Jasen Southward

Mar 192013
 

Nothing is more fun than wild speculation. With less than 2 weeks before the first meaningful game of what I think will be a magical Texas Rangers season, I give you my 2013 25-man Roster.

Starting Pitchers

Yu Darvish
Matt Harrison
Derek Holland
Alexi Ogando
Robbie Ross

No real surprises here. The 5th spot in the rotation was the only question mark going into Spring Training. The leading candidate Martin Perez was injured by a line drive knocking him from contention and paving the way for last year’s breakout bullpen star Robbie Ross to join the rotation.

Relief Pitchers

Michael Kirkman
Joe Nathan
Joe Ortiz
Jason Frasor
Derek Lowe
Nick Tepesch
Tanner Scheppers

This is by far the hardest group of players to predict. I would not be surprised at all if the Rangers make a move for bullpen help before the season starts. I think the Rangers will keep two lefties in the bullpen with Kirkman and Joe Ortiz. My biggest question marks are Tanner Scheppers (who has struggled this Spring) and Nick Tepesch who before this year was relatively unknown but has had a great Spring and has been reportedly been considered for the 5th starter spot.

Catchers

A.J. Pierzynski
Geovany Soto

A.J. could prove to be a nice upgrade over the catcher position last year and having Geovany Soto as your backup catcher aint half bad.

Infielders

Elvis Andrus
Adrian Beltre
Lance Berkman – DH
Ian Kinsler
Mitch Moreland
Jeff Baker
Leury Garcia

Veteran Jeff Baker has had a terrific spring and with Mike Olt being sent to the minor leagues today I think he has earned a spot on the bench. We know how Wash feels about veterans. My biggest surprise here is that the Rangers would carry Garcia and Baker. This is a long shot but I think the Rangers love the speed Garcia offers and would like to have a shortstop on the bench to avoid tired players like last year.

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz
David Murphy
Craig Gentry
Leonys Martin

Having the ability to play Leonys (L-R) or Gentry (R-R) in CF is a nice option. Both guys have had great moments in Spring Training and I can’t see them sending either down. David Murphy is going to have his shot to play LF full-time.

There you go, there is a 100% chance that this won’t be the roster come March 31st but if it is, you all owe me 100 bucks.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section, who’d I leave off? Who’s Jeff Baker?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Dec 222012
 

No Hamilton? No Problem.What, no crying kid videos because Josh Hamilton bolted for Anaheim?

Oh no, we Ranger fans have to be better than that right? Instead of posting videos of our kids crying, we are going to post pictures of us burning everything Josh Hamilton related. As if burning a $100 jersey wasn’t enough, let’s just take a picture of us urinating on the jersey in the toilet, which will show Hamilton what kind of fandom he’s missing out on right?!

I get it; you’re upset that the Rangers most productive offensive player and fan favorite bolted for the arch rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Is burning $100 really worth it? Does it make you feel better? Yes, essentially your #32 jersey is now worthless and pointless to own but c’mon people it’s not nearly as bad as you think and I can prove it.

There is no denying that Josh Hamilton put up some incredible numbers during his five years here in Texas but he is now on the wrong side of 30 and no one really knows how old is body is with his past abuse history. Is paying him $25 million a year a good idea? Let’s take a look:

Player A: .272/.364/.473/.837 24 HR, 93 RBI, 148 GP, 3.5 WAR $10.25M
Player B: .285/.354/.577/.930 43 HR 128 RBI, 148 GP, 3.4 WAR $13.75M
Player C: .304/.380/.479/.859 15 HR, 61 RBI, 147 GP, 3.2 WAR $3.625M

Any Ranger fan knows that Player B is clearly Josh Hamilton but who is Player A and Player C? We will hold off for a second on that because I want to make a point. These are last year’s salaries and we all know Josh Hamilton makes $25M a year now, which is what the Rangers would have had to pay him this year to keep him so we will assume that to be his salary. Player A will probably get somewhere between $10M and $13M is my guess and player C will stay the same. What I’m getting at is that for roughly HALF the cost of Josh Hamilton you can have two players that are equal to, if not better than the production of Hamilton. Player C is David Murphy who we all assume will be the Rangers everyday left fielder for 2013 and Player A is Nick Swisher. Hate the man all you want, bottom line is the guy is not that bad with the stick.

Think about all the money that’s being saved from letting Hamilton walk. With that money you can easily sign Elvis Andrus to a long term deal (It’s being reported by Ben Rogers that Elvis has told agent Scott Boras to start negotiating a long term contract extension with Texas.) and you allow yourself flexibility in the free agent market this year and next! Why overpay for an aging outfielder who seems to have lost his passion for the game?

If you’re a football fan you remember all the talk last season of the “Dream Team” in Philadelphia and how miserably that failed. Anyone remember the 2003-2004 “Dream Team” Lakers when they had Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal? They were manhandled in the finals by the Detroit Pistons. A collection of the best all around players in the league doesn’t always accumulate into championships. Team chemistry, players knowing their role and passion for the game is what brings you championships. And for the final two months of 2012, it was clear that Josh Hamilton didn’t have the passion it took to win. That was assured to us on a sunny afternoon in Oakland when Hamilton dropped a routine fly ball in centerfield.

There is a reason that the Rangers have one of the best farm systems and front offices in the game today. Jon Daniels knows what he’s doing, Nolan Ryan knows what he’s doing and the Rangers know what they are doing.

Besides, there’s this kid name Jurickson Profar, you may have heard of him? Yea, give him two years and you’ll be saying Hamilton who?

 

Billy Casey

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Aug 142012
 
dlsm2

Hi, I Have Someone I’d Like You to MeetGreetings from a minor league perch in a major league town, I’d like for you to meet Miguel De Los Santos. Miguel is a 24-year-old left-handed relief pitcher currently in Frisco. He’s on the 40-man roster and has two options remaining. He has, at times, pitched as a starter, but given his repertoire, he profiles much better as a reliever and following a stint on the DL earlier this season, this has been his role. Miguel is not perfect, but he has a pitch that nearly is. His changeup may be the single best secondary offering in the entire system. It has a laughable rotation, and an almost screwball-like finish. Scouts routinely put 7s and 7.5s on it. (20-80 scouting scale) Unfortunately, a changeup is generally only effective if it is set up by a good fastball. Miggy has struggled not only to command his fastball, but also to maintain the proper velocity so the changeup is a true, well, change up. However, the primary reason I’m introducing you to Miggy is the progress he has made with his fastball in the last month. Regularly sitting 92-93, touching higher, it has become an effective weapon and something hitters have to prepare for while constantly thinking that the pitch hurtling toward them may actually be the Bugs Bunny changeup. The other weapon in his repertoire that has gotten better is his curveball. Frankly, it’s spinning tighter with a later break, often directly out of the zone. He’ll always have command issues and when it goes, it goes. Given the velocity and lack of movement of his FB, if he leaves it up, it usually goes very far in the opposite direction, but the same can be said of nearly all big league FBs left up in the zone. Lately, his pitchability has been very good. His added velocity has him starting hitters off with the FB, rather than pitching backwards as had often been the case in the past. It’s all about being ahead in the count and forcing hitters to wonder if, or more likely, when, the Bugs ball is coming.

 Another reason for Miguel’s introduction is the simple fact that he’s left handed. And on the 40 man roster. And left handed. If Ross is tiring, or injured, or if the simple need/desire arises to add a second lefty to the pen, Miguel will be in the discussion. There really aren’t many, if any, other leftys in Round Rock or Frisco with the stuff capable of getting big league hitters out. Again, he’s not perfect, but if his command is decent, his pitches can induce swings and misses at all levels.  Did I mention he’s left-handed?

Thanks for reading, and keep enjoying baseball!  Love Ya!

Your Friend,

Tepid

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Jun 172012
 

Father’s Day Gifts

by Tepid Participation

Stupid golf crap. That’s what you’re trying to avoid. I mean for Father’s Day. Dad’s day is Sunday the 17th and you don’t want to give or receive any more stupid golf crap. I am a condescending jerkface.  Always have been, but hopefully I won’t always be. Bear this in mind while perusing my little Father’s Day gift guide for the baseball fan/Rangers fan.

Let’s get stared.

-First of all, anyone attending baseball games knows you’re almost certain to need a few key functional elements of style. One of these elements is sunglasses. I would like to take this moment to explain something about sunglasses. Over the last decade or so, “sport” sunglasses have taken up a huge portion of market share. I’m talking about the kind of shades meant to be worn during sporting activity. These sunglasses are great, functional, and frankly, Willie Mays would have really loved them while fighting the San Fran glare.  They are, however, to be worn DURING SPORTING ACTIVITIES. The chances of Josh Hamilton asking to borrow your shades? None. So having said that, leave the Oakley’s at home and get a proper pair of leisure sunglasses. For the most part, they look great on all men.  I normally suggest the classics.  I don’t know you or your father but every man looks pretty cool in a proper fitting pair of aviators.

Fathers Day Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***warning*** you are unlikely to look “Newman Cool” in proper sunglasses. Do not let this discourage you from trying.

—Now let’s address my ultimate male-style pet peeve. Surprisingly, this conversation has permeated baseball talk, mostly due to the yeoman’s efforts of Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks’ Up and In Podcast.  I’m talking about the proliferation of flip flops. Here it is: the pool, your house, the beach, your driveway, a gym shower, your backyard, Hawaii, any vacation. That is the entire list of where flip flops are appropriate footwear for a man.  Your feet aren’t good looking. Furthermore, you’d like to look like you’re in charge of something, right?  I don’t care what it is, be it a Fortune 500 company or simply your family, you don’t look like you’re in charge of a damn thing if you’re wearing flip flops. They are not “OK” at the ballpark.  If you go to a Ranger’s game and you’re steaming down I-30 on your way back to Big D at 10:45 with sticky kids and an exhausted wife, you’ll be 100% screwed if you blow a tire. YOU CAN’T STAND ON A TIRE IRON IN FREAKIN’ FLIP FLOPS!” Also, ballparks are concrete hangouts filled with beer and 45,000 sweaty people. They are not clean. Put on some shoes.  Here, try these:

http://shop.vans.com/catalog/Vans/en_US/style/$$1.html?categoryId=65121&colorCode=EYECHR

or these:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/seavees-baja/3233678?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=seavees_%27baja%27_slip-on:501594&cm_pla=shoes:men:slip_on&cm_ven=Froogle&mr:referralID=NA&mr:trackingCode=3B520AAF-9083-E111-8435-001517B1882A

Oh, and this is very important! For the last bazillion or so years, men have been using this to keep odor and sweat away. Go to CVS and buy a can and sprinkle some in all of your shoes. Quit being ridiculous:

http://www.overstockdrugstore.com/products/Gold-Bond-Foot-Powder-Medicated-Max-Strength-4-Ounces.html

And I’ll punch you in the left kidney if you wear Crocs. They’re for kids. You have a mortgage, your shoes shouldn’t float.

—Ask a woman if they like the way you look in cargo shorts. Go ahead, ask ‘em. Any woman will tell you, it’s not a good thing to balloon out around your hips and thighs. Do you work in the Safari business? No?  Then why the hell do you need 12 pockets!? Go buy a proper fitting pair of long shorts with deep pockets to hold all the nonsense your kids hand you. I like to use the ones with buttons on the back pockets, so I know my wallet is safe.  Whatever you get, just do me a favor and light a fire to your sloppy, droopy, wrinkly cargo shorts and eliminate all Velcro from your wardrobe. (side note- Velcro is only appropriate on “hunting clothes” section of your closet.)

—Golf culture is pretty annoying to me, but a man at a ballgame in a golf (polo) shirt, isn’t. Weird, I know. Can’t explain it really. I just know that you’re a grown man and wearing a shirt with lots of logos all over it gives you a bit of a silly air. Antigua is the manufacturer of choice for MLB and they make those crazy light-weight, simple, solid color golf shirts that tell people, “Hey, look, I support these guys, but I’d choose my family, my wife, my friends, my spiritual beliefs and my work before any team I’m not actually on.” Remember, less is more:

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4040086&cp=1452369.1452921.707858

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11788057&cp=1452369.1452921.707858

-If you must wear a t-shirt, understand a couple of principles. 1. It is going to show your sweat more than a golf shirt. Be cognizant of this. And 2. The fewer the words, the better. You know what, better yet, no words. If you want to amaze your friends with your Rangers fandom try one of these obscure gems from Low-A Hickory:

http://crawdads.milbstore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=54&dept_id=1046&product_id=11101

or this from High-A Myrtle Beach:

 http://pelicans.milbstore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=102&dept_id=1513&product_id=10439

and finally, the good folks at No Mas make some fine T’s with words:

http://www.nomas-nyc.com/3-t-shirts

**on a less popular note, while I understand your desire to do it, I’ve always thought it a bit weird to have another man’s name on my back. I see it all the time and I know it’s a touchy subject, I’m just saying it’s weird to me. I don’t look up to any man, other than my own father, enough to wear his name on my back.  Get a golf shirt and call it a day.

-Finally, headwear. I’ll be frank. The six-panel, wool, properly structured ball cap is a perfect style piece. Always has been, always will be. Remember with hats, less is more. You need one logo. On the front. I am a staunch supporter of the New Era 59/50. It holds it’s shape, has classic lines and it has that ridiculously effective sweatband. Yeah, it’s kinda hot at first, but there’s a reason the ballplayers wear it. If, however, your 59/50 starts to look like John Wetteland’s, get rid of it. Sweat lines and dirty hats are for college kids. Again, if you’re looking for something creative here, rock a hat from one of your favorite teams’ minor league affiliates. MiLB hats can get a little carried away though, so use caution. Or, ask your wife if it looks good.  You should probably do that more often anyway.

 Fathers Day Gifts

I also own one of these DFW Spurs hats from the brilliant folks at Ebbets Field Flannels. The Spurs played in Turnpike Stadium before it became Arlington Stadium before it became the parking lot for The Ballpark in Arlington. You can get one here:

 

Fathers Day Gifts

http://www.ebbets.com/product/DallasFtWorthSpursBallcap/Ballcaps

 

Ok, so those are my tips for you fellas out there. This was a lot more fun than that cocamamy idea I had about Martin Perez (which I still wholeheartedly believe in). Hopefully, this helps. If not, just keep wearing your Oakleys, cargo shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt with some other dude’s name on the back. Regardless of your gameday attire, remember, enjoy being a father and/or having one. Seriously. People get old and die and bad shit happens sometimes, so enjoy and savor every ballpark related moment. Baseball has always been a generational link and that’s one of the reasons we love it.  Have a Happy Father’s Day.

Love Ya,

Tepid

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Jun 072012
 
Derek Holland 5

Dutch to the 15 day DL; Whos got this?    +Dutch to the 15 day DL; Whos got this?=Dutch to the 15 day DL; Whos got this?

 

Derek Holland was placed on the 15-day DL this morning with what the Rangers are calling “left shoulder fatigue”. Holland has been battling a vicious bout of bubble gut the last 2 1/2 weeks and has lost 15 pounds. The Rangers plan on allowing Holland the time to get back to 100% before having him pitch again.

In the meantime, the Rangers will allow Alexi Ogando to make the start on Sunday. During the first half of 2011 when he spent most of his time as a starter he was 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA. Soon after that he struggled with fatigue and was moved to a bullpen role where he remained to start this season.

Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt continues to build innings in Round Rock with the hopes of joining the big league club somewhere around June 20th.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
May 242012
 

Thursday Morning Changeups

In my personal experience, doing anything 20 times in 20 days is a tough task.

The Rangers finished a 20 games in 20 days stretch by going 10-10 with a loss to the Mariners. Doesn’t sound great for a team that started the season winning 17 of 23 games.

There is no doubt the Rangers are going through a streak of bad baseball. Allow me to be that guy that gives you some “glass half full” information.

  • Other than the L.A. Dodgers, the Rangers have the largest lead in their division over the second place team which is 5 games over the Oakland A’s
  • Even as we watch this offense flounder, the Rangers own the largest run differential in all of baseball at +79. The closest team is the St. Louis Cardinals at +65.
  • The team that a large group of experts picked to win the AL West is sitting 7 games back with a fair amount of problems themselves.
  • The Rangers offense, even after a very rough streak, is 1st in Runs scored, Batting average, and Slugging PCT.
  • The Rangers bullpen has been DOMINANT.

What they were saying after yesterdays loss to the Mariners:

Feldman:

“Walking that many guys, I was kind of dodging bullets the whole day,” Feldman said. “Finally, they got me in the fifth. But it’s been like that the last couple times I’ve gotten the ball, just bad command. I’ve got to get back where I was at the end of camp — confident in all my pitches and throwing strikes.”

Wash on Feldman:

“He’s a sinker pitcher, and it was a situation where we just needed him to get the ball down,” manager Ron Washington said. “He ended up getting it up, and Liddi took advantage of it.”

“I don’t think you can put that on Scotty like that,” Washington said. “There are decisions to be made, and we’ll make those decisions.”

As I tweeted yesterday, I’m getting the feeling that the Roy Oswalt signing is near. The Rangers feel like with the potential loss of Feliz until after the all-star break they need to bolster the starting pitching depth. It makes total sense at the right price and could provide a great veteran presence in the young rotation.

No game tonight…and that sucks.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
May 222012
 

Tuesday Morning Sliders

Superman has his Kryptonite, Achilles has his heel, Darvish has the Mariners???

In Yu’s first start of the year he faced the bottom feeders of the AL West and got ROUGHED up in a forgettable introduction to American baseball. After that start, Yu has rolled through baseball with a 1.94 ERA and was ready to redeem himself against those same Mariners. The first hitter of the game, a NASTY strikeout on three pitches. Oh yeah baby! this is going to be an awesome game to see! Next batter…four pitch walk. Oh dear. Unfortunately the rest of his start went more like the second batter than the first.

As if it wasn’t bad enough the Rangers were facing a motivated Felix Hernandez who had two un-Felix type starts leading up to this game. The Rangers offense (who still look a little lost) couldn’t muster any runs until the 8th inning when Mitch Moreland continued his hot hitting with a solo home run.

What they were saying after the game:

Darvish:

“I was apologetic because I wasn’t able to go deep in the game as a starter should,” Darvish said. “Overall the approach and the substance of the game … it wasn’t that good.”

“The early part of the game I was OK with my command,” Darvish said. “But somewhere in the middle when I really needed to throw a strike, I struggled to get a strike.”

On Ichiro

“He’s a good hitter,” Darvish said. “The first triple, the ball was down and he did a good job getting the bat on the ball. The second hit was a bad pitch, the ball was right down the middle.”

Ron Washington:

“I told him it’s part of the game,” said Washington, who was more concerned that Darvish understand why he was pulled from the game so early. “I told him we’re not out to try and kill him. That was a lot of pitches in a short period of time. We need him for the rest of the year, not just one night.”

on Felix

“We’ve seen that before, he’s capable of doing that,” Washington said. “Tonight was his night and not Darvish’s.”

Eric Wedge:

On Yu

“It had been awhile and the first time was different because it was his first time,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “But obviously he’d been having a lot of success, and our guys did a great job against him tonight. Obviously, he has a good arm, keeps the ball down for the most part, but again, you’ve really got to tip your hat to our guys. Offensively, our guys went up there and made him come into the zone, and when he didn’t, we took the passes when we could.”

As if a loss wasn’t enough, The Rangers found out yesterday that first year starter Neftali Feliz will be placed on the 15 day DL

Scott Feldman will take his spot in the rotation but there has been discussion about signing former Astro Roy Oswalt who recently threw a bullpen session for several teams. More to come!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
May 162012
 

Wednesday Morning Curves

Ugh…

I was going to start this post off complaining about the over-managment of the lineup during this two game sweep by the Royals. I was going to point out how guys like Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto haven’t had a day off yet this year and they are hitting over .300 and leading their teams while being 5 and 6 years older than Elvis Andrus. I was going to show how there is no statistical correlation between days off early in the season and better performance late in the season. I was even going to show how time off can actually disrupt a hot hitters timing thus taking him “out of the zone”

But alas…I won’t do any of that. I’ll just focus on what happened yesterday.

In all fairness the Rangers probably didn’t lose because Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz weren’t in the lineup. Colby Lewis imploded in the first inning for the second game in a row and didn’t really give his team a chance to win. After his last start when Colby gave up back to back to back home runs he actually got worse against the Royals. Thanks to his throwing error to first on a routine grounder back to the pitcher, Colby gave up four runs (all unearned).

The bright spot for me yesterday was the home run by Brandon Snyder. In a very small sample size, Snyder has shown me enough to be intrigued. The guy has sneaky power and plays with the enthusiasm of a player trying to break into regular playing time.

What they were saying after the game courtesy of ESPNDALLAS:

Colby on his performance

“They did a good job of hitting them where we weren’t,” Lewis said, apparently referring to hard-to-reach spots like the outfield walls.

Wash on Colby

“He hit a bad stretch and we’re going to fight through it,” Washington said after being pressed on the issue of Lewis being hit hard after the errors. “We’re not going to get concerned about anything. We’re going to do what we always do — go to work and try to correct things. It’s a long season.

“Next time he goes out there, you never know, it might be the beginning of him rattling off three or four (great starts). That’s the way we think.”

Ned Yost

“To come in here and win two games is big for us,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “Our pitching has been pretty good. That shows you how good.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
May 152012
 

Tuesday Morning SlidersWe did play the Royals last night right?

In all fairness the Royals are a pretty decent, very young team loaded with minor league talent. In fact one might argue that the Royals look a lot like the Rangers did before their rise to an American League powerhouse. The Royals are 6 games below .500 but have had some nice wins against legit teams like the Yankees earlier this month.

As far as the Rangers are concerned, a let down was inevitable. In the middle of a tough stretch of games and coming off of a very emotional series with AL West rival Angels, the Rangers looked flat. The offense couldn’t muster more than a run off of BRUCE CHEN.

Tuesday Morning Sliders 

If there was a bright spot to last nights loss it was the mammoth home run by Nelson Cruz who appears to be busting out of a slump.

What they were saying after the game courtesy of Foxnews sports:

Ned Yost

“I think Bruce Chen faced Josh Hamilton about as good as you can face him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Two souvenirs in the stands.”

Michael Young

“That was a great win right there. Bruce was just superb,” Young said. “He made one mistake, and the pitch wasn’t that bad a pitch, but it was a 2-0 cutter right into Cruz’s hot zone. Besides that, he was spectacular.”

“Mixing it up. Hard, soft, in, out,” Michael Young said. “No patterns, just throwing anything in any count.”

Wash on Scott Feldman

“He certainly gave us a lot more than we expected,” Washington said. “Unfortunately, the guy who made the mistake is one who doesn’t make many.”

Wash on Bruce Chen and why he was so effective

“If I knew, we’d have swung the bat a lot better,” he said. “We really only smoked one ball.” 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
Login