the Matt Garza Saga.

@TMurrayHowell

 

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Jul 162013
 
59700385

Rangers Trade News Wrap Up

Its one of the most magical times of the year, no not the All-Star snooze fest. It’s blockbuster trade season. Here are some of the rumors flying around today involving your Texas Rangers

David Kaplan of CSNCHICAGO is reporting that the asking price for Matt Garza remains to be high but he expects him to be traded before the start of the 2nd half of the season.

Multiple sources told me Monday afternoon the Rangers and the Blue Jays are both deciding how far they want to go to acquire Garza with one personnel executive saying, “Look Texas has come so close to winning it all and they may not have many more opportunities to win a ring. And Toronto paid big in the offseason and this may be their best shot to win if they can add another solid arm and Garza certainly fits that big time.”

http://www.csnchicago.com/kapman/kaplan-suitors-plenty-cubs-asking-price-garza-remains-high

Richard Durrett of ESPNDALLAS.com talks about the Rangers interest in Chicago White Sox right fielder Alex Rios and what he would be willing to part with to get him.

I’d part with a pitching prospect or two and would consider Olt or Gallo because Rios is under club control through 2015. But the price of the contract makes me wonder if the Rangers could obtain him without an Olt or Gallo in the deal. I guess we’ll see. The White Sox are in a good position. They can wait it out until they get the largest package they can. But if getting Rios means including one of the top hitting prospects in the deal, I’d do it because Rios could be a Ranger through 2015, if the club chooses.

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4902077/trade-target-alex-rios

Joel Sherman reports in the New York Post that the Rangers are the most likely suitors to get the top pitcher currently available on the trade market.

1. They have always liked him and with four starters — Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis — on the disabled list, they have need. Texas is expecting Darvish and Ogando back. Things are more uncertain with Harrison and Lewis. The Rangers would love to have Darvish, Garza and Derek Holland fronting their rotation down the stretch and possibly lining up 1-2-3 for the playoffs.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/garza_cream_of_crop_yMDlfcSHQD7TMXTriJITGJ

Isn’t this fun!!!

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Jul 132013
 
JoeNathan

Scott & Jasen have been on a two month hiatus, keeping them from much involvement on the site or in terms of podcasting…so where have they been?  Truth be told…life just happens.

Baseball Do Podcast Episode 28   Where weve been, the Rangers at the break and trade targets...

Expectations…one’s meeting them, the other isn’t.

After catching up, the guys take a quick look at the State of the Rangers as of today (July 13th, 2013) and discuss what they expect to see in the second half.  They also provide their biggest surprises and disappointments from the first half of the season.

With the trade deadline looming less than three weeks away, they guys discuss potential trade targets (Garza, Gallardo, Stanton, etc.) and touch on the price tags associated with some of these big names.

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Jul 132013
 
Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus: Swing and a Miss?

This has been a familiar scene in 2013 for Elvis Andrus

The Texas Rangers signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to an eight year $120 million contract extension this past off-season that will begin when his current deal ends in 2015. Elvis will make $15 million a year once his new deal begin and some consider it a good deal while others, not so much for Texas. Why would some consider it a bad deal when he is widely regarding as one of the top two or three shortstops in the game today? While Andrus has great range and can play a gold glove caliber shortstop, his bat is what some people question.

Much was made this off-season about Elvis bulking up and showing some good power to the gaps early in the season. It started off well but has since fallen off. Andrus is coming off a year in which he set career highs with a .286 batting average and a .349 on base percentage and that is coming off career highs in 2011 with .279/.347. Elvis also set career highs last year in games, plate appearances, RBI and slugging percentage. The Rangers are coming off three straight playoff appearances for just the second time in franchise history and Andrus was coming off two of his best years as a pro and is a big part of the Rangers success.

So what’s the fuss over the extension?

So far in 2013, Andrus is having arguably the worst year of his career. Thru 89 games in 2013, he’s hitting just .246 with a .304 OBP but the most troubling stat has to be his dismal .285 slugging percentage. He has just 11 extra base hits this season after career highs last year in doubles (31) and triples (9). Miguel Cabrera has that many in one game. Ok, that’s not entirely true, unless you watch ESPN, then it is true. Anyways, he is on pace to have one of the worst slugging percentages in a single season and by far the worst of his career.

So what gives? Is he falling victim to having his contract and now he’s become comfortable? Is he taking his money and running? Or are pitchers simply pitching him differently? It can’t be that he is hitting second in the lineup because he did that all of 2012 when he set all those career highs. I won’t bore you with a ton of stats, but let’s take a quick look at what I believe to be contributing to his struggles.

Andrus’ numbers are going in the wrong direction. He is striking out at a career high 14.5% and walking at a rate of 7.5% which is the lowest since his rookie season. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a career worst .290. Now that stat would suggest he’s running into some dumb luck. That was the case early on in the season and a little bit here more recently. He’s been hitting the ball on the nose and hard, just right at someone. I attended a game in early April where Elvis went 0-4 but hit four line drives that were just rockets right at people. That happens. Elvis is at his best when he can drive the ball for base hits and force the defense to not play up and expect a bunt.

It’s not all bad luck for Elvis though. Pitchers are even pitching him differently. He is seeing fewer fastballs and more off-speed pitches. His ground ball percentage is the highest of his career so far and his fly ball percentage is the lowest of his career so far. Give credit to opposing pitchers though. They are getting him to chase pitches out of the strike zone (also known as O-Swing %) at a career high 24.3% of the time and he’s is making contact (O-Contact %) at about his career norm so he’s chasing and missing more which would explain the higher strikeout rate. Now check this out, he is swinging at a career high 56.6% of pitches in the strike zone (Z-Swing %) but his 92.6% contact rate (Z-Contact %) is the lowest of his career. As a whole, he is seeing fewer pitches in the zone and swinging at more pitches outside the zone. That’s a bad combination for a hitter.

One could argue that Ian Kinsler is the catalyst that drives this offense. While that notion holds a lot of truth, chew on this: When the Rangers win Andrus’ numbers look like this:

.298/.354/.349/.703 with eight extra base hits, 27 RBI and 13 stolen bases

When the Rangers lose, his numbers look like this:
.168/.226/.189/.415 with three extra base hits, four RBI and five stolen bases

As Elvis goes, so do the Rangers? Make your own conclusions.

I’m not a scout and I’m probably wrong more than I’m right, but I do know that whatever is wrong with Elvis, I hope he figures it out soon. The Rangers need him to be 2012 Elvis Andrus. The Rangers have $15 million reason to hope that he returns to that form too.

Oh want some good news? Andrus is hitting .308 in innings 7-9. At least he isn’t giving up.

Will the real Elvis Andrus please stand up?

Until then, critique me and my opinions all you want, I’m going to the beach. See y’all after the All Star Break.


Billy is a wannabe contributor to BaseballDo that pretends to know what he’s talking about. Jasen regrets giving him a site password every day.
Follow us on twitter @baseballdo and follow me @bcasey55

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Jul 102013
 
Yu Darvish
Texas Rangers News: Yu Darvish to the Disabled List

New rookie call up, “Steely Dan” will be the Rangers’ number 5 starter…

Yeah, that is the most painful headline I have ever had to type.

Sadly, it is true.

Yu Darvish is the latest of a seeming slew of Rangers pitchers that are doing time on the disabled list.

According to various sources, Darvish is suffering from a strained right trapezius muscle.

According to the dictionary, the trapezius  is “a broad, flat muscle on each side of the upper and back part of the neck…”

All I know is that the street name of this apparently very- important-to-people-that-throw-things-for-a-living muscle is “trap.” Insider dope, straight from me to your computer.

There is never a good time for your team’s ace to hit the disabled list, but the timing does minimize the impact as with the All-Star Game coming up next week, Darvish will be eligible for reactivation prior to the New York Yankees series that starts on Monday, July 22nd.

No roster moves have been announced of yet, but it is likely that Ross Wolf will slide in to the rotation to to spell Darvish for tomorrow’s scheduled start.  There is a possibility that Neil Ramirez (9-3, 3.33 ERA, 11.1 K/9) may be promoted from Double-A Frisco to spell The Yu.

Should Ramirez be called up, the Texas Rangers starting rotation would consist of—take a deep breath—Derek Holland, Martin Perez, Justin Grimm, One Metal Folding Chair with a Rangers cap, and that kid from the movie Rookie of the Year.

Darvish joins fellow starting pitchers Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, and Alexi Ogando on the dreaded disabled list.

Texas Rangers News: Yu Darvish to the Disabled List

Yeah, he’s missing teeth…but can he miss bats?

Be sure to check back here—this is BaseballDo, foo—for all relevant updates on the Yu Darvish situation (unless they are too depressing for me to write about).

@TMurrayHowell

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Jul 102013
 
cruz

Plan B   Nelson Cruz

Early yesterday morning it was reported that MLB had decided to suspend Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and rehabbing Yankee Alex Rodriguez for as many as 100 games next week. Braun and Arod were among 20 players identified in a Miami Biogenesis steroid probe during the off-season. One of the players reportedly involved was our very own All-Star Nelson Cruz. Cruz has been a beast this year with an .864 OPS and 22 home runs before the all star break but most certainly the Rangers front office has been preparing for losing the handsome incredibly eyebrow-ed slugger. Lets take a closer look at a couple of options the Rangers have in the outfield.

Leonys/Beltre/Murphy Outfeld

This is my personal preference. Leonys Martin has been nothing short of electrifying in his first full season in the big leagues. The Cuban Lion has not only been hitting .292/.342/.440 he’s been a terrific defensive center fielder. Let’s move him to right field shall we?? Why would you move a terrific center fielder to right field you ask? Because you have an even better defensive center fielder in your organization who is dying to prove his mettle. Engel Beltre has only played in 7 games this year but has shown flashes of awesomeness. He’s a pest. He gets on base and once he’s there, he makes things happen. Before being called up Beltre was hitting .300/.360/.406 in AAA Round Rock, his most productive minor league year to date. Murphy, well he’s Murphy. One of the absolutely nicest guys on the team who struggles at the beginning of every year and then ramps up at the end of the year. He’s done it his whole career and it appears he’s starting to do it again raising his batting average and is now projected to finish the season a respectable .281/.350/.437.

Plan B   Nelson Cruz

Trade

Other than Engel Beltre, there aren’t many big league ready outfielders in the Rangers farm system. No, not even Joey Gallo. The Rangers may look to trade some of those valuable prospects in a deep system for a proven outfielder ready to step in and play in Cruz’s spot now. One of the names I’ve heard in rumors is that of Chicago White Sox OFer Alex Rios. Rios is hitting .281 with 11 HRs and 40 RBI so far this year. While its unknown what the Sox would want in return, he is under control through 2014 and would fit nicely in his natural RF spot in Texas. In the “its a pipe dream” department, the equally handsome Giancarlo “don’t call me Mike” Stanton would be an even nicer fit but is unlikely to come to Texas without costing you the Chosen One, Profar.

Plan B   Nelson Cruz

I don’t want Nelson Cruz to be suspended, and he very well might not be, but its time to start preparing for the worst. Hold me.

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Jul 092013
 
black-sports-online-ron-washington-smokes-in-dugout

Yes, we’ve been slacking. We’ve had site issues, organizational changes, DL stints and drug suspensions within the BaseballDo ranks. Don’t worry we’re about to be back with new ground breaking analysis (copying other site’s articles) and podcasts (drunk conversations between Scott and I). Stay TUNED!!!!!!!!!!!!

WERE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

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