Jul 082012
 
If 'ole Roy gets rocked again tonight, his future might be in the Rangers' bullpen.

Texas Rangers Injury Updates: Can Roy Oswalt Keep His Rotation Spot?

If ‘ole Roy gets rocked again tonight, his future might be in the Rangers’ bullpen.

Tonight it’s time to see if Roy Oswalt—aka the “Wizard of Os”—can break his string of extreme hitability. Should he allow 13 hits against the Twins tonight—as he has in his last two starts—the free agent starter might be following the yellow brick road to the bullpen.

Oswalt shouldn’t worry too much about losing his spot in the rotation, but he should be aware that help is on the way…

Derek Holland was the first of the Rangers’ DL casualties to return to action. In his first start since June 5, Dutch picked up a no-decision but looked pretty sharp as he allowed just three runs over six innings pitched.

Here’s a quick status update on some other Texas Rangers injuries:

Colby Lewis—right forearm tendonitis (15-Day disabled list)

Lewis is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this Friday at Seattle, and could be available to pitch as soon as July 18 when the Rangers travel to Oakland.

Alexi Ogando—strained right groin (15-Day DL)

Ogando is all set to begin a rehab assignment this Thursday at Triple-A Round Rock. If this goes well, the next step would be to throw a live bullpen with a tentative return date for Ogando later this month.

Neftali Feliz—elbow inflammation (60-Day DL)

Feliz will throw on his own at his home during the All-Star break. How he feels after throwing will determine a possible return date. The Rangers are being extremely careful with Feliz, and he probably won’t return to action before the end of August at the earliest.

Mark Lowe—strained right intercostal muscle (15-Day DL)

Placed on the disabled on June 30, Lowe will continue to rest and recuperate during the upcoming All-Star break. In all likelihood, Lowe can possibly begin a throwing session early next week.

Koji Uehara—right lat strain (15-Day DL)

Today Uehara threw 43 pitches in his third bullpen session. The next step for Koji will be to make a rehab start—most likely at Triple-A Round Rock—and then he should be all set for reactivation.

Post All-Star Break rotation announced:

Per Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, manager Ron Washington has announced his post-AS break roation. It will look like this:

LHP Derek Holland, RHP Yu Darvish, LHP Matt Harrison, RHP Roy Oswalt and RHP Colby Lewis.

With Justin Grimm optioned back to Double-A Frisco earlier this afternoon, it appears that rookie left-hander Martin Perez would be the first option out of the bullpen for a spot start, should the need arise. Bullpen long man, Scott Feldman, is also an option to slide into the rotation should ineffectiveness or injury occur in the second half of the season.

Tonight’s matchup:

Rangers’ right-hander Roy Oswalt (2-1, 7.79 ERA) seeks his third win, and opposes fellow right-hander Cole De Vries (2-1, 3.91 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM (CT).

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Jul 072012
 
Perez was serviceable during his second major league start, but the bases on balls and the defense behind him didn't help.

Rangers fall to Twins 5 1 as Losing Streaks Hits Season High Five

Perez was serviceable during his second major league start, but the bases on balls and the defense behind him didn’t help.

After falling to the lowly Minnesota Twins last night, 5-1, the Texas Rangers are now in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. Texas hasn’t won a game since the Baseball Do Field Trip last Saturday…

Coincidence?

Most definitely. We here at Baseball Do have zero impact on the Rangers’ sudden inability to hit quality left-handers…or Francisco Liriano for that matter.

However, when things go well for the Texas Rangers—as they so often do—we are certainly willing and able to receive full credit for said successes.

Last night was rough. Twins starter Francisco Liriano walked six batters—six ! And the Rangers had at least one runner on in every single inning…yet the best offense in big league baseball could muster merely one run.

What the what?

Okay, let’s place that boringly inept 5-1 loss firmly in our collective rearview mirrors. What’s done is done, and besides, today marks the return of everyone’s favorite cooking device (or flatulent fetish), the Dutch Oven…

Derek Holland makes his first start since June 5, and, by all accounts has recovered fully from his disturbing bout of left-shoulder influenza—also commonly referred to as West Nile Wing. It will be nice to have ole Dutchy back on the hill.

Now, about that offense…

The first pitch for game two of this three game series is scheduled for this evening at 6:15 PM (CT).

LHP Derek Holland (5-4, 5.15 ERA) will oppose the Twins’ RHP Samuel Deduno (0-0, 3.18 ERA. As far as I know, the 28-year-old Deduno has never appeared on Telemundo. But if he has, here’s hoping the segment was called: Telemundo Presents: Deduno Singing Menudo.

Rangers fall to Twins 5 1 as Losing Streaks Hits Season High Five

Anytime Tateyama pitches a scoreless inning—punctuated by two punchouts—you just have to win that game.


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Jun 262012
 
Yashi

Mystery Behind Perez Promotion Unveiled as Colby Lewis Placed on DLAnd just like that, 60% of the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation is now on the disabled list. Per Fort Worth Star-Telegrams’s Jeff Wilson, Colby Lewis will join Derek Holland and Neftali Feilz on the DL, with right forearm tendonitis.

This is especially alarming since left-hander Matt Harrison was lifted early from his last start as a precautionary measure because the 10-game winner was suffering from lower back stiffness. It doesn’t appear that Harrison’s back will require him to miss a start.

Earlier this morning word had surfaced that top-ranked pitching prospect, Martin Perez, had been called-up and told to report to the Texas Rangers for tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Until news of the Colby Lewis injury surfaced, the Perez promotion was seen as mysterious, since it was unknown who the Rangers would move to make room for the 21-year-old left-hander.

Scott Feldman will get his wish and return to the Rangers rotation for a spot start this Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

There has been no new timetable set for the return of the Rangers’ first DL casualty, Neftali Feliz, but Derek Holland has thrown a side-session and is presumably on track for a return to the Rangers rotation shortly after next month’s All-Star Break.

Currently, the Texas Rangers’ rotation consists of Yu Darvish (who will pitch tonight), Roy Oswalt (scheduled for tomorrow night), Scott Feldman, and Matt Harrison (barring any back issues). Justin Grimm was scheduled to start this Saturday, but Martin Perez could the get the nod instead. As of now, that decision is up in the air.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman—who went five innings in relief last night—is also a possible candidate for a spot-start this weekend.

This is the first time that Colby Lewis has required time on the DL in his two-plus big league seasons since returning from Japan.

It is unknown whether the injury stems from Lewis’ start last Saturday, where he took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs on 12 hits over four innings of work. That start was his shortest of the season.

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Jun 212012
 

The Rangers beat the Padres & Baseball Do beat something MALICIOUSWe are MALWARE free!

Ok, really not convinced there was ever a serious problem with the site, but there was definitely some “malicious code” on the site and it has now been completely removed.  In addition, we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  What a beating…

BaseballDo.com is once again a safe place for you to cyber-hang!

Lot’s of speculation if the infection that we had here on baseballdo.com could have been the same one that attacked our beloved Josh Hamilton over the weekend.  Biological investigation pending…

Due to all of these issues, we had to remove the Forums – could be temporary, could be permanent.  Let us know if you have an opinion on that.

Rangers Sweep the San Diego Fathers

The Rangers beat the Padres & Baseball Do beat something MALICIOUSRangers completed the sweep of the Padres last night behind a strong performance from Yu Darvish.  Darvish gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks over 8 innings, while striking out 8.  Both of the Padres’ runs were driven in by the pitcher, Anthony Bass, in the second inning.  After that little hiccup, Darvish was lights out before handing over the reigns to Joe Nathan who secured his 15th save of the season.  Darvish, who is now tied for the AL lead in Wins,  improves to 9-4 with a 3.45 ERA on the season.

“The first two innings, it looked like he was trying to find his rhythm,” Washington said. “From that point on, he wasn’t going to be denied. His breaking ball came, his cutter came, he moved the ball around the zone pretty good. He did a great job.”

Darvish also got his first MLB hit in the game, a broken bat single to right.

Rangers shuffle rotation

Roy Oswalt will make his Rangers debut tomorrow night at the Ballpark against the Rockies, replacing Scott Feldman in the rotation.

“He’s ready to go,” manager Ron Washington said. “The reports we got say he’s ready to go. That’s what we brought him for, to bring him to the big leagues, and he’s ready, so we made the decision to do it. We challenge him now.”

Scott Feldman slides back into the bullpen, a move that he’s none too happy with.

“Basically, telling me that I’m not in the plans for the second time this year, spring training and then now, that’s fine, if I’m not in their plans,” Feldman said. “But it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.”

Look, Scooter didn’t really do much to prove that he deserved more opportunities and while he’s clearly not happy with the move back to the pen, it’s an important role for the TEAM.  His unhappiness is nothing to be worried about, and if anything shows that he’s a competitor that wants to be in the rotation.  If he get’s another opportunity, somewhere down the line with the Rangers or another team, hopefully he’ll show better.

The Rangers’ rotation, starting Friday, is Oswalt, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Grimm and Yu Darvish.

Dutch and Feliz both continue to make good progress in rehab, both throwing off the mound yesterday.  Holland is hoping to return to the rotation on July 1st and Neftali is hoping for mid-July.  Barring any more injuries, Grimm would more than likely go back to the minors and Feliz will go to the pen in a set-up/7th inning role.

 Field Trip is quickly approaching…

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket to the Baseball Do First Annual Field Trip, jump on it.  It’s a great deal, and should be a great time!  We still have some spots available!

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Jun 072012
 
NS_22Sheppers3.jpg
Derek Holland to the 15 Day DL, Ogando to Rotation, Scheppers called up

Go get 'em, kid.

As if being shutout by Bartolo Colon 2-0—the team’s first shutout of the year—isn’t bad enough, the Texas Rangers have placed their second starting pitcher of the year on the disabled list.

Derek Holland, whose fastball lost considerable velocity in the fifth and sixth innings of his last start on Tuesday, has been placed on the 15-day DL with what is being described as left shoulder fatigue.

The “diagnosis” of a shoulder issue was unexpected, as it was initially thought that a stomach virus might be what would cause a possible DL stint. Holland has lost 15 pounds over the last two weeks due to the malady.

Derek Holland’s injury creates a broad-range ripple effect throughout the organization.

Alexi Ogando is back in the rotation

I’m a big Alexi Ogando fan, especially as a starter. I was disappointed when he wasn’t given another chance in the rotation out of spring training.

However, he is a damn fine reliever, and I’m all for the Rangers strengthening what aspects of their game they deem necessary—in that case, it was the bullpen that needed some help.

Ogando’s move to the rotation creates a few questions:

• Is he properly “stretched-out” enough? Can he go more than four-innings a start?

•How will his departure impact the bullpen?

Tanner Scheppers is called up from Triple-A

Scheppers was the Texas Rangers’ 44th overall draft pick out of Fresno State in 2009. He has long been on the team’s 40-man roster, but this will be his first time up in “The Show.”

• Scheppers has been healthy this year but has had a history of injuries in the past.
• Anytime a rookie is brought up, you never really know what you’re going to get in terms of success…they don’t always work out as superbly as Robbie Ross.

Koji Uehara’s heightened roll

Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara has been outstanding for the Texas Rangers in 2012. So good has Uehara been that he is no longer my favorite whipping boy for easy laughs.

Hell, it’s not easy to make fun of a 0.54 WHIP. How will Uehara react now that his importance has been increased greatly?

• Can Koji continue to produce at the same level in high-leverage situations?
• Will he be able to work as a “bridge” in Ogando’s absence?
• Can he go multiple innings if the situation dictates?

Scott Feldman remains the team’s number five starter

Feldman has been a hot topic of debate recently. He has yet to earn a win in his spot starts, and has seemingly pitched worse each time he’s run out there.

Most people—especially after his 8-run shellacking on Monday—wanted Feldman’s head on a platter. They wanted him to be left out of the rotation and kicked off the team….if you were one of those fans then the Holland injury is your worst nightmare.

• Feldman will remain the team’s number five starter—and he might even continue in that role when Roy Oswalt makes his debut in a few weeks.

• Believe it or not, Feldman will be missed in the Rangers bullpen. His continued absence could be an additional blow—coupled with Ogando’s loss—that weakens one of the Rangers’ strengths.

Final Analysis

You never want any of your starters to go down with an injury. One of the keys to the 2011 Texas Rangers was their ability to stay on the field (rotation-wise). This year’s squad—now with just two DL stints—hasn’t by any means been “injury prone” but anytime you lose a starting pitcher, much less two, there are negative ramifications.

Honestly, I feel that this might have occurred at the best possible time for the Texas Rangers. Not only is it early in the season, but many felt that a change might be necessitated by their recent struggles against inferior teams.

Well, here’s that change you’ve been hoping for. Ogando’s back in the rotation, and we finally get to see what the fire-balling right-hander Tanner Scheppers can do.

Relax.

Everything is going to be just fine. Yes, I realize that tomorrow we take off to play the San Francisco Giants in a stadium that we have never won a game in. Hey, all this means is that we’re due.

The Texas Rangers are in first place in the AL West by 4 1/2 games. There’s no need placing your finger anywhere remotely near the panic button as long as we are atop our division.

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Jun 062012
 
Derek Holland 4

Rangers rebound in Oakland with strong bullpen

Wednesday Morning CurveballsAlexi Ogando, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan flexed their muscle last night in Oakland, pitching a combined 3 2/3 innings in relief of Derek Holland, surrendering just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.  Ogando came in with two on and one out in the 6th with the Rangers holding on to a 2 run lead.  He struck out Kurt Suzuki and got Adam Rosales to pop out to first.

“That’s what he does,” closer Joe Nathan said of Ogando. “He’s the guy who holds our bullpen together. He’s the glue and tonight was a prime example about how much this guy means to us.”

Holland had his moments, but was apparently being taken down internally by…ahem…let’s just say he had some stomach concerns.  All in, he gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks over 5 1/3, striking out only 2.  He did get the win to improve to 5-4 with a 5.10 ERA.

“I just got a little fatigued out there,” Holland said. “I was doing everything I could to stay out there, but it started creeping up on me in the middle innings. I was doing everything I could. I just need to keep plugging away and get my strength back.”

It was creeping up…

Wednesday Morning Curveballs

Offensively, the Rangers accomplished a rare feat – everyone in the lineup got at least one base hit and struck out at least once.

Kinsler showed some signs of life with a 2 run double in the 3rd inning.  Everything else was pretty evening spread across the nine guys who started and ended this game in the lineup.

Lewis vs. Colon tonight

Colby Lewis (4-4, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound tonight, looking for his 5th win on the season.  Lewis pitched well in Anaheim over the weekend, only to have it wasted by defensive miscues and a lack of offensive support.  Since his reemergence in major league baseball (after his stint in Japan), Lewis is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA against Oakland.

The A’s will counter with 39 year old Bartolo Colon (4-6, 4.34 ERA).  Colon suffered a similar fate to Lewis in his last outing, only giving up 2 runs over 7 innings, but getting a tough loss as his offensive teammates put up a goose egg.

9:05pm first pitch on FSSW.

Headed to Kansas City…

  • Initial All-Star voting results were revealed yesterday and 5 Rangers are leading at their respective positions – Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz & Mike Napoli.  You can vote up to 25 times, which seems a little ridiculous, but whatever.  Vote here if you haven’t already.
  • Josh Hamilton will not be participating in the Home Run Derby this year which is fine by me.  Josh’s performance at the 2008 Derby was unforgettable, and I doubt he could ever top that.  In addition, I’d much prefer Josh preserve every ounce of energy for the All-Star game (which DOES matter) and the second half of the season.

“It’s just not the right time,” Hamilton said. “I haven’t done it the past couple of years. I want to be healthy and the best I can be. I don’t want to risk anything entertaining the fans. So I respectfully declined again. You just take one swing … you’ve got to be smart about it.”

  • Of the 5 mentioned above, Napoli is the only one that hasn’t made an All-Star team before.

“Awesome … thanks to our fans,” Napoli said. “It would mean a lot to me. It would mean a lot to every player to make the All-Star Game. I want my numbers to prove I deserve to be an All-Star. I love the fans giving me such great sport.”

  • Look, I’d really like to see the American League World Series representative have home field advantage this season, so I’m on board with this team featuring as many Rangers as possible, but let’s remember that it was one of our own that cost the AL the All-Star game last year.  Love this quote from Beltre:

“It’s pretty important,” Beltre said of home field advantage. “That might be a key why we didn’t win, even though it was one of us that screwed it up.” 

Quick Hits

  • Scott Feldman will make his next scheduled start, after getting shelled on Monday in Oakland and pitching poorly in the three starts prior to that.  Someone tell Craig Gentry to get ready…
  • From T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com), Hal Keller, who drafted, signed and developed some of the best players in the early years of the Rangers franchise, passed away on Tuesday at his home in Sequim, Wash. He was 84.
  • The Forums are up and running…well maybe running is a bit of an overstatement.
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May 312012
 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

 

I’m going to spare you the harrowing details.

You could have equipped a Roman gladiator with a shield camera and you wouldn’t have captured half the gore and bloodshed witnessed in tonight’s 21-8, two-possession, one-sided, testicle-shattering loss by the Texas Rangers.

A  loss that came at the hands of the freaking Seattle Mariners.  Yep, those Mariners.

And to think it all started off so innocently.

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Derek Holland looked sharp in the first inning, striking out two of three on just 10 pitches.

Sadly, the first inning would be the last time Holland would get three outs. The second inning, or, as it will be remembered from this point forward: “The GD Mother F****** second inning” would rear its ugly head all too soon.

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

It started off with a Jesus Montero single. No biggie, he's going to be a fine big league hitter.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

That wasn't Justin Smoak that ripped a double to left field was it?

 

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well, there's no way Miguel Olivo is going to drive in those two runners!

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well I'll be g** damn**, Olivo just drove in those two runners!

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Sure, Brendan Ryan is going to get a hit every now and then. Dustin Ackley is an easy out...

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Are you fu***** kidding me? After Ackley homers Chone gets a hit? I'm pretty sure I struck him out once in a slow-pitch softball tournament.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well there's no way Seagar is going to hit! Hahaha! He's like 0-for-May.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Okay, Dutch. Calm down. Breath. As long as Jesus Montero doesn't take you to downtown Dong city, you'll be fine.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Mother f****** p**** o* shi* how the f*** did that f***** s*** just f****** happen?!?!?

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

And after two consecutive walks to Justin Smoak and Alex Liddi, the Kafka-esque metamorphosis is complete. Welcome back, Chan, you Ho.

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May 302012
 

A popular expression to help one get over the occasional dire dealings of daily life goes as follows:

“Well, it’s better than a swift kick in the pants…”

I’m not so sure if that one makes me feel any better after the Texas Rangers were out-hit, outplayed and outpitched by the lowly Seattle Mariners last night.

After all, isn’t a 10-3 thrashing exactly the same thing as a roundhouse in the royal rubies?
Rangers look to Derek Holland to erase bad taste from Terrible Tuesday
Seemed that way to me.

It’s cool, there’s always a silver lining…yep, even when your favorite baseball team picks up a sledgehammer to play piñata with your privates…

• Mike Adams surrendered 3 runs and recorded no outs. His Zero innings pitched means, of course, that it never really happened.

• Elvis Andrus is still on fire—as only he and Craig Gentry recorded more than one-hit against Jason Vargas, Seattle’s apparently sullen and sleep-deprived lefty.

• Josh Hamilton hit his 21st home run of the season…remember last season he hit only 25 all year, and during his 2010 MVP campaign managed “just” 32…

• 21 home runs in 50 games is astounding, but to add additional weight, consider this:

• In 1993, on his way to 46 HRs, Juan Gonzalez managed just 16 dingers through his first 50 games.

• In 2002, A-Rod ended up hitting 57 long balls. Of those 57, only 15 were hit through his first 50 games.

• The year was 1999, and we partied, by god, like it was, indeed, 1999—the great Rafael Palmeiro wound up hitting 47 taters…he had just 14 through the team’s first 50 games.

Okay, if those tidbits didn’t help lighten the gloom, you can always fall back on this one:

Blame Roy Oswalt:

The Texas Rangers are now 0-1 since signing the Wizard of Os.

Still no help? Well, I’ve got nothing for you pal. Except for this: The Seattle Mariners have already used up all of this month’s run supply and have none left for tonight.

Poor Seattle, you don’t get roll-over runs

Get ready, it’s a mustache-less Derek Holland taking on Cliff Lee-deal giveaway, Blake Beavan.

Holland did so well without his cracker mullet that minus his lip mistake we might expect even greater things. Fewer creeped out kids, regardless.

Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.3 K/9) versus Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.7 K/9) will take place tonight with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 at the recently rain-swept Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Go Rangers!

Rangers look to Derek Holland to erase bad taste from Terrible Tuesday

Yes, you can rub my Nads all over your body.


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May 252012
 

Breaking Down Brandon Morrow and Derek Holland: A Blue Jays PreviewOne week ago, the Texas Rangers (27-18) readied themselves for the Lone Star Series against pseudo-major league team, the Houston Astros.

Tonight the Texas Rangers prepare for battle with their long-time nemesis; that cold weather clan of Canadians, the Toronto Blue Jays (24-21).

From “Battle of the Silver Boot” to “Fracas with the ‘OOTs.’” This weekend’s series is less about “a boot” than it is about “aboot.”

You’ve got to love regional dialects, ay?

One thing not to love is the uncanny success the Blue Jays have had against the Rangers over the last several seasons.

The Rangers haven’t posted a winning season against the Jays since 2006, when they were 4-2.

Last year the Rangers went 4-6 against Toronto and a woeful 3-7 in 2010. The Rangers’ two AL Championship teams were 7-13 against a team that hasn’t made the postseason since their World Series Championship back in 1993.

This year hasn’t been much better for Texas, as the Jays took two of three in Toronto. In that series the Rangers were outscored 20-16.

Tonight it’s a battle between two top young hurlers and fellow 2006 MLB Draft picks.

For the Rangers it’s 2011 World Series Game Four hero, left-hander Derek Holland (26th Round) locking horns with Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (1st Round, 5th pick).

Here’s a look at how these two electric arms stack up against each other:

Derek Holland (3-3, 4.27 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.9 K/9) vs. Brandon Morrow(5-2, 2.63 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 7.9 K/9)

Holland

Dutch is coming off a rough outing against the aforementioned Houston Astros. In that start, he surrendered five earned runs on five hits with the majority of the damage coming from three home runs hit in three-straight innings.

Against the Blue Jays in his career, Holland has struggled. He’s 2-1 with a 5.55 ERA and just 18 strikeouts. However, the current group of Jays has batted just .226 against the left-hander.

Jose Bautista has had the most success against Dutch, with a .273 batting average and 2 RBI. Rajai Davis has touched him up with a .273 BA as well.

Holland has never faced fiery third baseman Brett Lawrie or second baseman Kelly Johnson.

Morrow

Whereas Dutch was poor in his last start against Houston, Morrow was on the opposite end of the performance spectrum.

The 6’ 3” Morrow was lights-out against the New York Mets, tossing his second shutout of the season, while limiting the Mets to just three hits while striking out 8 and walking just one.

Against the Rangers in his career, Morrow is 4-4 with a 4.01 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
Michael Young doesn’t mind Morrow too much as is indicative of his .400 BA and team-leading 5 RBI. MY has taken him deep once as well.

Mike Napoli has been given the night off tonight, and it’s just as well as he has struggled of late and has a paltry .143 BA against Morrow. David Murphy—who is in the starting lineup tonight—has hit .365 in his career against the former University of California hurler. Josh Hamilton, in a 11-game homerless streak, is hitting a pedestrian .222 against the big Toronto right-hander.

Morrow has never faced tonight’s starting catcher, Yorvit Torrealba.

At Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Morrow didn’t earn a decision last season but posted a solid 3.00 ERA and didn’t surrender a home run.

At home this year, Holland has gone 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA and has relinquished two long balls.

The Rangers and Dutch can win tonight if:

They hit like the Tampa Bay Rays do against him. If you take away the 11 innings Morrow’s thrown against the Rays and the 12 earned runs he allowed in those two ill-fated starts, Morrow’s ERA is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 1.07.

The Rangers have been scuffling at the plate for awhile now. Over their last 10 games they’ve gone just 4-6 with an offense that has been plating a mere 3.5 runs per game. Against a tough right-hander, the Rangers have their work cut out for them, and hopefully can rise from their offensive funk.

Of chief importance for Dutch will be to keep Bautista in the yard. After a tepid start to the season, the right-handed slugger has hit 7 home runs in his last 13 games.

Prediction Time

I look for Dutch to go six strong innings tonight, striking out 6 and minimizing the damage dealt by the Jays’ formidable offense. The Texas Rangers win tonight 6-2—now I could be wrong, but I’m sure that score sounds aboot right.

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May 252012
 

Rest

Friday Morning KnuckleballsThe Rangers got some much needed rest yesterday after a “20 games in 20 days” stretch that they finished with a .500 record.  With a record on the season of 27-18, Rangers fans are facing mixed emotions – optimism based on the make-up of this team and maybe a tinge of skepticism based on this most recent performance.

Regardless of where you stand on the ledge…don’t jump.  For fans, rest isn’t needed in the same way that it’s needed for players, but this short break can provide us with an opportunity to refill the tank as well.  To take a moment to step back and look at the big picture.

We live in a time of immediate judgement though the likes of Twitter, Facebook and blogs like the one you are reading right now.  Take some time today before this series with Toronto starts to really look at how good this team is.  Look at how well  they are positioned to play deep into October again this year.  Look at the front office and management of the team and how they have a unified approach.  Hell, even take a quick look at how bright the future is with a farm system stocked full of talent.

This is fun…

Joey Bats and the Jays are coming to town

Friday Morning Knuckleballs

Did you enjoy your rest?  Did you appreciate that moment to soak it all in and be an eternal optimist…now snap back to reality.  The Rangers have to bust out of this mini-slump NOW!

The Jays come to Arlington after a day off on their current road trip.  They lost 2 of 3 to Tamp Bay earlier in the week.

Derek Holland (3-3, 4.27 ERA) will face a Toronto offense tonight that is currently below the league average in battering average and on-base percentage, but boasts a respectable (not spectacular) .408 slugging percentage (a stat in which the Rangers lead the American League at .463).

Holland is looking to rebound from a disappointing start last weekend against the lowly Astros in which he gave up 5 runs over 5 innings of work.

“I’m looking forward to bouncing back,” Holland said. “I’ve been working in the bullpen on keeping the ball down. There were some mechanical adjustments, I was looking down rather than looking at my target. I’m looking forward to this start, I’m well-prepared for it and ready.”

On the whole, May hasn’t been too bad to Holland (1-1, 2.79 ERA), but he hasn’t fared well when pitching at home so far this season (1-2, 5.60 ERA). The Dutch Oven has taken the mound five times in his career against the Jays, and  2-1 with a 5.55 ERA.

The Blue Jays will counter with Brandon Morrow (5-2, 2.63 ERA) who was nothing short of exceptional in his last outing, shutting out the Mets while striking out 8.

Quick Hits

  •  Shifting back to the optimistic future…thinking long-term.  Good article by Jesse Sanchez (MLB.com) about Rangers teenage prospects Ronald Guzman and Nomar Mazara.
  • Kevin Matthews was promoted to Class A from the Arizona League yesterday.  Matthews was the Rangers’ first-round pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft. In seven appearances (3 of which were starts) with the Arizona League Rangers, Matthews went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
  • We are opening up the Forums this weekend, so check back and get into some heated discussions with Jasen about Robbie Ross and Cheese Fries vs. Garlic Fries.
  • Jasen and I went to Patty Shack yesterday for lunch…if you haven’t been there, what are you waiting for.  Burgers and atmosphere are great.  We’re planning to have a game watching get-together at Patty Shack sometime before the Field Trip, so stay tuned.

Take me to the Card Shop

Keeping with the tribute to Baseball cards that I started a month ago,  promised to fulfill every Friday, then promptly skipped for 3 weeks…

Friday Morning Knuckleballs

This 1980 Future Stars card is another reminder of how the future is bright in Texas.  It may not have been so bright back in 1980, but when you got one of these types of cards for your team in a pack back in the day, it didn’t matter how bad you were at the time, because you knew it was just a matter of time before Brian Allard, Jerry Don Gleaton and Greg Mahlberg showed up to save the day!

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