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 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 232012
 
ROYCOLBY

UPDATE
Per ESPN’s Richard Durrett, Rangers’ right-hander Colby Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament that will likely require surgery…Lewis has been the Rangers most successful starter during their last two World Series runs.

The severity of the injury coupled with Lewis’ imminent loss for the remainder of the year may make a trade for pitching help likely…

UPDATE: Colby Lewis likely lost for season with Torn Ligament

Worried about Lewis and/or Oswalt? Greinke would more than compensate for either, should they be lost for an extended period of time.

The Texas Rangers’ pitching staff continues to provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for the rabid injury bug.

And the Rangers have begun to plug the holes before the dam explodes.

Rather than Roy Oswalt on the hill tonight, it’s Scott Feldman. Tomorrow night’s starter will be recently re-promoted left-hander Martin Perez.

It appears that Oswalt, who was scratched from tonight’s start due to lower-back stiffness, is being treated day-to-day. However, the fact that Oswalt has dealt with back issues in the not-so-distant past is somewhat alarming.

Colby Lewis, who had just made his first start after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, is now back on the dreaded DL. For Lewis, it’s a continued bout with right forearm stiffness. And it’s very clear that that the Texas Rangers aren’t going to take this matter lightly.

Oswalt had really been coming on lately, pitching well over his last two starts after getting banged around by 30-plus hits during his initial three starts. Over his last two games, Oswalt was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, while featuring his usual free-pass stinginess.

Lewis was in line to win his most recent start last Wednesday in Oakland. He pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit ball, but the Athletics scored one run off of each subsequent Rangers reliever, which culminated in a walk-off victory for Oakland, and a no-decision for Lewis.

Although the time might seem ripe to push the panic button with full-force, as long as Roy Oswalt’s back issue is nothing that requires a DL stint, the Rangers are still in fine shape.

Naturally, Scott Feldman isn’t everyone’s first choice to start games, but he has been not horrible over his last three starts.

In that span, he’s 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA, with only two walks and 12 strikeouts. Yeah, I know, that ERA isn’t something that Scooter’s mother would proudly affix to the refrigerator, but it’s better than the six-plus ERA whopper dangling around his neck prior to his first win of the year.

Feldman, oddly enough, is a much better pitcher at home than on the road. He’s 2-3 with a respectable 4.05 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2012. His road record and ERA (1-3, 7.62) can produce symptoms that closely mirror those of only the most hardcore cases of West Nile Virus.

Dizziness, headaches, nausea. Look at his home numbers again. Now if the symptoms don’t go away, go see a doctor immediately, or stop drinking straight from the beer tap…

21-year-old Venezuelan left-hander, Martin Perez, has looked very solid over his last three appearances, two of which were starts. Over that span, he’s 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

So the Rangers have the proper sutures on hand to sew up the recent injury-induced contusions. However, they also have the proper ammunition to amputate the limb entirely, and attache a better arm in its wake.

That was just a confusing way to say that the Texas Rangers have eight more days to make a trade, should they feel the need to do so.

You’ve heard the names. Zach Greinke. Cole Hamels. Possibly even a Matt Garza.

Of course the flip-side of that coin are the names that would have to be in place in order to initiate the speculative trade.

Jurickson Profar. Mike Olt. Perhaps Martin Perez.

Profar is most likely off limits, but should he be dangled as trade bait, the sting of his potential loss could easily be soothed by a World Series Championship…and should Texas bring in one of the aforementioned aces, the end result of the 2012 season could possibly bring forth the organization’s first championship.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RHP Scott Feldman (3-6, 6.25 ERA), versus LHP Felix Doubront (10-4, 4.24 ERA)…

Go Rangers!

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Dec 192011
 

The Calm Before The Storm

 

It’s been very quiet in Rangers country this last week. The entire baseball world is waiting with bated breath to find out who’s won the right to negotiate with Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish. While initial reports are that the Blue Jays of Toronto have made a “massive” $40m plus bid, those “in the know” feel like this is down to either your Texas Rangers or Toronto.

In the meantime the biggest free agent left on the market both literally and figuratively is Prince Fielder. Several teams are said to still be in the mix for the enormous first baseman and well-known shrimp cocktail lover. While many feel like the Rangers would also be in the mix for Fielder, their official response when asked has been tepid to say the least.

The most likely scenario for the Rangers would have them trading for another starter before the season starts. Several names have been thrown out there including John Danks, Gio Gonzalez and possibly Matt Garza.  The Rangers are in a great position to trade for a big name starter thanks to a talent rich farm system built by John Daniels and the Rangers scouting department.

Its quiet…too quiet.  Once the Yu decision comes down, expect the floodgates to open.

 

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