Jul 122012

Texas Rangers Ready for Second Half—News and Notes

You’re not fooling anyone, JD. We all know you’re a ninja.

As it turns out, the All-Star Break was about as much fun as taking three days off from work, just so you can help a friend move.

And your friend lives in Kansas City…well that’s what you get for telling him you own a truck.

After the National League torqued the A.L. 8-0, I feel safe in saying that we are all ready for the second half to commence.

And commence, it will, as the Texas Rangers are headed to the Pacific Northwest for a three game series against fellow A.L. West combatants, the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners, at 36-51, have a worse record than the Rangers (52-34) even if you’re dyslexic…just look at their record first or that makes less sense than Verlander getting thwacked last Tuesday.

Since the initial road trip of the second half features a call to the West Coast, the start time makes it seem as if it’s far further away than one full day.

Alas, tomorrow night, at 9:10 (CT), recently reactivated Derek Holland (5-4, 5.05 ERA) will make his second start since his month-long stay on the disabled list. He’ll oppose former Ranger Kevin Millwood (3-6, 3.69 ERA). Millwood has been lights-out against the Rangers this year, going 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts.

Jeez Millwood, you mad?

Holland, against Seattle, well, he’s had some problems

Here’s a look at some Rangers news and notes, as their four-day break nears a close.

Ranger Injury Updates

Both Alexi Ogando (strained right groin muscle) and Neftali Feliz (sprained right elbow) are set to have a minor league rehabilitation assignment in the near future.

Ogando, sidelined since June 10, will conduct his rehab assignment this Thursday with Triple-A Round Rock. He’s penciled in for a two-inning outing.

Feliz, out since May 18, is scheduled to throw live batting practice this Thursday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. If that outing goes as planned, he’ll be cleared to pitch two innings with Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday.

As noted by Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan, it appears as though Feliz will be stretched out to remain in the Rangers rotation upon his return.

Reliever Koji Uehara is scheduled to pitch an inning for Round Rock this Saturday, and should his lat injury not limit him, he could be set to rejoin the bullpen as early as next week.

Mark Lowe, sidelined with a rib cage strain, is expected to resume a throwing program this weekend in Seattle.

Colby Lewis should be reactivated for a start against Oakland next Wednesday.

Rangers’ deal with IFA (International Free Agent) Jairo Beras holds up

As if we needed any further notice that Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels is a true ninja…

Per Joey Matschulat of Baseball Time In Arlington, Major League Baseball has decided to uphold the $4.5 million bonus the Rangers signed Beras to.

There was controversy surrounding Beras’ age, almost from the onset of the deal. Initially, Beras provided the powers that be with a birth certificate that stated he was born in 1995. Had that been the case, the Rangers’ deal would have been revoked as Beras would have been too young to sign a professional contract.

C’mon, you should know by now that what fools MLB can’t pull the wool over JD…

Long story short—please read Matschulat’s fine article for all the details—the Rangers felt that Beras was actually born in 1994, MLB agreed, and thus the deal was upheld due to his now being old enough to sign said deal.

Beras is being punished by a one-year suspension, however.

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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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May 142012

What’s the matter with Koji Uehara?

Over the last few weeks or so he hasn’t, um…he hasn’t sucked so bad. Hell he’s been relatively decent…almost.

It’s kind of unsettling.

Koji’s string of sort-of successes couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Texas Rangers.

What in the hell are you talking about Tim? If Koji is pitching well, our beloved Texas Rangers are an unstoppable machine…the ultimate combination of killer offense and shutdown pitching!


If Uehara continues to channel his inner un-suck—or, heaven forbid, Koji clicks his pitch switch all the way up to “good”—we’re all screwed.

Huh? How could a so-so Koji be detrimental to one of the best teams the American League has seen in the last decade?

Well, its simple fellow Rangers fans: The universe hates perfection.

It’s true. There are subtle signs all over the world that showcase the universe’s powerful disdain for perfection…everything must be flawed; it is the way the world works.

Those that aren’t flawed are punished! Grrrrrr! Don’t mess with the universe, pal.

In fact, most things that seem perfect are actually flawed, sometimes two-fold. Consider these, dear readers:

• Megan Fox’s toe-thumbs and incessant refusal to shoot scenes fully nude.

Are the Texas Rangers too good? or The importance of Koji sucking

Toe thumbs and man hands...the hallmark of the universe's hatred of perfection.

• Tiger Wood’s solitary gray tooth and penchant for extramarital affairs with ugly women.
• Tim Tebow’s inability to throw a football and overwhelming eagerness to grant interviews that we all have to listen to.

Don’t get me wrong, the universe doesn’t just punish seemingly perfect individuals, it strikes down perfection in teams, leagues, and even cities!

It’s why:

• The New Orleans Saints can’t play NFL-caliber football without the framework of a contract killing.
• The National Hockey League refuses to change its name to the “Canadian Ice Soccer League.” See? That’d be too perfect. It’s just soccer on ice, folks.
• The City of Detroit…well, you know.

Are the Texas Rangers too good? or The importance of Koji sucking

Comerica is somewhere there hidden behind the layers of refuse.

Still not convinced? Well, as of yesterday, the Texas Rangers were on pace to win 106 games this season. That’s awesome. I would be even more stoked about this if my excitement weren’t tempered with a measure of scared shitless-ness.

The 1998 Yankees won 114 games and lost only three games—three freaking games—in the postseason on their way to a World Series Championship…and they did this despite/in spite of/because of Chuck Knoblauch.

Are the Texas Rangers too good? or The importance of Koji sucking

Moments after this photograph was taken, the photographer was badly injured by Knobby's terrible toss.

It’s pretty much scientifically proven that they would have won 49 games had they not had a second baseman that airmailed relay throws into the upper deck all season long…

The 2011 Seattle Mariners won an eye-popping 116 games…and were nearly swept out of the ALCS by the New York Yankees…okay, bad example.

But still, they set a record for most regular season wins with a 38-year-old lefty that couldn’t shatter a cracked window with his “heater.”

Yep, Jaime Moyer. Hard to believe he’s still pitching today, at the not-so-tender-and-actually-creepy-as-hell-age of 49.

Are the Texas Rangers too good? or The importance of Koji sucking

Hey there ladies. You want me to buy ya some beers? My van is air-conditioned.

So improbably imperfect is Moyer as a major leaguer, it’s why many experts are picking the Colorado Rockies to win it all this year…I digress.

Don’t worry, though, the Texas Rangers are already grooming a new potential patsy to sacrifice to the gods of suck…

Anybody watch Mark Lowe’s appearance last night?

But for now, we need you, Koji Uehara. We need you to get back to your comfort zone of suckiness.

How come?

For the same reason that Kate Upton is young enough to be my daughter. For the same reasons that Brad Pitt is going gray, and Julia Roberts’ mouth is large enough to park a mid-size sedan in.

And yes, you sickos, those were supposed to be flaws.

Are the Texas Rangers too good? or The importance of Koji sucking

Yep, those twin towers were created about the same time I was a junior in high school. And, no, I had no hand in that...but I'd like to put my hands on...you get the idea.

All great things are flawed. The 2012 Texas Rangers are on the very precipice of greatness, staring down at the legions of inferior teams they have swatted to the wayside.

They laugh at the inferiority of the Jered Weavers and C.J. Wilsons of the world; all while pointing and giggling at the A-Rods and Swishers; and shrugging off the Verlanders and other mortal meanderers.

The Texas Rangers are peering directly into the cool madness of perfection. And in this galactic stare-down, perfection is fighting off the warmth of a blooming blush, almost ready to divert its gaze…

You CAN be too good.

We need Koji to be our team’s toe-thumb, the gray tooth floating amongst the sea of pearly whites. The self-righteous—yet somehow likeable—professional athlete with the completely wrong skill set for his sport.

So, Koji, if you can hear me, don’t f*** this up for us by not being a f***-up. We need you, man…so continue to hang your fastball; proceed to throw that basketball-sized splitter. Pick up that heavy heffer at Applebee’s. Trim those kick-ass sideburns…

We’re all counting on you to perfect your imperfections. After all, the success of the 2012 Texas Rangers season is counting on it.

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Jan 182012
  • Wednesday Morning Curves   Darvish Deadline DayIt’s Yu Deadline Day!  We’ll know by 4pm today if the Rangers and Darvish were able to reach an agreement.  Richard Durrett & David Schoenfield face off on ESPN’s Hot Button explaining why they feel the Rangers should sign (Durrett) or pass (Schoenfield).  That link also displays a Jim Bowden video that provides nothing new, but if you’re wanting to drown yourself in Yu Darvish today, give it a watch.
  • Tim Kirkjian feels that “one way or another, Yu Darvish is going to sign with the Rangers”, and that seems to be the general sentiment of much of the MLB Media.
  • David Murphy, Matt Harrison, Mark Lowe and Mike Adams reach deals with the Rangers to avoid arbitration yesterday.  This leaves Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus as the three remaining players that could go to arbitration if a deal is not reached.  T. R. Sullivan provides some more details on this matter here.
  • Would you want the Rangers to sign Prince Fielder, if it meant that they would not be able to resign Josh Hamilton after the 2012 season?  Jasen posted a good article last night examining the scenario, and Jean-Jacques Taylor sided with Hamilton in an article posted on ESPN Dallas this morning.  Decide for yourself, and leave a comment below.
  • Greg Maddux kicked-off his career as a Ranger yesterday getting up to speed with some of the minor-league pitching talent within the organization.  According to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram, “While Greg Maddux will familiarize himself with the pitching prospects this week, one area that he will surely be involved with throughout spring training is the pitchers’ fielding technique.  The Rangers’ pitching staff combined for 16 errors last season, including four each by Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis and three by Derek Holland. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, won 18 Gold Gloves during his career, committing 53 errors over 23 seasons.”
  • Former Ranger Curtis Wilkerson is coming back to DFW.  This time as a manager, as he’ll oversee the Ft. Worth Cats in the 2012 season.
  • The Tigers took a serious shot to their line-up yesterday as news broke that Victor Martinez would likely be out for the 2012 season after tearing his ACL during off-season winter workouts.  Doesn’t seem likely the Tigers would jump in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes as Prince said he has no interest in being a full-time DH.
  • Cole Hamels and the Phillies reached a 1 year agreement yesterday ($15M) to avoid arbitration.  The Phillies are said to still be working on a long-term deal with the lefty.  If a deal is not reached, Hamels would surely be one of the top free agents next off-season.
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