Jerry Crasnick (ESPN.com) asks the question Do the Rangers have an Ace in their stable?
- As Crasnick puts it, the Rangers pitching staff is long on talent, but short on experience. ”The Texas rotation, as currently constructed, is long on talent and relatively short on experience. Colby Lewis, the elder statesman of the group at 32, has 631 big league innings if you exclude his time in Japan. Lefties Derek Holland, 25, and Matt Harrison, 26, continue to grow and evolve. Neftali Feliz is transitioning from closer, and Alexi Ogando could land in the rotation or the bullpen. The Rangers also have Scott Feldman, who was a postseason savior as the team’s long man in October. Which brings us, finally, to Yu Darvish, whose talent and stuff prompted the Rangers to shell out almost $112 million between the posting fee and the contract.”
- Crasnick then asks the real question – does it matter if their is a true ace or not? He goes on to name all of the teams in MLB that have a legitimate ace, and says “Despite the absence of Rangers from the list, two big league front-office people said Texas’ rotation is worthy of a pennant contender, particularly because it’s supported by such a formidable lineup.”
- Crasnick makes some good points in the article and it’s definitely worth the read, but I’m really hoping that one of two things happen in 2012:
- One of the existing Rangers starters develops into an ace over the course of the year and can serve in that role during the playoffs – Darvish or Holland seem to make the most sense to me.
- If #1 doesn’t happen, the Rangers are in a position to trade for a true ace at the trade deadline.
The uncomfortably named Michael Weiner, Executive Director of the MLB Players Association, was at Rangers camp yesterday for the Rangers union meeting. With both last year’s player rep and the back up, C.J. and O’Day respectively, no longer with the club, the team will need to identify replacements.
- Weiner talked briefly about Ryan Braun’s recent “testing” debacle, saying ”Any strong program has to to deter use, has to have appropriate penalities and also has to have a fair appeals process. This doesn’t take away from our process. Anybody that wants both a tough and fair program should be satisfied with this result.”
- Weiner also talked about Josh Hamilton’s recent relapse, ”The union and the Commissioner’s Office jointly administer a program and Josh is a part of that. Josh is working hard under that program and our first concern is for Josh’s well-being. Josh has the resources that he needs,” Weiner said.
- Ron Washington is impressed with Neftali Feliz’s attitude, ”He’s focused and he’s confident and he’s getting the opportunity to use all his pitches in batting practice. He has been a leader in his group out there. So far, he seems very happy to be a starter. To me, that is 50 percent of it. The other 50 percent is going out and getting it done. He’s determined to do well. He’s going to win some game for us.”
- Elvis Andrus (foot) didn’t participate in any running drills yesterday, but did hit in the cage and take grounders. Should be back to full speed soon.
- Mike Adams (hernia) will throw again today and plan’s to pitch in the intrasquad game on Friday.
- Jeff Wilson (Star-Telegram) writes about David Murphy’s hope for more playing time in 2012.
- Jon Daniels when asked if he’s optimistic about Josh Hamilton remaining with the Rangers beyond 2012 after his comments from last Friday and over the weekend, “The comments don’t play into it much. Maybe I’m an optimist but I’d like to think that at the appropriate time, we’ll sit down and be able to work something out. Bottom line is the club would like to keep Josh in Texas, and I think he’d like to be here. It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship, without a doubt. Every situation is unique and requires some level of creativity. If that’s the mindset on both sides, we’ll be OK. For now though, we all think it’s best to let Josh’s family and sobriety be the priority, followed by getting ready for the season. We’ll handle the contract talks privately at some point.”